How Much Does Faux Painting Cost?
$250 - $10,000
$250 - $10,000
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Updated November 5, 2021Written by HomeAdvisor.
Faux finishing costs about $2,400 on average with a typical range between $2,000 and $4,000. You might pay as little as $250 for a small project, but a time- and skill-intensive project could cost closer to $10,000. The normal cost range per square foot is anywhere from $2 to $20.
Faux painting and faux finishes transform walls and furniture into brand new versions of themselves. Glaze painting (faux finish) and plaster (faux application) are the main techniques that painters use and include common appearances like Venetian plaster, marble, granite, and wood grain. Homeowners invest in faux applications because they can transform the look and feel of a room with just one wall or a few pieces of furniture.
Faux painters set their prices in several ways. During your initial consultation, discuss how you’ll be invoiced and ask to see the payment breakdown.
Most painters prefer this system because faux painting is custom work and no one project is the same. However, per square foot rates vary dramatically, from $2 to $20 on average, depending on the painter's experience and what range of materials they’ll need.
You might run into a faux finisher that prefers an hourly rate. Again, you can expect to pay for a wide range of rates, from $20 up to $100 per hour for labor and materials. Well-known and in-demand painters charge more, while new painters offer less expensive rates.
After discussing your project’s goals during a color consultation, a painter may conclude that a flat fee is the best payment option, especially if the project is simple. Or, they could suggest a minimum starting price to ensure the project is worth their time. Project prices, including materials and labor, generally start at $250 and can rise quickly.
Most faux painting finishes fit into two categories: glaze painting and plaster application. Glaze painting is two-dimensional and primarily flat, whereas faux plaster finishes have a noticeable texture.
Glaze painting includes most popular faux processes including stenciling, which ranges from $10 to $15 per square foot, and antiquing, averaging between $4 and $8 per square foot. The process requires a variety of high-quality paints, glazes, and tools like sponges, rags, and specialty brushes that are best for the walls.
Homeowners who want to add depth and texture by way of Venetian plaster pay about $10 to $25 per square foot. You may have heard of Venetian plaster; it’s the most common faux plaster application finish. Painters use trowels and spatulas on the walls to apply a mix of lime and water in the form of plaster. When dried, Venetian plaster’s waves and ridges are visible.
After choosing a professional faux finish painter, they will discuss with you the many possibilities of faux finishes. These are the most commonly requested faux finish styles.
Depending on the intricacy of your paint glazing project, you pay about $4 to $12 per square foot. Paint glazing offers a one-of-a-kind look to each wall. With a combination of paints and glazes, the painter can achieve a variety of looks and textures. Painters often use glazing with other faux finish techniques to complete the project.
Homeowners who like color washing pay between $4 to $8 per square foot for the detail.
They often choose it for libraries and for a home office renovation because the painter feathers a translucent glaze over a contrasting base coat color to produce an antique or well-worn look.
Painting stripes costs between $2 and $4 per square foot. Homeowners ask for stripes because they are affordable, classic, and can change how the room looks and feels, either larger or smaller depending on the direction of the stripe.
This faux finish requires a steady hand, so expect to pay between $8 and $12 per square foot.
Like the stripe effect, the strié technique is completed by pulling a paintbrush vertically through a top coat of colored glaze that sits on top of a dried coordinating base coat color.
You can expect to pay between $3 and $5 per square foot for a classic, versatile diamond pattern. In a room, they invoke whimsy or tradition, depending on the size of the diamonds and the color combination. Diamonds are often used on accent walls to give a room personality.
Sponging is an affordable faux finish costing between $3 to $5 per square foot. Painters use sea sponges to dapple glaze on two to three different base colors, adding texture in various degrees. Similar colors produce a subtle effect while contrasting colors add a bold feature.
Because there’s a lot of room for error utilizing stencils, painters charge between $10 and $15 per square foot for the exacting work. Stenciling is a versatile painting technique that can add unique details and architecture to a room without additional baseboards, chair rails, or other trim pieces. With borders and stencil patterns, faux painters can add interest to plain walls.
This is a challenging faux technique, so homeowners who want the look of aged or weathered leather pay about $6 to $10 per square foot. True to the name, the painter uses bunched rags to roll a colored glaze onto a base coat, adding and pulling away various amounts of the glaze with each pass.
Professionals charge $8 to $15 per square foot to paint the verdigris effect. The word verdigris refers to the famous green color found in ancient Greece. Today, the color is noticeable after a couple of years when copper material weathers and the green patina appears, similar to copper gutters. This shade of green is the appearance faux painters achieve when applying multiple layers of metallic copper and light and dark green paint to a surface.
