An Introduction to Faux Techniques

Faux techniques can be used for more than simply creating faux finishes. Very simple faux painting techniques such as sponge painting and color washing can be used to give a space depth and texture.

In contrast to faux finishes, which use paint to replicate a specific surface (such as faux leather), these techniques allow for more freedom of color choice and creativity. These techniques are really quite easy to use, and can be used with nearly any combination of colors.

Below you will find a list of the most popular faux painting techniques, such as color washing, sponging, ragging, painting stripes, and many others. Click on the highlighted links to be taken to instructions for that individual faux technique.

Each of these individual pages will include a list of necessary supplies and prep work, and step-by-step faux painting instructions.

Here are a few "before you begin" tips that can save you time and aggravation.

  • Beware of marketing schemes (and there are many out there). Paint companies are always coming out with new tools to make faux painting "easier". Some work. Some don’t. When faux painting, simpler is better!

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of tools available, check out the page on painting tools.

  • Each of these faux techniques will require different tools and paints. I strongly recommend that you use high quality paints, glazes, and tools.

    Most major brand-name paints will suffice, but beware of discount store brand paints.

    While quality supplies may cost more initially, they will typically save your time, sanity, and perhaps even money in the end. For some quick information on choosing paints and glazes, check out Selecting Paints & Glazes.

  • Whatever look you hope to achieve, paint preparation is very important. Do not breeze through the preparation part of the process. Take your time and do it right.

    Prep work can be monotonous, but certainly not more monotonous than starting over from scratch and wasting time and money.

  • I always suggest that before you begin any work on your permanent surfaces, test the paint technique on a practice board. Poster board, a spare piece of drywall, almost anything can be used as a practice board, so long as a coat of primer is applied first.

    This will give you a chance to perfect your faux painting technique before beginning anything permanent. It will also give you a preview of the colors you have chosen.

  • Most importantly, have fun with the process! The beauty and ambiance of your new room will be beyond price, as will the satisfaction you feel at having done it yourself!

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