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Chris Burke, aka Mr. Faux, is a Washington, D.C., area artist who has taken his faux-painting skills over the last two-and-a-half decades from the simple to the sublime. Starting with basic one-color glazes, stripes and other straightforward wall effects, Chris refined and added to his faux-finishing portfolio with such artistic specialties as woodgraining, marbling, Venetian plasters, torn wallpaper and murals.

Chris’ success, and much of his appeal, can be attributed to the fact that he’s been willing to do it all—even what might be construed as the “less glamorous” aspects of the faux-finishing profession.

“I’m the blue-collar faux guy,” says Chris, explaining that he got his start as a house painter working alongside his dad during his high school years. That’s how he was able to become adept at the basics of the painting profession—from taping off a room to wielding a roller to cleaning up a worksite.

While attending college at George Mason University, Chris continued working as a painter and had a crew of four working for him. Eventually he got some requests to do sponging, which was the launching point for a faux-finishing career that over the years has included prestigious work in both residential and commercial spaces. He’s done projects in such impressive locations as the Israeli embassy, FBI headquarters and the Women’s National Art Museum. He’s also worked in the residences of NFL players as well as other prominent homes throughout the East Coast and in Canada and Germany.

Chris started his business as the Wall Factory, changing the name to Burke’s Faux Finishes and finally to Mr. Faux. “Mr. Faux was based on a caricature that a guy did of me years ago when I was into body-building,” he reports.

Through it all, however, Chris has remained pretty down-to-earth about his profession. He sees himself as a regular guy who would never consider the tasks associated with regular painting as being beneath him. “You have to be humble in this business,” he contends. “You have to know the basics, like how to tape and how to paint.”


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Keeping it Real With Mr. Faux