Glossary of Surface Designs


Aluminum Leaf

Used as an alternative to silver leaf for its excellent luminosity, beauty and cost effectiveness.


American Clay

Much like Venetian Plaster, American Clay is a troweled on natural, stone-like veneer made from natural clay, sand and organically sourced pigments.


Also referred to as "aged". A technique intended to give the appearance of age or wear.

Brocade Stencil

A highly decorative stencil is applied in flat sheen paint over a broken color finish in a satin sheen. The stencil is repeated in a pattern, giving the walls the appearance of “brocade” fabric.

Bronze Metallic Paint Finish

A bronze metallic paint finish to mimic the look of bronze.

Burnished Venetian Plaster

A decorative Venetian plaster that when burnished creates a polished stone surface.

Canopy or Tent Ceiling Mural

A trompe l’oeil painting on ceilings depicting the inside of a canopy or striped tent.


Celtic Mural

Murals inspired by Celtic traditional art and design

Cement Plaster Finish

A faux finish using Venetian plaster to achieve the look of cement.

Chevron Pattern

A variation to the zigzag pattern, having the shape of a V or inverted V, made of flowing stripes that peak on opposite sides of the line of symmetry.

Children's Murals

Baby nurseries and children’s rooms are perfect places to apply murals, either on the walls, ceilings or floors. Themes can vary from a circus tent, African Savannah, and the stands of Fenway Park to a fantasy mural with castles and fairies.


A style of decoration reflecting Chinese motifs, qualities and techniques.

Color Blocking


Color Blocking

The use of usually bold and bright blocks of solid color in order to make a bold statement.

Color Wash - Old World

This paint finish creates the illusion of an old Tuscan plaster lightly mottled effect. By applying multiple layers we can create depth and movement and a hint of drama.


A technique of pulling a toothed “comb” through wet paint. The comb can be made of a material such as: rubber, metal, leather, plastic or cardboard.


Concrete Painted Finish

Concrete Painted Finish

A faux finish using paint to create the look of concrete.


Conservatory Style Mural

Conservatory Style Mural

A mural, often times on a ceiling, depicting an iron trompe l’oeil conservatory framework with a sky mural background.

Copper Verdigris

Copper Verdigris Faux Finish

Layers of various paint colors are used to create the illusion of oxidized copper. Verdigris, a French term meaning green-gray, is used to describe a copper surface that has oxidized from exposure to the elements.

Corroded Metal

Corroded Metal Faux Finish

A faux paint finish to give the appearance of rusted and corroded metal.

Cross Hatch

Cross Hatch

A technique of dragging a toothed “comb” through wet paint in both vertical and horizontal directions to achieve a “basket weave” appearance.




A stencil paint finish similar to “Brocade” in that a stencil is repeated over a broken finish background. Damask also has contrasting sheen's. Usually the background is applied with a metallic paint and the stencil pattern is applied in a flat sheen paint, or vice-versa.



A sketch drawn to scale on grid paper, representing the final layout of mural composition.




A term used to describe a decorative paint finish that gives the appearance of age and wear.


Distressed & Weathered

Distressed & Weathered

A finish where various techniques are used to create a faux distressed and weathered look.

Etched Stone


Etched Stone

A Venetian plaster artistic finish that Arteriors created, with a distinct, organically etched appearance.

Exterior Sign Painting



Exterior Sign Painting

We specialize in signs for both interior and exterior spaces using hand painting and stencils. Licensed and insured for scissor and boom lifts, no job is too high!

Factory Worn Paint Finish

Factory-Worn Paint Finish

A faux weathered and distressed paint finish used to create the look of time worn factory floors.

Fantasy Murals
Fantasy Murals - Murals depicting non-realistic images and themes.
Bronze Metallic Paint Finish Door
Faux Bronze Finish - A bronze metallic paint finish to mimic the look of bronze.
Faux Finish
Faux Finish -French word meaning “fake or false”. Technically, wood-graining, marbleizing, or other painted finishes that are replicating a natural material are faux finishes. However, this term has become an umbrella name to describe all painted decorative finishes.
Faux Fresco
Faux Fresco - An ancient mural technique using wet pigments as paint on un-cured plaster. Faux fresco is a mural technique that gives the appearance of an aged and weathered fresco using contemporary paint products.
Faux Stone Wall
Faux Stone Wall - This is a trompe l’oeil technique giving the painted surface the appearance of a stone wall.
Faux Tortoise Shell
Faux Tortoise Shell -A faux finish used to replicate the distinctive pattern and rich colors of real tortoise shell.
Faux Wood Grain
Faux Wood Grain- Also called “Faux Bois”, faux wood grain is a paint technique that replicates various wood grains, such as oak, walnut, mahogany or even weathered barn board.
Garland Border
Garland Border - A traditional style hand painted and stenciled depicting a three dimensional garland border design. Often used to accent a window, doorway or an architectural feature.
Gilding & Metallic Paint Finishes
Gilding & Metallic Paint Finishes- We are experts in silver, gold and palladium leaf application for both interiors and exteriors. Our many metallic paint finishes create glamour and elegance to custom designs and architectural features.
glazed paint finish
Glazed Finish
Glazed Finish - The process of applying a tinted, but transparent paint over a base coat to create a softly modulated, watercolor effect. The darkness of the base coat and the number of layers of glaze applied can create a rich saturated appearance and works well in dark reds, blues and greens.
Grisaille - Architectural trompe l’oeil painting done in monochromatic colors suggesting solid form, perspective or decorative plasters motifs.
Harlequin - Harlequin diamonds are painted in a pattern in either subtly contrasting colors or sheen's and can also be applied in a subtractive paint finish, creating a classic and elegant appearance.
Hospitality Design
Hospitality Design - Interior design for hospitality venues such as restaurants, hotels, casinos and event spaces.
Hudson River School Style Mural
Hudson River School Style Mural - Landscape murals inspired by paintings done by Hudson River School artists- a term used to group these artists together. Featuring Hudson River area painted landscapes of New England, the Berkshires, Hudson River Valley area and then later branched into the Western Rockies.
Industrial Chic
Industrial Chic - An interior design style that incorporates industrial like surfaces such as cement, rusted and corroded metal and other various finishes.
Interior Sign Murals
Interior Sign Murals - Traditional painted signs for interior spaces, using hand painting and stencils.
Landscape Mural
Landscape Mural - A mural that depicts the outside environment including the sky, the foreground and distant horizon line between the land or sea and sky.
Limewash Finish

