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Atomic Painting Inc

Exterior and interior painting company servicing Chicago and north suburbs.

Dress up any room with Faux Finish Technique


  • Definition of Faux Finish Technique

Numerous decorative painting techniques are described through the terms faux finishing and faux painting. The name means false in French and it is used because these techniques replicate materials like wood and marble by using paint. In time, these procedures have included many other decorative finishes for furniture and walls.

Classical times have made faux painting extremely popular. In the ancient times, artists would use trompe l’oeil murals, faux wood and faux marble. Moreover, it used to take 10 years for an artist to learn how to make these murals. Faux painting was revived in the 19th century and then again in the 1920s. Modern history has seen faux finish techniques in public and commercial spaces.

Nowadays, specialists use 2 processes and materials. The first one is glaze work and it makes use of a mixture of glaze and paint that is translucent. It is smooth and mimics various textures, and it can be applied with a sponge, rag, roller or brush. The plaster work uses tinted plasters and it’s applied with a spatula or a towel. The final result can be textured or flat.

  • Examples of Faux Finishes

Ragging – provides a romantic and soft look. The desired effect can be obtained by putting the rag in various positions. You can use the base color to paint the wall and wait until it is completely dry. Afterwards, you can mix a glaze finish with the texture color. The rag must be put inside the glaze mixture and then dabbed on the wall. By using less paint, you will obtain a softer effect. For different effects, you can use other materials such as canvas, plastic bags and paper bags.


Sponging– this is one of the funniest and easiest techniques. It offers a textured look. To begin with, you need to select the base color and apply it on the walls.   The paint will be mixed with a special finishing glaze. Make sure not to over dip   the sponge in the mixture. Start from the corner and continue with the entire wall. Use a random pattern and don’t allow the paint to get dry on the working spot. smooth finish. After it is completely dry, you can start sponging. You can use multiple colors when sponging. Stay away from synthetic sponges and use a natural sea sponge. For a smooth application, the sponge must be damp.


Color washing – it provides a graceful, flowing and smooth look. The procedure is the same. Use the base color to paint the walls random and varies patterns. and wait until it’s dry. Use the faux finish glaze to mix it with the second color. Paint with overlapped and short strokes.

Crackling – this can be used for an aged and distressed look. After you apply the base color let it dry. The next step is to use the crackle faux finish to cover the walls. Wait up to 4 hours until it’s dry and apply the other coat. Don’t overlap. The paint will crackle in an instant and  will offer a unique design. You can also use this technique for furniture.

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