Faux Wall Painting Techniques

A man does faux wall painting.

Faux wall painting has become very popular in recent years. It’s a good way to add interest and texture to the walls of a room, and there are several different techniques so you can achieve a wide range of looks. Be aware, however, that to master any of the techniques takes practice. You should try a technique on large areas of cardboard before you apply faux wall painting to the walls of your rooms.


When you are faux wall painting, you always want to start off with a solid color on the wall. This is your base, and it can be either darker or lighter than the color or colors you’ll use on top. What you use will depend on the effect you want. Remember that it’s easier to cover a lighter color with a darker one than the other way round.

After you’ve put on the base color, give it at least 4 hours to dry before proceeding. This makes sure that the colors don’t bleed into each other.

Aged Look

It’s easy to create an aged look on a wall. You need to purchase an acrylic glaze and brush it over the base coat. While it’s still wet, use a rag to remove most of the glaze so it appears patchy. This will make the wall seem as if it were old and aged.

Plaster Technique

The plaster technique is the most complex style of faux wall painting so you should take plenty of time to practice it before applying it to a real wall. Mark a design in pencil on the wall, as if the wall were made of stones. When you’ve done that, mix up your glaze and apply it to the wall with a rag. Allow the glaze to dry and then paint in grout lines where you’ve marked with the pencil. Use a foam brush for this and add cracks and crevices in the same way.

To complete the effect, mix up more glaze with drywall compound so that the mixture has a uniform color and thickness throughout (generally, a mix of 1 part glaze to 6 parts drywall compound should produce the desired consistency) and apply it to the wall with a knife. When you’ve finished and the compound has dried, the faux wall painting will make it look like an ancient wall.

Several Colors

Although most faux wall painting involves the application of one color of glaze over a base coat, there’s no reason to limit it to that. You can create interesting effects by using several different but complementary colors, applying the glaze with a sponge or a rag.

This is called color washing. Using a sponge or crumpled rag will give the best effect if you move either in circles. If you want to try for a straight line color wash, use a brush.

Rag Look

To create a rag look in faux wall painting, soak big twisted rags in the glaze. Wring them out and roll them down the entire length of the wall, overlapping the edges of each row to create the effect of cloth on your wall.