Why Is Faux Painting
All The Rage?



I'll tell you why faux painting is such a popular home interior decorating technique.

Have you ever painted a room and then looked at the walls a day later and thought they still lacked something? Well, that something was probably texture and depth.

Sometimes walls can appear flat and uninteresting unless your furniture and furnishing can wake them up. But for some people this is still not enough...

They want their walls to come to life and make a statement. This is why so many people are flocking to faux painting.

Faux painting is a decorative painting style that employs techniques to make your walls look like the real thing.

Wouldn't you love the look of marble on your bathroom walls or suede leather in your bedroom without paying a hefty price? If so, why not try one of the many faux painting techniques.

You could hire a professional to create the faux finish you want, but why do that when there are "off the shelf " kits available to help you do the job yourself.

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Of course some faux finishes are easier to master than others, but with just a little practice you can become a pro in no time at all.

Below is a list of the most popular faux painting techniques along with the level of "do-it-yourself" difficulty. In addition, I've included a couple of great videos that will demonstrate two of the faux painting techniques. This way you'll be able to better judge which technique is best for your home.


Sponging - is probably the easiest and most versatile faux painting technique.

You can create simple textures and random patterns, or go all out for the look of stone, sandstone, granite, even marble. The tools are simple. Basically all you need is a tray to hold the glaze and a natural sea sponge for making dabs on the wall.

Ragging - is a faux painting technique for creating a textured look by using lint-free rags to add and remove paint from the wall.

The finished look is a random pattern that is due to the variation in pressure applied and the shape of the rag. Watch this short video to see how the ragging technique is done properly.

The only feedback that I would add to what you saw in the video is that you could apply multiple paint colors for greater depth and texture.

Rag Rolling - is similar to "ragging". With this technique, you roll the rags up like a newspaper and then roll it across the wet paint that has just been applied to the wall.

The effect has been described as crushed velvet or watered silk. You may want to experiment with different materials such as cotton, burlap, cheesecloth, gauze, chamois, etc., to get the effect you want.

Bagging - involves placing a bunched-up cloth inside of a plastic bag.

You then use this handmade tool to make overlapping imprints on the glaze that has been applied to the wall.


Stippling - provides a more subtle effect than rag rolling or sponging, almost suede-like.

The first step is to apply a base coat of paint to a smooth surface with a decorating brush. After the base coat dries, you'll then use a stippling brush to apply a second top coat. But before that coat dries, you'll make stabs at it to remove dots of paint which lend to the richness of the finish.

Dragging - is used to imitate the look of natural wood grain.

You first apply a base coat of paint on the wall. Then using a dragging brush, you'll start at the top of the wall and drag the brush in a straight line downwards. This technique can also be used on doors or furniture.

Combing - entails raking through a coat of paint with combs of various sizes. A squeegee with teeth cut into it may also be used.

Combing can be in any pattern that you like including floor to ceiling, squiggly lines, or checkered. The key is not to stop a line once you start it.


Marbling - is one of the most challenging of the faux painting techniques. Brushes, combs, sponges, or feathers are used to help create the rich look of marble.

You can definitely do this one yourself, but a bit of practice may be needed before you attempt anything on a large scale. You may want to try this finish on a piece of plywood, for example.However, after watching how faux marbling is done in this video, you may conclude that it's not too hard after all. Check it out for yourself.

Granite finish - is similar to marbling.


In addition to the traditional faux painting finishes discussed above, Ralph Lauren offers a line of textured paints that will give your walls a nice rich looking faux finish.

I painted my living room walls with the Ralph Lauren suede paint and was absolutely thrilled with the result. No special tools were required. I have received many compliments on the look and some people have mistaken it for high quality wallpaper...without all the seams, of course.

You should be able to find these paints in any quality paint store, along with instruction booklets.

Here's a list of the faux painting textures offered by Ralph Lauren:

  • Leather - The sophisticated essence of a vintage library chair or a burnished equestrian saddle are captured in this paint. This faux finish demands the participation of two people, since the glaze dries in about 15 minutes.

  • Denim - The quintessential American fabric captured in paint. It evokes the broken-in appeal of a favorite pair of jeans; saturated colors, gently faded by wear and wash.

  • Satin Duchesse - The elegant luster of a satin evening gown captured in paint. This uniquely formulated paint shimmers in a palette of silver and gold and precious hues like Aubusson Ivy and Ballgown.

  • Chambray - The simple, honest fabric of the great American work shirt simulated in paint, with soft texture and faded colors.

  • Linen - The easy grace and distinctive texture of the rich, natural fabric translated in paint.

  • River Rock - This finish realizes the worn look of rocks that have been awash in a turbulent stream. Subtle and sophisticated, this matte finish is as appropriate for a fishing lodge as a downtown loft. The River Rock finish requires two coats. The first coat will have a translucent appearance and the second coat will give to the finish the density desired.

  • Suede - Designed to evoke the plush hand of brushed suede. The suede Finish is a matte, textured paint that absorbs and reflects light to lend a wall the look of rich fabric covering. This Finish can be used in two different ways, one coat of Suede finish over a basecoat that will show through, or two coats to achieve a rich Suede textured finish.

Of course, if you'd like to try something bold and new, and that will have your friends talking for days, check out The Awaken Your Interior Designer! Collection. It includes an eBook filled with easy-to-follow techniques for stamping your walls and furniture. Soon, everyone will be doing it!

If you'd like to like to read about some of the other interior painting ideas discussed here at Home-Decorating-Made-Easy.com, read our article on... Interior Painting Ideas

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