Faux painting ideas are becoming more and more popular among interior designers, trying to revoke the faux painting techniques and wall paper trends people were so obsessed with during the 1990’s.

Basically, what faux painting does is to completely revamp your place on a minimal price, and comes in a variety of options for each home owner to find what he is looking for.

Faux painting walls will not be an easy task though.

In fact, the mere idea of faux paint is to copy real paint, but make the fake version as convincing as possible, which means you’re already challenged to obtain a quality product that doesn’t look like a cheap copy of something else.

Image source: Jaque Bethke for PURE Design Environments Inc.

You will be required to use specific and decorative faux finishes for walls that look like another material, usually wood, marble, or stone.

These are the most common faux finish ideas to choose from: Harlequin, Metallic, Tissue paper, Stripes, Color Blending, Color Washing, Venetian Plaster, Faux bricks, Stone Blocks, Color blending, Crackle, Ragging, Tuscan textures, Gilding, Faux granite painting, and Sponging.

Faux Paint Ideas & Tips

Image source: Jennifer Lang Designs, Inc.

Here are the faux painting basics you should know before you’ve started:

The list of necessary products is shorter than you think. Obviously, it will take a while to achieve a special one-of-a-kind effect, but faux painting in general doesn’t involve many products.

This concept is relatively old, and can be traced to a time when people didn’t have today’s bells and whistles and still got along quite fine.

Image source: Prestige Builders

You can obtain an amazing texture by using rags, sponges, and crumbled paper – the only advantage of those shiny glazes vendors are offering is that they extend drying times, and let you play with textures longer than usual, and the very same effect can be achieved by diluting regular paint with water.

When you’re faux painting a single room, choose a technique that somehow resembles the colors and materials applied in the other rooms.

Image source: Craig Denis

Don’t try to create the perfect match, but rather to insinuate a connection transiting smoothly from one room to the other.

This way, you can show that even dark dining rooms have something in common with a light living room – whatever makes you feel happy, go for it!

Overthinking can be a problem. Faux painting is a craft supposed to resemble something that really exists in nature and to look random rather than overdone.

Image source: Professional Design Consultants

It requires neither thinking nor special experience nor artistic skills – all there is to it is to take a tool and paint, or repaint in case you don’t like the result.

For a multi-room project, the connection rule is no longer active, and you’re literally allowed to do whatever comes to your mind.

Image source: WA Design Architects

It is either way recommended to give the whole picture a thought, and decide on colors and textures in advance: which are the colors and materials that make you feel good?

Once you’ve chosen the color and the material, choosing a technique will be a walk in the park.

For cooler shades, consider traditionally compatible blending, washing, or sponging, while for warmer ones you may as well try Venetian Plaster, stone blocks, or Tuscan texture.

Image source: McManus Development Corporation

Faux painting is not a wall-exclusive technique. Instead, you should try doing this on many other surfaces back home:

The garage door – Usually, garage doors are metal and dull, and it makes sense to transform them into wooden carriage doors.

The concrete floors – We all struggle picking the right flooring for basements, but we’re missing on a pretty handy trick: you can keep the functional concrete by simply applying a stunning stone-like faux finish on it.

Image source: von Hemert Interiors

It will look gorgeous, eliminating at the same time the usual concerns related to washing carpets or replacing broken laminate.

Neutral ceilings – Is there a better way to make a room more dramatic than drawing attention to the ceiling? Faux painting can easily transform the ceilings and draw the eye towards it, be it an overwhelming velvety texture or luxurious molding.

Image source: BedBrock Developers, LLC

Flower pots and plastic appliances – There is a plethora of simple DIY projects related to faux painting that can make your place more beautiful in seconds.

For instance, you can redo your ceramic and plastic flower pots to give them a high-end artisan and fancy appearance.

Faux painting techniques and How To-s


Image source: Wakako Tokunaga Architecture

Graining is how most people decide to complete their faux finish projects, and additionally one of the easiest and cheapest ways to do it.

You need to purchase a specific wood-grain finishing tool and drag it on the painted surface while it is still wet.

In order to recreate the natural wooden course, change the directions and use it on randomly chosen spots.

Marble-wall finish

Image source: Platinum Series by Mark Molthan

Marble finishing is the prettiest faux painting idea, in particularly for those looking to make their place classier and distinctively luxurious.

Knowing how expensive genuine marble is, we should appreciate the power of this design technique to mimic its opulent and refined looks.


Strie is another powerful faux painting technique used to soften the effect of warm and bold color palettes.