A centuries old, 100% natural mineral finish and substitute for paint that is used to create a matte look with a chalky suede-like texture.

Man Cave
Man Cave - An interior design style with masculine appeal.
Map Mural
Map Mural - Hand painted murals depicting any kind of map.
Marbelizing - A faux finish that creates the illusion of marble.
metallic finishes
Metallic Finishes
Metallic Finishes - Decorative finishes that use metallic paint in various techniques over other painted finishes. Golds, silvers and bronzes are used over different colored base coats to create the appearance of antique gold, burnished bronze or shimmering silver.
Metallic Wax
Metallic Wax - Metallic wax finishes are used over various Venetian plaster layers to create an iridescent sheen.
Mica Infused Marmorino Plaster
Mica Infused Marmorino Plaster - natural Venetian plaster surface that is porous and has an organic feel, which is infused with mica, flecks of sparkling stone.
Mirror Gilding
Mirror Gilding - Metallic leaf gilding that is adhered to the surface of mirrored glass.
landscape mural
Monochromatic Landscape Mural
Monochromatic Landscape Mural - A traditional landscape mural style in which the imagery is depicted within one color family and uses shades of the color to create highlight, shadow and dimension.
Murals - A mural is defined as a painted picture on a wall or ceiling.
Ombre Finish
Ombre Finish - A wall finish that gradually changes in shade from dark to light or vice versa.
Oxidized -A thin greenish layer that forms on copper or copper alloys, such as bronze, as a result of long exposure to the elements and often valued aesthetically for its color. It gives a surface appearance of something grown beautiful with age or use.
Paint Sheen
Paint Sheen - All house paints and glazing liquids have different sheens and can affect the success of certain decorative paint techniques. They will also affect the final look and appearance of the room. Paint sheen's vary from flat (a non reflective, dull finish) to high gloss.
Patina - A thin dark glaze that is added to a finish on woodwork or painted furniture to lend the appearance of age.
Pigments - Material mixed into paint bases to create paint colors.
Poured Cement Finish
Poured Cement Finish - Involves the application of pigmented plaster to create the look and feel of poured cement.
Rustic Glam
Rustic Glam - An interior design style that mixes rustic surfaces like barn wood, cement and weathered finishes with textural and modern color accents such as faux fur, brass and crystal.
Sample - The finish that is to be painted on the walls or ceiling is painted on a section of wall or on a board to show the client what the final outcome of finish will be.
Silvered Barnwood
Silvered Barnwood - A faux woodgrain technique that is slightly 3D and is applied with paint. The top surface is dragged with a silver metallic glaze.
Sketch - Preliminary drawing of proposed mural painting.
Sky Mural
Sky Mural -A mural that depicts mainly a sky.
Stencil - A tool used to apply a repeated image or pattern by dabbing paint on a commercial sponge or stippling brush over the negative space cut out of a sheet of mylar or stiff oak tag.
Strie - A technique used for achieving a subtle mix of fine stripes (or brush strokes) by pulling a dry, stiff bristled brush or rubber comb through wet paint.
Texture - The appearance of texture created with various techniques such as broken application of Venetian plaster, scumbled paint finishes and subtractive techniques. Texture can either be 2 dimensional or slightly 3D, as in this artistic Venetian plaster finish.
Trompe L'Oeil
Trompe L'Oeil - French expression meaning, “To deceive the eye”. A painting technique in which an illusion of depth and reality is created by emphasizing highlights and shadows. In art, trompe l’oeil is defined as a ‘still life deception’, a painting able to make the viewer believe that an object actually exists in 3D space, in relief. It also means illusion, a deceptive appearance, eyewash or camouflage, in short ‘Fool the eye’!

Venetian Plaster

Venetian Plaster - Involves the application of pigmented limestone and marble dust to create the look and feel of authentic stone.



Veneziano Plaster
Veneziano Plaster - A refined decorative Venetian plaster that when burnished creates a polished stone surface.
Weathered Finish - A finish having the appearance of abusive exposure to the elements.