Web Design, Murals, Fine Art, Faux Finishing

How Do I Faux Finish Onyx

Faux Painted Onyx
Onyx Marble Faux Finish

Ever since I posted a few images of my recent Onyx Faux Finish on my Face Book Profile I have received many “likes” and comments (over 100)

but I have also been getting many emails from other decorative artists on the subject.

In order to help with this subject I thought I would post a couple of resources that my fellow artists can go to get some information about

How Do I Faux Finish Onyx.

Faux Painted Onyx
Onyx Marble Faux Finish

Even though my approach is different than what is shown in these books it is still very close to the same end result. As a matter of fact both these books are in my library of reference along with many others but these two are ones that I believe every decorative artist should have in their arsenal.

As we all know their is nothing better than an actual hands on class with a great instructor, but the next best thing is having as many resources as possible, and every  good instructor encourages this fact.

Anyway here is a few more images of the other column and an email that I received with my response

“Hi Arthur, Do you have a dvd or information on how to create onyx with paint?? loved your column been looking for how to information on onyx , like your look the best. any info. or help would be very useful ty for your time. Debra”

Onyx marblized columns
Art-Faux Designs 239 417 1888

Hi Debra,

Thanks for the compliment, I did start to record the process as I was working on the columns but because of the time involved in the process I would have had to put many hours into the editing so I just recorded the ground layer. There is a lot involved with the process and basic color theory is very important to know with this particular finish, so in order for me to teach this finish right I would have had to do a segment on basic color theory as well. This would have involved a very long instructional DVD and I would have had to charge too much for the DVD to cover the expense of creating it and the market demand does not support it unfortunately. I try to teach not only the “How To” part but I also want people to learn the “why” as well. Anyone can teach you how to do it, but if you don’t “why” your using certain colors that have to do with transparency and opaqueness then the DVD becomes pointless in my opinion. I do however have a DVD on “Fantasy Marble” and in this instructional it focuses mainly on “color value” and how to create depth and volume by using 3 different values of one color. There are many “faux finishing” schools across the country and I know most of the owners/instructors, but because of the fast pace of producing sample boards there really doesn’t seem to be in my opinion enough time spent on teaching color, surface prep. and trouble shooting. I also know the reason for this is because it would turn a 4 or 5 day class into a 7 to 10 day class very easily when teaching 15 to 20 different finishes and I do respect that. This is why there are several levels and class curriculum’s to try and meet these needs.

This particular onyx is called Brazilian Ribbon onyx which is very rare and upon my research I have found very little reference (images) about it let alone any “How To” on this particular surface technique but I was fortunate enough to have seen an actual piece of it some years ago.

Fortunately there is some reference to a similar technique involving an “Algerian Onyx” that I have written a blog post about referencing a book that many decorative artists refer to as “the bible” lol and by purchasing this book this should help you at least get an idea of how involved the application is.

So by clicking on this link to my last post “Faux Finishing Glaze Recipes” I think this should at least put you on the right track.



I could write an instructional on How Do I Faux Finish Onyx but it would take at least 2 to 3 thousand words so weather I was to create a DVD or an EBook it would still require a lot of time

Faux Finishing Sample
Marble Painted by Arthur@Art-Faux.com

4 thoughts on “How Do I Faux Finish Onyx”

    • Thanks Donna coming from a color specialist such as yourself that’s quite a compliment. As you know, the study of color is a continuing subject and needs to be practiced by artists everyday (or at least try to). As a matter of fact since meeting and following you on Google+ I have learned a few things from you myself. I believe what you know about color even goes further beyond the norm and gets down to the actual science and psychology of it that many artists don’t or even want to understand.
      The metaphysical balances of what ironically artists willingly discuss to whats to be regarded as important points of color from their own side of view or in defense of what they were taught or self taught could be settled through an open discussion with you.

      Google+ has actually provided a platform for these kind of discussions and although the few short points that you have mentioned has made sense on the interior design side of things I cant wait to get into further discussions on an artistic side of views.

      I would like to invite others to follow you on Facebook and more importantly Google+ as I believe the “Hangouts” would be a great format for these kinds of discussions.

  1. Love your Onyx finish, Arthur!! What do you think this would look like on a bathroom counter? I had thought it would make the area brighter but in a muted spa-like way…

    I have done faux finishing, on my kitchen table I did a wood grain with gel stain and artist’s oils…Didn’t like that I put undiluted polyurethane though. Didn’t know it’s best to dilute the stuff.

    Back to your finish, Arthur, it appears you put some type of textured (chalk-like)colour wash on at the end…am I correct? Colours used were reds/gold/mid-green/bits of mauve-magenta? Either way you obviously don’t need me to tell you it looks fabulous but I’ll note in anyway for thoroughness on my part, ha ha…

    All the best!

    • Cate, thanks for the comment, most of my marbling techniques are done with a mix of glazes and the use of an open palette. For my ground I’ll use a glaze so I can move on to the next step. I don’t like a slow drying medium in some cases when I want to move on quickly especially when I know where I’m going with a finish. The last layer is a warmed semi transparent to a semi opaque white then high lighted but with a more opaque mix to punch up the depth. Remember if you have studied basic color theory opaque colors brings objects closer and if you are replicating an onyx you must focus on translucency first and color value second.

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