HeARTfull Stone

HeARTfull Stone

In a recent article published in the  Bay Area Women’s Journal called  “Faux Finishing…Get the Look of Marble and Stone“, I discuss the “faux” finishes of stone and marble (a kind of  rock).  I created this “sister” post to show more painted and glazed stone and marble faux (fake!) finishes, and to share a bit more about the process.

Stone blocking is a technique in which individual “blocks” of stone are depicted, as well as the grout between them. Below, the lower part of an exterior shed door is painted (stippled and pounced) to look like the actual stone blocks on either side of it.  The grout, of course, is also painted. The painted door meets the real flagstones underneath it.  Underfoot, as it were.

Careful match of color helps create the illusion, despite the obviousness of hinges.  The “Trompe L’Oeil” (‘tricking the eye”- to make us think something is there that actually isn’t) effect is broken when…

 the door is opened, which adds to the fun. The treatment satisfied the aesthetic yearning of the homeowner to have the eye perceive  a line of stone blocks  unmarred by the more prosaic brown-painted door.

Below we have an ornately detailed fireplace, with a lot of carved character.  It sits resplendent in its prepped glory, primed but not even base painted yet.  Looking white white, it is set off by a new marble surround and hearth.

Voila, here we have the same fireplace with a stippled “limestone look”  finish, which draws out its ornate detail, and works with the colors of the marble.

The carving plays with the light, both reflecting and absorbing it.  It is highlighted by the glazes (semi-transparent veils of color) that are stippled across its surface.  Details like  this can be coaxed out and showcased through the addition of color and texture!

The same “limestone-like” stippled technique can be used to add character to a one-of-a-kind table that already has plenty,  (again, the technique pulls out the carving),

or, a smooth, plastered, rather standard issue stove hood, which needs to be brought into line with the other splendid details of its Spanish Revival architectural setting.

Stone finishes can also be used in tandem with their sometimes showier cousin, marble finishes, also known as marbling, or marbleizing.  On the fireplace below, semi-transparent glazes were used to create the marble finish, and opaque paints in equivalent colors for the stone.  The marble and stone treatments are both set off by the classical detailing, which is in turn set off by the treatments!  At their best, architecture, decorative treatments and detailing work hand in hand, each strengthening the other.

The pillar below is treated in a subtle limestone finish, with the same glaze colors employed in a marble finish on its base.


In the same room and colors, the hearth below is marbled through the combination and simultaneous manipulation of several glaze colors over its smooth, base painted surface.

The same technique is employed on the fireplace mantel and pillars, unifying the piece.  The Clients wanted to enhance the architectural details of their white-walled living room in an elegant yet subtle way, and the paint and glaze colorways were designed accordingly.

The fanciful marble treatment designed for the white, latex-painted built-in below is enhanced by the addition of gold, not only in the veining, but also on the inset frames on the cabinet doors. The diamonds are created by a second application of marbleizing.

  The fantasy marble finish employing pink, gold, and antique white glazes adds sumptuousness. The marbleized diamond offsets the rectangular shapes that comprise the cabinets.

Whether the goal is to integrate, enhance, create elegance, luxury or history, the application of stone and marble faux finishes can add depth, character, mystery, and even fun and fantasy to a space. Take a look around your environment, and imagine the addition of finishes true to nature, to the imagination, or both! Consider drawing out classical or whimsical details,  harmonizing your color scheme, or adding a bit of eye trickery to where you live, work and play.  You’ll soon feel the benefit of the Magic of Decorative Painting.

Have YOU used Stone and Marble finishes in your Home, Business, or Community Spaces?

If so, please share about it with us here. We love to hear from you!

Remember, we are all designing this thing called Life, together.  Cheers!



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