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Faux Finish Painting Techniques

February 18, 2021


The faux finish is a painting technique that creates nuance and texture by copying the look and feel of other surfaces like marble, suede, or striped wallpaper. It takes time, patience, and creativity to do a faux finish. But the results will convince you that the time was worth it.

Here are some faux finish painting techniques:


Sponging is one of the most straightforward decorating techniques. All you need is a sea sponge, glaze, and three different paint colors to add color, texture, and dimension to the room. Before sponging the wall, apply a primer or a sealer using a roller applicator.

When the primer is completely dry, you can then apply a base coat in any color of your choice. Dip a damp sea sponge into a glaze or paint mixture and rub it in a random pattern on the wall. To get a bold effect, use a glaze color that is different from your base coat but for a subtle effect, use a glaze color that is from the same family color as your base coat.

Color Washing or Broken Finish Technique

Color washing is another technique that can bring an authentic, vintage charm to any room, making it look like it has been weathered by time. It is also very easy to achieve. Apply a thin, neutral glaze over a contrasting base color and use a feathery brush to apply strokes for a mellow and soft texture.

This is the method of application. The first thing to do is to apply a primer with a roller. When the primer is dried, apply any base coat of your choice. For the color washing, use a rag or a sponge on the wall in a circular motion, as if you are washing the wall. Once you have achieved what you want, let the top coat dry.

faux finish painting

Rag Rolling

Rag rolling is another easy technique that can be used to achieve the look of old leather or weathered stucco. It does not matter if you want something bold or dramatic; rag rolling is a great way to accomplish that. You just have to use a rolled-up rag to roll on paint or irregularly pull it off.

For the roll-on effect:

Before you begin the process, first apply primer on the wall with a roller. Allow the coat to dry completely. Wet a rag and wring it off properly, then dip the rag in glaze paint until it is saturated. Roll the rag up or bunch it to a ball and roll it across the surface. Reload the rag when needed as you paint.

For the roll-off effect:

After applying the first method of applying primer, use a roller or brush to apply the glaze on the wall. Roll a damp rag across the surface, and when it becomes saturated with the glaze, wring it out or use a new, fresh or clean rag. Once you have done this on all the walls, leave it to dry completely.

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