On My Radar | Custom Finishes To Make a Home Sing

Written by: Elyse O'Dwyer

Photography by: Heather Jozak


Custom finishes featuring pattern and texture add a warm, unique touch that elevates a home. We spoke with Heather Jozak about her hand-applied finishes and the practiced techniques that create them. Homes featuring these stunning elements bring an air of timelessness and artful extravagance. Nature inspired finishes, highlighting the hand of the artist, have a delicacy and ease to them that factory-made design can’t compete with.


Nothing screams luxury like marble, understated yet high-end looking marble patterns instantly elevate a space. These natural stone finishes are created with fine detail brushes to paint in the veining, and color washes to add subtle dimension. Bits of frayed cardboard create patterning in the agate walls. These natural looking, hand painted techniques create soft lines and a luxurious result.

Designer: @millburnetc


For this finish, metal-pigmented paint is applied with variations in brush strokes to add depth and dimension to mimic the look of metal. Metal leaf is made of actual gold, silver, or copper leaf pounded into millimeter-thin pieces. Those layers are applied to “size” glue, in meticulous patterns. These metal finishes add a modern, industrial or old-world edge and depth to the aesthetic.

Designer (This Slide): @jennymaddendesign
Designer (Next Slide): @lrddesignstudio


These finishes are achieved by troweling multiples layers of Italian lime-based plaster using thin and flexible trowels. Divots and texture are added while the layers are still drying, and the look can be finished with either a honed or a polished topcoat.

There’s a subtly to this effect, the look doesn’t overtake the room, but modernizes the color palate and adds dimension. At first glance, it’s simple, but the 3D effect draws you in. The hand touches add to the variety and liveliness of the look.

Designer: @lrddesignstudio


Creating a wood finish requires a multi-step process with different brush techniques creating a layer of wood pores, topped with a glaze coat for a wood grain look. The results adds warmth, drama and dimension, creating surfaces that won’t look dated.

Designer: @lrddesignstudio

Tortoise Shell

The tortoise shell is achieved through a process of layering strokes and technique that’s very similar to wood graining. This is a warm finish where the layering draws in, and makes an impact on a neutral color scheme.

Designer (Next Slide): @meganhoppdesign

The diversity in these innate works can only be achieved by hand. Heather Jozak’s finishes add rich, enduring touches. It’s easy to see why a quality finish is in demand.

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