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house painters

Posted by McKenzie
on Nov 11th 2018


Faux Painting Techniques

Faux finish painting has been around for a long time, and covers a full array of painting techniques. Using these methods, you can mimic the textures and appearances of other surfaces with some paint and other tools. If you're looking for something more creative to do with your next paint job, here are some popular faux painting techniques, brought to you by our professional home painters.

Rag Rolling

Starting off easy, rag rolling is one of the most simple and fast faux painting techniques. You can use it to refresh your current paint job or start from scratch, creating a stunning mottled look that catches everyone's attention without being in-your-face. All you have to do is roll a rag up into worm-like shape and saturate it with a paint or glaze (or water for a more toned down effect) of your choice. Roll it down your already painted or glazed wall, allow it to dry, and you're done! You can add however many layers of however many colors you want, making it a very personalized and unique paint job.


Sponging is another easier faux painting approach. A staple of faux finishes, it's a quick technique to pick up and results in an elegant marbled effect. Dip a dry sponge into the paint or glaze you want and gently press it onto the wall you want to have the finish. You can use multiple layers and colors from the same color family to add more dimension. For a more subtle look, dip the sponge into water instead.

Faux Denim

Denim painting is a newer and more polarizing faux paint trend; you either love it or you hate. But if you love the idea of having denim on your walls this is certainly the style for you. Start off by painting a light base coat and allowing it to dry overnight. Then pick your favorite shade of blue or indigo and work in sections to lay down your first coat of paint. Brush in vertical and horizontal strokes (allowing each layer of paint to dry in between) to mimic denim's cross-stitching pattern. Once you're done, you won't be able to tell your wall from your favorite pair of jeans!

Color Washing

Also called the broken finish technique, color washing gives walls an authentic, aged effect that brings charm to any room. To begin, prime the walls and apply a base color of your choice. After letting both dry, apply a thin glaze and paint mixture with a sponge or rag and wipe across the wall like you're washing it (hence the technique's name). You can also use just a thin, clear glaze over a contrasting base paint and brush over it to produce a similar texture.


While traditional faux graining is a complicated and painstaking skill to master, you can still easily get the beautiful illusion of wood grain with paint and glaze. You'll need a graining tool designed specially to design wood-grain finishes. Dragging, swirling, and rocking this across and in random spots on a wet painted surface can mimic natural wood grain beautifully.

While faux painting can take some time and patience to get right, the end result will give you a unique room that you can be proud of working hard for. Have fun with it!

Do you have any questions? Contact one of our Painter1 professional painting contractors to discuss faux painting techniques and painting services today. We're happy to help!