Faux Painting

This post is a little escape from our normal topic of house and industrial painting to explore an interesting design element of paint commonly referred to as Faux Painting.

“Faux” is a French word meaning “false”. If you’ve ever heard of faux pearls or faux jewels, it simply means that they are man made and not real pearls or jewels. You might choose faux pearls because you want the look of pearls without the expense of the real thing.


So what exactly is Faux Painting?

Faux Painting is an exciting way to manipulate paint on walls, ceilings, floors and even furniture. It duplicates the look of more expensive finishes such as marble, leather, fine wood, brick and stone. It is used in people’s homes when they want a more exotic look, in places like restaurants and also in theaters and film sets where painters can change the entire look of a room with the stroke of a brush.

Of course, the application of faux finishes can be a bit more complicated then just the stroke of a brush. There are often multiple paint colors that are used to blend and layer on top of one another for different effects. The tools used in Faux Painting are seemingly endless, but can include cheesecloth, sea sponges, sheep’s wool, bristle brushes, artists brushes, newspaper, grocery bags, rollers and more. There are even specialized rubber rollers that will duplicate wood grain and a multitude for textured finishes as well as wallpaper patterns.

Just as the tools used in Faux Painting are endless, so are the looks you can create using them. While it may seem intimidating at first, there are a lot of simpler looks that can be mastered pretty quickly even by a novice painter. “Colorwashing” is a subtle, sophisticated and relatively simple Faux Painting process which produces a fresco, aged look. Even the more advanced marbling and stone looks, or something like creating an elaborate rug design on a hard wood floor can be accomplished by anyone with enough research and prep time.

If you decide to embark on a Faux Painting project of your own, practicing on a board beforehand can help you nail down the technique. The nature of paint itself is that it’s fairly simple to cover up any failed attempts or when you decide you want to change up the look of a room in the future. Faux Painting is a fun and simple way to add a polished look to any room.

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