8 Faux Painting Ideas that Will Blow Your Mind

Transforming your home or office on a budget can seem like a daunting task but with just a paint pot, brushes and simple accessories, such as rags and rollers, we can help inspire you to add a touch of personality to each room.

A bare wall could easily be seen as a canvass for more exciting faux finishing such as sponging, graining, stencilling and distressing and a plain piece of furniture could be transformed into something unique with a bit of customising know-how and imagination.


For this technique you need a wood graining tool. You can use the tool to customise walls or any furniture and the effect can be really striking and particularly unusual if you use coloured paint. The technique is tricky to master but all you have to do is rock the wood graining tool gently as you drag it down the wet pain or tacky glaze surface, varying the motion slightly to give a non-uniform and natural look.


Adding a distressed effect to an old mirror, photo frame or wooden furniture can add a vintage feel to any room. When using these effects, think carefully where you would expect to find natural wear, such as on the edges of a door or on the area around a handle. You can create a greater impact by painting on more layers, perhaps using different coloured paints to create a sense of history.


Everyone has a spare sponge in their bathroom or cleaning cupboard, which can be used for more than getting squeaky clean in the shower or washing your dirty pots. A sponge is one of the easiest tools for a paint-effect novice to get to grips with. You can build up the finish in layers until you create the density you prefer. You could use different shades of the same colour for a subtle effect or different colours for an artier, abstract look.


Old rags, usually destined for the bin, can have a final lease of life if you are decorating and looking to add definition to your walls, whether you are using paint or a glaze. Ragging can have a scratchy, dishevelled effect which would complement walls which perhaps already have an uneven surface. You will need to ensure you rinse the rag regularly or have a few replacements ready for when the one you are using becomes too soaked. You could even try using cloths with different textures to create a varied effect.


Rag-rolling is similar to ragging and can be created by crumpling an old rag and forming it into a sausage shape, then rolling it down the wall surface to create a subtle effect which looks like tumbling material. The overall appearance will be smoother, softer and more fluid than ragging.


Stencilling is an easy way to add borders, simple images or shapes to your walls without having to tackle an entire wall or room. You simply need to cut out your stencil – whether its uniform geometric squares or something more creative – and attach it to the surface with low-tack painter’s tape. Using the stencilling brush to lightly apply the paint before allowing it to dry for a few minutes and peeling off the stencil and repeating the process.


Stippling brushes come in a variety of styles and can be used for everything from decorating to applying make-up. For decorating purposes, they can be used to create a high-definition, airbrushed look with a soft dotted effect. This procedure is great when you have a small amount of paint and you are covering a wide area. However, it takes a lot of care and skill to ensure the brush isn’t overloaded with paint so the overall effect is consistent and visually appealing. Too much pressure on the brush will also tend to splay the bristles sideways and spoil the uniformity of the dotty effect.


A humble, long-handled paint brush is all you need to create a course-lined, textured finish running along the wall either vertically or horizontally. The technique can be used on wood as well as walls but you will definitely need a steady hand! All you need to do is drag the brush along the wall when the pain or glaze is stick tacky and the brush strokes will create a simple but interesting texture.

For more DIY projects and how-to guides, please visit hss.com/diy-guides.

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About the Author

Lauren King

Lauren works in our Ecommerce Team, with over 6 years of experience at HSS. She brings product knowledge and is able to give her advice on the right tool for the job no matter how big or small.

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