Faux painting originally referred to painting surfaces, including walls, furniture, floors, countertops and trim, to look like something else. Plaster columns were often painted to look like marble, new furniture was antiqued, distressed or crackled to look old, a wood grain was painted on new trim and molding to match existing doors.
However, the term now describes other decorative and special paint finishes as well as techniques that resemble wallpaper such as glazing, sponging, ragging, and freehand or masked stripes. One major advantage is that it is much easier and less expensive to redecorate with a new coat of paint than to remove wallpaper.
Glazing is a technique of mixing a water or oil-based paint with water or solvent and a special glazing compound, then applying and wiping it away in layers to create certain effects. Sponging and ragging refer to other methods used to apply paint.
Although many illusions can be achieved with faux finishing techniques on flat surfaces, textured products can create three dimensional effects. Textured paints containing solid materials like silica can make walls look like suede. Products applied in layers to walls, fireplaces, ceilings and furniture can look and feel like real stone, crumbling masonry, peeling paint, fossils embedded in walls, etc.