When people refer to old world wall paint designs I'm assuming they mean a Tuscan faux finish.

There are actually a number of techniques (and colors) to use for one to achieve a faux Tuscan look. Due to the styles and color combinations to choose from I suggest going to your local paint store for guidance.

Retailers that specialize in selling only painting and decorating products tend to have pamphlets or booklets that will help you with color selection and the step by step finishing process.

With that said below I discuss tools needed along with the basic process for applying a Tuscan faux finish to your walls.


Applying a Tuscan finish to your walls can require a number of different types of tools depending on the style of finish that your going for. You will need to select the specific tools needed for your particular project

  • Painters plastic
  • Masking tape
  • Drop cloths
  • Brushes, paint trays, rollers/covers
  • cans for cutting in (or edging etc.)
  • Ladders, scaffolds, platforms
  • Drywall mud & paint-able caulking/gun,
  • Pan & knifes (for filling cracks/holes etc)
  • Medium sanding sponges
  • Soap/water (to wash walls if needed)
  • Primer
  • Venetian plaster, paint & glaze (as needed)
  • Very course sea sponge, car sponge
  • decorative brushes (if needed)
  • Old close (or coveralls), hat, rubber gloves, & goggles
  • Pails or buckets (if needed)

Amazon is an on-line retailer that most people know and trust. Because of Amazon's size they tend to offer better prices on tools and materials than your local home improvement centre. is quite large and includes top quality brand name painting and decorating tools and products.


Your first step is to wash the surface being painted (if needed) then fill, caulk and sand holes, divots or any cracks that you may see. Re-fill and sand as necessary then follow up by spot priming your filled areas.


A proper Tuscan wall finish involves applying a venetian plaster technique or a rolled on texture that's been knocked down with a trowel prior to splashing on your faux finish.

You of course do not need to implement a plastering process if you don't wish to. Keep in mind though that adding a decorative plastering technique to your surfaces will give the most authentic Tuscan look.


Most Tuscan faux finishes are created with the use of at least three different earth tones or terra cotta type colors.

Since there are a number of colors to choose from when doing a Tuscan finish your paint store representative would be the best choice for help with selecting the tones, hues or shades that would work best for your particular situation.


Some Tuscan faux finishing techniques require a washed on paint glaze mixture (follow the glaze label instructions).

With your bucket of glaze and paint mixture in hand, wash your walls (or ceilings) in the same fashion as you would use to lightly remove the dirt from a car. You don't want the sponge dripping wet but it does have to be moist enough to leave a swirled look onto your surface.

Once the first wash is dry you can smear on the next using a different color. Three washes in complementing earth tones are the norm.


You can now use a faux sponging technique over your washed on glaze. With that said, some Tuscan fauxs do not use a wash and require only the technique of sponging on your colors instead.

For the best results you want to purchase a very course sea sponge to get the look that your going for.

Begin by creating your first paint glaze mixture (read the glaze label instructions.

After your paint is ready start dabbing it randomly onto the surface. Proceed with dipping the sponge in the glaze paint mixture then dabbing the intended surface until your walls, ceilings or entire room is completed. After the first application of sponge painting has dried you can then sponge on the next color.

Keep applying layers of colors until you have the look that your going for.


Some Tuscan faux designs can be accomplished with the help of a wide (2.5" or wider) paint brush.

To do so apply your first paint/glaze mixture using random criss cross or hash mark patterns. Keep brushing on your hash marks until the entire surface or room is completed.

Once the first coat of brushing or hash marks are dried you can brush on the next color. Keep randomly hashing colors on until your project is done.


When doing a faux finish be careful of surfaces that you don't want paint on such as ceilings or wood trim. Use masking paper or tape as needed.

When faux sponging you may need to cut in or edge at the ceiling (and taped off baseboards) using a smaller chunk of sponge prior to using the larger one.

Be sure to practise your Tuscan fauxing techniques on a primed throw away piece of drywall prior to tackling your main project. carries an excellent book on faux finishing for those who are interested.

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