Home Improvement

4 Faux Finishes for Your Home

Add drama to your walls with these paint-based, captivating finishes

Photography: Paolo Feliciano (Main Photo)

Faux finishes are almost as good as the real thing. These are cheap alternatives and can create a similar impact in your space.

Create a statement by considering any of these finishes.

Paint Splattering

Achieve the 'spattering' effect by thumping a loaded paintbrush (or old toothbrush against a screen for small surfaces) against a stick to spatter it in different directions. To adjust and test the size of paint dots, do a trial run on a rag. Aim to cover the entire surface with paint dots for a more authentic effect. This is bound to be a messy affair so use a mask and lots of newspaper.

Photo from

Trompe L'oeil

This term literally means "fool the eye," as it appears three-dimensional from afar. A mixture of oil paint, turpentine, and glaze is commonly used, but ready-to-use paper designs can be bought for those who don't have the time or skill to paint the design from scratch. Popular themes include figures, landscapes, and architectural details such as columns and bricks.

Photo by: Paolo Feliciano.


Marbling involves dipping a thin brush in black glaze and sweeping a softening brush in light, random strokes to create the characteristic marble pattern. Serpentine marbling, on the other hand, is achieved by rubbing oil paint on a surface using a tissue paper.

RL Tip: Local muralist Alfred Galvez shares a process that's similar to serpentine marbling. For starters, one must "thin" the paint with water (10% paint, 90% water). Use cheese cloth dipped in mixture and wiped in circular motion on the wall.

Antiquing and Verdigris

This mimics the patina metals acquire over time. Verdigris can be duplicated when a horizontal piece of metal or plastic is exposed to heat and combined with acids. The trick is to apply the layers in uneven, arbitrary patches for a more natural look. Since it involves chemicals, it is highly suggested to let a professional help you.

Another version of antiquing—distressing, can work well in shabby-chic homes. Chipped, stripped paints, and crackle effects are just some of the characteristics of this finish.

Read the original article ("Fake and Fabulous") in the January 2009 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

More on

6 Mini Makeovers using Paint

3 Paint Decorating Tips

5 Painting Mistakes to Avoid


Latest Stories

The Multitasking Kitchen Appliance You Need at Home

With this on your countertop, you can accomplish tons of tasks in a breeze

We’ve Discovered 5 New Stores for Your Plant Needs

Tap the Instagram icon on your phone and give these shops a follow

There’s More To This Mysterious Island Than The Moriones Festival

Many visit Marinduque for its famous Holy Week festival, but the MIMAROPA island is a treasure trove of heritage homes, artistry, and delicious food.

8 Cultural Spots in Negros You Can Visit This Summer

This Southern region holds many (sweet!) surprises such as a bakery in a centuries-old building and an art gallery in an ancestral house

Get Fresh, Tropical-Filipino Inspiration From This Store

These pieces will remind you of nostalgic summers in your lolo and lola's home

5 Ways To Redecorate Your Home Without Shopping

For starters, you can try these pro-approved tips

Avoid A High Electricity Bill This Summer While Keeping Your Home Cool

You don't need to leave the AC unit turned on 24/7

How I Moved Out of the Family Home and Survived Living Alone

A young photojournalist shares the triumphs and struggles of living independently

This House in Pasig Has Been Under Renovation For Years

Architect Pierre Briones transformed a dated property into a stunning home filled with wooden touches, designer pieces, and handpicked accessories

This TV Show Does Home Makeovers In 15 Hours

And some of the decorators (and one judge!) are Pinoy. Check out this amazing makeover show.

This Museum In a Bahay Na Bato Is a Lesson In Pinoy History

In photos: The Destileria Limtuaco Museum in Intramuros will delight your mind and eye, not only your tastebuds

This Elevated Walkway In Ortigas Makes Pasig A More Walkable City

The walkway is one of a series of new pedestrian areas rising in Ortigas Center
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!