Faux Finishes

Faux FinishesFaux painting became popular in classical times in the forms of faux marble, faux wood, and trompe l'oeil murals.  Great recognition was awarded to artists who could actually trick viewers into believing their work was the real thing, hence the term faux (French for "false").  In the early 1990s, faux finishing saw a major revival, as wallpaper began to fall out of fashion.  At this point, faux painting became extremely popular in home environments, with high-end homes leading the trend.  People are also attracted to the simplicity of changing a faux finish, as it can be easily painted over compared with the hassle of stripping wallpaper and preparing the walls to repaint again.

In recent years several paint manufacturers have developed faux painting kits that allow most people to apply basic faux technigues without the hassle or expense of hiring a faux artist.  Some of the companies that have developed faux packages include Benjamin Moore Paints, Sherwin Williams Paints and McCloskey Special Effects.  Pratt & D'Angelo has applied a range of faux finishes and we also have a network of faux artisans we employ for special projects.

Modern faux finishes include the following:

  • Graining - Wood graining, or faux bois (French for "fake wood") is often used to imitate exotic or hard-to-find wood varieties.
  • Venetian Plaster is a smooth and often shiny plaster design that appears textured but is smooth to the touch. Venetian plaster is one of the most popular and traditional plaster decorations.
  • Color Wash is a free-form finish that creates subtle variations of color using multiple hues of glaze blended together with a paint brush.
  • Strié - From the French for 'stripe' or 'streak', is a glazing technique that creates soft thin streaks of color using a paint brush, comb or other tool.  It is a technique often used to simulate fabrics such as linen and denim.
  • Rag painting or ragging is a glazing technique using twisted or bunched up rags to create a textural pattern.