Faux Finishes- Sponging, Marbleizing, Woodgraining, Venetian Plaster, Stenciling

San Marcos, CA  •  619-823-4438  • CA License #941599

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Faux Finishes

On this page we will give you an idea of some of the many types of Faux Finishes or decorative available and link to photos of some of our own work. We will continue to add examples and suggestions as we have time and opportunity. If you would like to try some of these for yourself, visit our favorite supply and training site at Faux Like a Pro. Or, if you would like to have the work done by a pro, give us a call for a free estimate.


Sponge PaintingSponging is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to add some life to your walls and freshen up virtually any room in the house. Sponging can also be used on cabinets, fireplace mantles, or any other area you would like to highlight. There are a variety of techniques, but the most common is called additive and is done by first painting the surface a solid color and then applying the tinted glaze directly to
the wall with a damp sponge as was done in the example to the left.


Ragging is a form of decorative painting similar to sponging but with a different effect. Useful in the same areas, but slightly more difficult to accomplish.


Marbleizing is a faux finish that uses a variety of techniques and colors to achieve the look of real stone. Common tools include brushes, sponges, rags, and feathers. The most realistic effects are achieved with several layers and a variety of colors.

Wood Graining


Wood grain finished
Wood grained front door

Also known as Faux Bois, wood graining is a faux finish that can be done in just a few simple steps to achieve a stylistic effect, or with care and artistry to give the look of virtually any type of wood.

The photo at left is of an originally white front door that we applied a faux cherry woodgrain to and then finished with a tinted varnish to give an aged effect and deepen the hue. You can see a photo of the completed project on our
Previous Projects page.

Venetian Plaster

Venetian plaster can be tinted to many colorsVenetian plaster is a coating applied with a trowel to look like old Italian plaster. Can be rough and dull giving an aged effect, or burnished to a brilliant shine to look like polished stone.

One of our favorite venetian plaster finishes is Marmorino which dates back to 15th century Italy and has changed little in application
or composition. In order to carry the Marmorino name a venetian plaster must contain real lime and marble. There are also modern vinyl based “venetian plasters” that can give a similar effect, but are less costly to install and can be adequate for many purposes. The fireplace at left was done in bright Southwestern colors to go with the decor of the rest of the house.

Metallic Finishes and Patinas

Metallic paint closeupThere are a variety of metal finishes that can be applied to almost any surface. These can be made to look like brightly polished gold or silver, tarnished brass, or given a green patina like old copper. The Styrofoam crown molding in the photo at left was painted to look like picture frames on the walls below.


Grape vine stencilStenciling is an easy and fun decorative painting technique that can add special effects to a single room or your whole home. From simple borders to
elaborate embossing and tromp l’oeil effects, stencils can bring life and character to any setting.