French Designing® painting services have been enlisted for over 20 years to deliver quality faux finishes, murals, and canvas paintings to home and business owners in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.


Faux Finishes

Faux paintings — or faux finishes — offer advantages over straight paint by creating a unique look that can be rustic or luxurious, achieved with glazing liquid that gives depth to walls and a soft patina. Faux finishes can be applied to walls, ceilings, doors, furniture, mirrors, screens, mantels, trims, and many more, enriching the ambiance of your home by rendering surfaces more precious and warm. Such wall treatments style classic as well as modern interiors.

Faux Bois (left), Chinese Lattice (right)

Strie Ceiling (top), Faux silk (directly above)

Common glazes include wood graining (faux bois), stone, marble, malachite, bronze, steel, verdigris, tortoise shell, silk, brocade, leather, parchment, and many more. Sometimes, creating an exact replica of the imitated material is not necessarily the goal; a fantasy faux can be just as pleasant, adding originality to the painting bravura. Depending on the simulation you are seeking, satisfactory patinas can be obtained either through excellent craftsmanship, or simply an exercised eye, coupled to a sense of harmony and observation. Balance and visual serendipity are the desired goals when integrating a decorative painting effect into your interior. For a trendier look, you may want to accentuate or magnify the particular aspect of a material: blowing up for instance the rings of malachite or the spots of a tortoise shell.

A faux finish is the best tool to transform kitchen cabinets and give a drastically different look to your kitchen; it spares you the enormous expense of replacing your cabinetry that may still be functional and in very good shape. Similarly, the right faux finish effect will rejuvenate your old bathroom cabinets, promoting them to more precious furniture. Additionally, a finish can match the walls of any given room to the palette of its furnishings, and vice and versa.

The monetary gain is undeniable; since faux finishes allow revamping furniture or reproducing costly or protected material, while sparing any eventual demolition or installation cost. We sample each finish on a board, which, brought to the premises, gives a concrete idea of the faux effect result in-situ. Click here to learn more about our process.



Murals, or Trompe L’oeil, are large-scale paintings, depicting a variety of subjects including landscapes, objects, animals, or persons. The illusory nature of the representation serves diverse purposes and can achieve various effects: prestige, grandeur, surprise, illusion, or fantasy.

Murals bring solutions to countless architectural flaws; they can bring light to a dark corner, turning it into a cheerful or attractive spot. They expand walls, promote floors to precious materials or whimsical surfaces, and transform ceilings into azure skies that give an airy feel to a room. Outdoor murals are also a welcoming solution for hiding dreary fences or creating a vista on unsightly walls or buildings. Walls, screens, mantels, doors, shades, inset panels, or even electric boxes can offer the appropriate support for hosting mural paintings.

Faux Panels (left), Glaze with Frieze (right)

Murals can bring colors to a room with their polychrome decors, or they can quiet down interiors with “grisailles”. Grisailles are monochromatic decors executed only with black, white and a third color. Traditionally, these were executed with black and white, and the dominant tone was grey, or in French ‘gris’, hence their name.

Italian lake vista, in sepia color

Children rooms are a fun space to exercise some fantasy and exuberance; your child will love his/her quarters with a mural that speaks to his/her sensibility or moods, and it will stay with him/her as a calming memory for many years.

Cellars, exercise rooms, or basements can be turned into Tuscan wineries or tropical islands. More modest in ambition, friezes or stencils bring originality and cachet to a room.

Murals are neither the appendage of grand rooms, nor the costliest effect to achieve. Sometimes, they demand less time to be completed than a layer of faux finishing. Before embarking on any project, we explore the different possible subjects for a mural and its purpose, and we produce a design to scale.


Canvas Paintings

Christine works on commission for private customers or commercial patrons, including offices, law firms, or children nurseries. You may ask her to depict the ambiance or décor of your home interior – or exterior – for a keepsake. Or, perhaps your cat or dog in a jungle setting. Canvasses can also be commissioned to match a color scheme in your home, or to provide the completing element in a room. With watercolor, she also designs personalized stationery, invitations to memorable events such as weddings or birth announcements, bookplates, and more.

To Christine, the paintings that surround us are memories of endearing events, or representations that please the eye and lift our mood. They can be a substitute for what we cannot afford, or more simply, part of a color therapy. For whichever purpose a painting may be commissioned, the final artwork will remain a beautiful element of décor, a keepsake, and a wonderful memory.

Contact us today for a free consultation, or click here to learn more about our process.