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How To Paint a Faux Limestone Finish

Paint subtle limestone-look blocks on a wall, using latex paints and tinting colors.

More in Decorating

paint subtle limestone look blocks on wall
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Prime and Prepare the Wall

Prime the wall with two coats of off-white latex paint, and allow it to dry. Use a pencil and ruler to mark off squares that suggest stone blocks. They can be any size appropriate for the surroundings, but 8" by 16" is the standard size of real blocks.

Step 2: Apply the Paint

To add a warm undertone to the wall, apply a limestone-colored wash of latex paints. Mix small amounts of taupe and yellow paint, and thin with water to the consistency of thin soup. Brush the wash freely in all directions, and rub it into the surface with a cloth. Don't strive for a carefully painted finish.

apply the paint

Step 3: Apply the Shadowing Technique

Use three shades for shadowing: taupe for a dark shade, off-white for a medium shade and white for highlighting. Mix each color with water to a watercolor consistency. To make light appear to come from one side, stipple the colors onto the wall in the following pattern: the darker color on the left, the medium in the middle and the light on the right side. Freely dab or stipple the color on the wall, rubbing the color into the surface as you work.

Thin a mixture of creamy taupe and white with water. Using a brush with long bristles, paint the mixture over the pencil lines. The lines should show through to create the look of shadows between the blocks.

Step 4: Finish the Wall

Mix an over-glaze by combining glazing liquid, mineral spirits and tinting colors such as raw umber and raw sienna. Brush on the mixture, and rub it in to add texture and the look of age to the wall.

brush on over glaze

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