6 Different Types of Faux Finishes to Consider

Faux finishes can add texture, style and depth to an otherwise dull and boring room. A faux finish involves altering a normal paint job to look like a different material, like wood or metal. You can used this technique on nearly any surface, from a wall or mantle to a door or crown molding. Faux finishes take time and patience to learn how to do correctly, but they can create unique textures and liven up dull spaces. Read on to learn about several types of faux finishes that you can try out in your home.

Basic Textures

A normal paint job is flat and boring. There is no depth or organic quality. To liven up any space, you can create textured faux finishes by using rag rolling, sponging and wiping techniques. You can also create a shabby-chic look by using crackle paint. You apply a base coat and then apply a top coat when the base is dry. You can use contrasting colors or the same color but a different shade. You then would dip the rag or sponge into the paint and dab or wipe onto the wall.

Marble Walls

Faux finishes that resemble marble are extremely hard to get just right. You begin with a base coat (usually white or a light tan or eggshell) and then use a brush to apply the top coat. There are many techniques used to get the correct voids and color changes as you see in marble. It is always good to practice on scrap wood until you are confident in your ability.

Wood Grain

The same technique used to make wood grain faux finishes can also create tiger stripes or wood in cake decorating with fondant. As you apply a wood stain, you use a soft brush to create the grain texture. This is another that takes patience and care to do correctly.

Metallic Faux Finishes

This is a fun technique as the base coat determines the type of metal you're trying to achieve. There's a special metallic glaze that's used as the top coat of paint. If you use a gray base coat the finished product will look like steel. Using a reddish brown color will give off the look of copper. Mustard will look a lot like gold. The top coat is applied using a natural sea sponge. Experiment with different colors and surfaces.


This creates a look of wrecked wallpaper. You glaze torn paper onto the wall and then paint over them. When dry, you rip off pieces to create layers.


This is one of the more popular faux finishes. Start with a base coat, and then a different color top coat. While the top coat is still wet, you wipe away sections. This is normally done on cabinets, especially around contact points like the edges.