Faux finishing is simply the art of simulation — where you make one surface look like something else. The technique has been used for centuries to dress up plaster walls. But it’s also possible to faux finish nearly any concrete surface, including floors, exterior pavements, countertops, walls and fireplaces.
The moldability and workability of concrete make it a highly versatile medium for faux finishes. Techniques such as covering walls with vertical concrete overlays, applying decorative stencils and stains, and using cement-based floor toppings can transform a blank concrete canvas into faux stone, wood, tile, carpet and nearly anything else you can imagine.
Applications and design options:
- Make walls and fireplace surrounds that look like natural stone or brick by applying a vertical concrete overlay mix that you then hand carve, stamp and stain.
- Create unique rockscapes for outdoor pools and patios by molding, texturing and coloring concrete to replicate real rock formations.
- Apply faux rug or tile patterns to concrete floors using adhesive-backed stencils or tape.
- Create multicolored faux finishes by applying concrete stains and dyes with rags, sponges, small brushes, feathers and other unconventional tools. This is a popular technique for replicating variegated stone-like colors and textures.
- Use a technique called board forming to give walls, countertops and other cast concrete surfaces realistic wood-grained finishes.