The procedure is very simple: you need to draw streaks over the paint to make it look like fabric, using either a paint roller or a long-bristled brush. For optimal effects, combine paint and glaze.

Silky faux finish

Image source: Soledad Builders, LLC

As you can probably guess by the name, silk faux finishes are applied to make homes look exquisite and ethereal. Adding a soft rug or hanging a lavish chandelier can make even the simplest combo look like a magnificent mansion.

The classic sponging

Image source: Dunlap Design Group, LLC

Sponge has been used for faux painting for many years, and is thereof considered to be the pioneer technique that founded most of today’s concepts and ideas.

You need to dip the sponge in your favorite color, and then gently move it across the wall’s surface.

At first sight, it will look as if you’ve achieved nothing, but the secret is to apply multiple layers, each of them using the same color until you arrive to the dense nuance you like.

Elegant faux painting ideas for ceilings

Image source: Kerri Robusto Interiors

We’ve already said that faux painting makes ceilings glorious, and the variety of techniques applicable for the purpose stands in favor of our opinion.

What is even better, you don’t need an exclusive faux painting technique – even the simplest one will look amazing with a charming chandelier hanged on the ceiling.

Denim faux painting

It doesn’t take to be an artist to associate denim painting solutions with indigo shades, or to guess that this technique is applied for dramatic and bold effects.

You can go a step further brushing horizontal and vertical stroke to mimic Denim’s cross-stitching, and make our walls modern and funky.

Geometric faux painting

Image source: Jaffa Group Design Build

If you like your settings minimal and your lines sharp, geometric faux painting is the technique for you. It adds what designers call ‘statistical charm’, something you already know bedding and rug patterns.

In design, however, geometry is triggered each time a place lacks harmony and synchronization, as it is a safe haven whose beautiful looks never go out of style.


Image source: John Kraemer & Sons

If a genuine brick wall sounds like a serious investment, consider mimicking the brick scenario using your creativity. You can attach the brick look on every surface, be it a focal living room wall or a charming patio half-wall.

Doing this will be more than easy: take a larger panel of synthetic sponge, and cut several pieces in a brick size and shape.

Once done, glue them next to each other on a plywood palette, and apply brick-like paint over them until the surface genuinely starts to remind of a brick wall.

Rustic faux painting


Mediterranean and rustic-style adorers should consider faux painting to help them obtain the looks they want on a minimal price.

Whatever type of faux finish you’re using, the final result will look sophisticated enough to support your old-world-glamour scenario.


Image source: Allison Cosmos

Ragging is the easiest, yet least known faux painting technique people apply.

Instead of looking for ideas or buying expensive tools and glazes, get a damp cloth or even a paper bag, crumple it, and press it lightly on a freshly-painted wall for a streaked effect.

Rinse the rag from extra glaze each time you’re shifting to a new surface.

Rag rolling

There are other techniques that can be executed with a single rug – instead of crumpling it, you can roll it in a worm-shape, and then move up and down your wet wall to make the faux effect subtler.

You can even skip the glaze to avoid a dramatic result.

Faux painting ideas for kids’ rooms

Image source: Grace Home Design

Kids are the most grateful audience when it comes to faux painting, as a cute faux finish and an oversized animation mural will always give them a reason to love their room. For an even better result, find out which are the colors they enjoy the most.


Image source: Home & Stone

Leathering reminds of rag-rolling in many aspects, in particular the mere idea of a luxurious and elegant result.

This technique is performed with chamois which genuinely mimics the smoothness of leather on neutral surfaces, and a layer of high-quality glaze reminiscent of distressed and mottled leather.

Faux painting ideas for bathrooms

Image source: Studio 6 Architects

Interestingly enough, bathroom walls look amazing with faux painting solutions, as redoing concrete in a creative way will both look gorgeous, and save some extra bucks on your account.


Those interested to master faux painting and to do it in a really professional way should consider buying special stippling brushes (ideally ones with short and stiff bristles), and apply paint with them to obtain the fine texture they want.

The only thing to be attentive with is how you move the brush – instead of dragging it as you’d do with the regular one, make fast up-and-down moves. The results will impress you!

Ending thoughts

Image source: About:Space, LLC

Except of impressing visitors, faux painting is a technique that turns bare and dull walls into symbols of character and depth.

The choice in front of you is almost unlimited: you can support your elegant scenario with metallic finishes, or use crackled faux painting methods to complement your home’s rustic theme.

Image source: Terry M. Elston, Builder

Long story short, faux painting suits all homes and homeowner preferences, and can be easily executed as a DIY project that doesn’t involve hiring professionals, buying tools, and paying for complex services.

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