Master Craftsman Ronald Layman

Master Craftsman Ronald Layman

A Fourth-Generation Decorative Finisher and Designer

Ronald Layman’s family has been in the painting trade since the 1890s. It all started with his great-grandfather Joseph (Grandpa Joe) Wilhyde, a Frederick County farmer who traveled by horse and buggy painting barns as well as exteriors and interiors of the regions’ farmhouses. Grandpa Joe’s son, Roger Layman, and grandson, Ron (Ronald’s father) continued to expand the company and hone their faux finishing skills, and later began to restore church interiors and other historic buildings.

Watching, Listening and Learning the Trade

As a youngster, Ronald spent his summers watching his father hand paint marble and wood grained finishes. His dad gave him small tasks — sweeping, scraping and sanding, telling him to keep his eyes and ears open and promising to one day teach his son the intricate painting techniques. After years of watching on the job, and learning all aspects of the business from the ground up, Ronald started his own painting company in 1996 and today employs 13 full-time decorative artists, plaster installers and carpenters.

A Casino Seals the Deal

After being asked by an area casino to do some faux painting work, Ronald was completely hooked and set forth on a dedicated creative path — one that would eventually bring him commissions from such prestigious clients as The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, and the International Monetary Fund, among others.

School’s Open

In 2001, Ron opened The Faux School, in historic Frederick, Maryland.  It’s become the premier destination where professional and amateur painters from around the world come to learn Venetian plastering, mural painting, marbling, and wood graining, as well as furniture and decorative finishing. Ron recently opened The Faux School’s second studio near Orlando, Florida.  Known for his expertise, unique talent and enthusiasm for teaching others, Ron’s energy is contagious as he passes on his skills, knowledge and tried-and-true techniques to the next generation of modern masters.

The Faux School Logo

The Faux School

501 n. Market St
Frederick, Maryland 21701

301-668-5110 | Email

Studio Hours

Monday–Friday: 9 am–5 pm
Saturday by appointment

Traditional Polished Venetian Plaster Instructions DVD


Traditional Polished Venetian Plaster Instructional DVD


Materials & tools, Acrylic Venetian plaster, Polishing wax, Trowel