DIY Painting & Finishing

Believe It or Not: 9 Incredible Faux Finishes You Can Do Yourself

If you're overcome by ennui at the sight of your space, a simple faux finish on a surface or accent piece might be just the touch to perk you right up! Here are 9 extraordinary finishes that defy they are DIY.

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

Faux Malachite

You mean we’re NOT looking at a table made from crystallized minerals? To make this stunning faux finish, paint a base layer in a bright green mint or teal color. Then, with different shades of darker teal (each in a mixture of one part paint to three parts glaze), use brushes of varying size to create rock-like swirls, layering them slightly over each other. 

Faux Marble

I know what you’re thinking—you can’t tell the difference between the real marble and the imitation! With nothing but a feather and three different shades of gray craft paint, the blogger at In My Own Style made her countertop look like actual marble. 

Faux Bois

Want to pretend your laminate shelf is actually wood? Well, the Little Green Notebook has got you covered. Once you paint your base color, mix the color of your grain using one part oil-based paint to one part thinner or Penetrol. Paint your surface in sections, then use a wood-grain rocker to form the grain. Make sure to vary your technique to imitate the variations found in a real wood surface.

Faux Exposed Brick

Want some brick where you’ve got none? Well, if you’re up for a bigger undertaking, you—like the intrepid weekend warrior at Do-It-YourselfDesign—can DIY it! Measure and tape the outline for your “bricks” on your wall, then cover with interior stucco. When the stucco is dry to the touch but still soft, remove the tape. Once the wall is completely dry, paint it white and your room will look like it belongs in a NYC brownstone!

Faux Barn Wood

Give your raw wood a little salvaged flair with this fantastic faux barn wood tutorial from The House of Smiths. By layering different stains and paints and distressing the wood herself, this DIYer made her brand-new lumber look like it came with a history.

Faux Plaster

By layering a dark base coat, light primer, and a 50/50 mixture of latex wall paint and lightweight spackle, the Creativity Exchange devised this stunning, old-world plaster effect that can give any accent a centuries-old patina.

Faux Zinc

After sanding and priming her dresser, the DIY genius at Freckled Laundry used a rag to layer three different metallic paints to create this gorgeous faux zinc finish—without the hefty price tag of the real deal.

Faux Copper Patina

By layering copper and emerald paints, and smearing them a little with a rag, the clever crafter at TodaysCreativeBlog was able to turn her ho-hum planters into works of art with a rich copper patina. 

Distressed Finish

To create this distressed look, Shabby to Chic Designs used the ultimate faux finishing technique—dry brushing. After you dip your brush in paint, dab it on a paper towel until it is essentially dry. Then lightly paint your surface to create a cool, weathered look.

For More…

Ralph Lauren

If you’re interested in more about finishes, consider: 

8 Ways to Age, Distress, Gild, and Add Shine to Your Next Project

Quick Tip: Woodgraining

Paint Your Home the Colors of Downton Abbey