Homeowners who want to incorporate the look of stainless steel, rustic copper, or other metals pay about $6 to $15 per square foot. Similar to verdigris, metallic paint replicates real metal. This technique requires the painter to formulate a realistic combination of paints and glazes to mimic common metals and their distinctive qualities.
You’ll pay between $4 and $8 per square foot for antiquing. Antiquing is a go-to for adding the look of aged patina not only to a wall but most commonly a piece of furniture. Painters start with a base color and selectively add and wipe away a top coat of colored glaze to achieve an aged appearance.
A crackling paint project costs between $6 and $12 per square foot. Homeowners who prefer the rustic or country aesthetic gravitate toward crackling because the technique instantly ages walls and furniture, with a specialized crackle medium that dries and forms cracks and crevices, like old paint. Then, the painter adds a varnish to the finish.
For whitewashing expertise, you will pay between $6 and $15 per square foot. The traditional whitewashing technique from hundreds of years ago used abrasive lime, which is unhealthy by today’s standards. To achieve the faux look now, painters reproduce a rustic, chalky finish on the walls through various paint techniques.
Because painters use multiple application techniques and a final sealant for pickling, the cost ranges between $5 and $10 per square foot. This faux finish changes the appearance of wooden surfaces by sanding and bleaching the wood, similar to the look of beach driftwood. After sanding and bleaching, the painter wipes a combination of water and paint primer across the boards to accentuate the grain pattern and lighten the overall color
Homeowners who prefer the appearance of painted wood grain pay between $8 and $12 per square foot. Faux painters use this centuries-old painting technique to achieve a wood grain look for homeowners who want a cozy, rustic ambiance. To complete the room’s overall look, trim and doors also benefit from wood graining. Painters need expertise with a specialized tool called a wood-grain rocker.
Marbleizing is an advanced faux painting technique using multiple tools, so homeowners will pay about $6 to $12 per square foot. To recreate the look of a slab of marble, painters layer tinted glazes to replicate the colors and veins found in natural marble.
The continued popularity of granite countertops allows painters to charge $6 to $12 per square foot for the attention to detail faux granite requires. Painters achieve distinctive yet limitless options through multiple paint and glaze applications, techniques, and tools.
Costs for painted faux stone range from $6 to $10 per square foot. Painters use a wide variety of colors and tools to replicate the look of various types of stone, such as river rock and stacked flagstone, which may take the place of expensive natural stone on a fireplace or accent wall.
Faux concrete costs between $6 and $10 per square foot. This technique imitates the colors and texture of poured concrete. Painters use a color palette that includes white, grey, and black to transform surfaces into faux concrete, possibly to match a DIY poured concrete countertop in the kitchen.
Faux brick pricing ranges from $6 to $12 per square foot. Authentic exposed brick is a popular feature but is challenging to find in an existing home. Homeowners choose faux finishing for the look of brick without the time-consuming house hunt. The application uses measured stacks of painted rectangles and many colors for bricks and mortar to produce a realistic look.
After reading about the different faux finishes, you might feel inclined to take on the project yourself. Beginners gravitate toward basic faux finishes like stripes or sponging. You’ll need tools such as sponges, tape, brushes, and rollers in addition to your paint color choices. All of the materials range from $55 to $205 on average.
If you want to take on more sophisticated techniques like color washing or faux granite, you can buy a high-end faux paint kit starting at about $70. The kits include the tools needed for each technique, but you’ll have to pay for the paint separately. The size (quart or gallon) and quality (general or specialty) dictate paint prices. You’ll likely pay between $20 and $50 for paint.
Keep in mind that faux finishes are time-consuming, and most of the time, first-timers won’t have the expertise to complete a professional look. However, if you’re trying to keep your budget low through a DIY process, it's possible to reduce costs by taking on prep work like wallpaper tear down, patching holes, and cleaning the wall and trim surfaces before the painter arrives.
Faux painting can be expensive, but not all projects have a hefty price tag. The size of the project, the painter’s experience, and the cost of the materials all make a difference. For reference, you can expect to pay about $500 for a 10x12-foot room for a simple faux finish.
The price range is expansive, but on average, homeowners pay between $2,000 and $4,000 for the project. A small, simple color wash starts at about $250, but labor-intensive and time-consuming designs like a mural or Venetian plaster can easily reach $10,000.
Not all interior painters have the skills to take on faux finishing. Specialized painters often have a design or art background that takes their expertise to the next level. For recommendations, start by talking with a trusted interior painting contractor near you or possibly a staff member at a dedicated paint store in your neighborhood.