STIR article - A Rockin' Mural header image
Originally published in STIR®

By Holly O’Dell


Decorative painter Patrick Ganino uses Sherwin-Williams® Faux Impressions® line to create a dynamic rock ’n’ roll mural inside a New York City nightclub.

When Patrick Ganino was hired to paint a long interior wall for a Russian karaoke nightclub in New York City, he encountered a unique canvas of metal, concrete and brick. “The client asked me to do two things,” says Ganino, owner of Connecticut-based Creative Evolution and author of the book The Business of Faux. “Number one, make the metal doors disappear. Number two, create a contemporary mural featuring music icons.”

As he does for many projects, Ganino sourced Sherwin-Williams Faux Impressions, a tintable, tint-controlled line of specialty faux finishes. Faux Impressions finishes — Metallics, Venetian Plaster, Quartz Stone (a metallic plaster), Glaze, Crackle and Dimensional Basecoat — allow designers to create spaces full of texture and visual interest through subtle details not achievable with standard paint.

Ganino — who worked directly with interior design firm ICRAVE on the project — first tinted Faux Impressions Venetian Plaster with paint. To make the doors a seamless part of the mural, Ganino had to accurately match the wall’s colors: a blue-tinged concrete on the right side of the door, a gray concrete on the left side, and faded red bricks all around. Using Sherwin-Williams custom-mixed colorants and a sponge, Ganino washed the wall with the matching hues.

“When it comes to matching concrete or brick and creating a realistic mural, color is everything,” Ganino says. “If you have the color right, your technique can be off, but the mural will still look good.”

Such color accuracy is a hallmark of the Faux Impressions line, which is available in any Sherwin-Williams color. “When you specify the Faux Impressions finishes, color is not a concern,” says Ed Mattingly of Chicago-based No Limits Paints and one of one North America’s leading experts on faux finishes and decorative painting techniques. Mattingly actively conducts workshops on behalf of Sherwin-Williams to educate designers about the Faux Impressions line. “If a client needs more product for another location, needs more product to complete a project, needs more product to repair damaged areas, the color will always match.”

On Ganino’s mural, the color-matching capabilities also brought consistency to the three musical icons he selected: Jim Morrison, ’80s-era Madonna and Axl Rose. Ganino then connected their images with a flowing pattern of scrolls. “Any kind of scrolling is interesting and timeless, yet adds a modern twist,” Ganino says.

The job called for very little prep and finishing work because, Ganino says, “we wanted the mural to look rustic, a little aged and distressed. We didn’t really clean the concrete surrounding the doors because if something flakes off, so much the better.” He also sanded down much of the mural to add to its worn, beat-up appearance.

“Faux Impressions is very convenient and easy to use,” Ganino says. “The finishes apply simply and quickly [in as few as two coats, with an optional acrylic top coat for metallic and quartz stone finishes], enabling me to achieve consistent results on every job. Plus, there’s a Sherwin-Williams store right down the road. The customer service is incredible. They’ve formed a personal relationship with me, and they go above and beyond so often that when they make a recommendation, I take the time to check it out.”

Get inspired

Add drama and distinction to your next project with eye-catching Faux Impressions specialty finishes by Sherwin-Williams.

  • Watch the faux finishing technique how-to videos to find out just how easy it is to use these finishes.
  • Ask your Sherwin-Williams Architectural or Designer Account Executive about our color sample kit and fan deck of metallics.
  • Pick up 3" x 6" Faux Impressions sample cards in dozens of color combinations at Sherwin-Williams locations or online at