Faux finishes are a great way to add depth and interest to your walls. You can replicate the look of different materials with just some paint, tools, and time. Painted walls are much less expensive and much easier to maintain than some of the luxury materials that faux finishes evoke. Read on to learn more about how to create this kind of character in your own home!
This is probably the easiest type of faux finish; even if you’ve never painted anything before, you can master it easily and quickly. It’s especially suited for beginners because mistakes are easily camouflaged. You’ll need glaze paint in two to three (or more) complementary colors, and paint sponges. As always, it’s recommended to do a test patch.
Start by cleaning and prepping your wall, and priming it if necessary. Then dip your sponges lightly into your paints and press the paint onto the walls in a random pattern. The colors and sponge prints will blend together to bring depth and interest to your walls.
This kind of faux finish looks like fabric on your walls, but it’s really paint and glaze. It’s an elegant designer look that you can create in an afternoon and on a budget. You’ll need primer, a base coat of paint in your preferred color, a topcoat in a contrasting color, and acrylic glaze. The amount of contrast here is completely up to you – you can go for a discreet, subtle contrast or go all out. It’s highly recommended that you do a test patch first to make sure that the colors look just the way you want them to.
Start by prepping the wall(s) and priming them. Paint the wall with the base coat, and let it dry completely. Then mix up four parts glaze to one part of the topcoat paint. Apply the glaze/paint mixture in a three- to four-foot section. Take a stiff-bristled paintbrush or wallpaper brush, and drag it from top to bottom of the section that you’ve glazed. This will create a texture similar to linen.
As with the other faux finishes we’ve explained here, you’ll want to select two complimentary colors of paint (satin or semi-gloss work best). You’ll also need crackle medium, a paint roller, and your supplies of choice for prepping and priming. We recommend doing a small test patch to make sure the colors work together as expected, and that they look good in different lighting conditions.
Prep the wall and prime it if necessary. Then apply your base coat and let it dry. Apply the crackle media with a roller and let it dry as well. You can also use a paintbrush if you prefer; this generally creates more dramatic and directed cracks. After the crackle has dried, then apply the top coat of paint. Work quickly, because the crackling will begin almost immediately and if you go back to an area that has crackled, you’ll risk erasing the cracks and/or pulling the crackle finish off the wall.