Modern Mastery: Aliya Riaz

We discovered Aliya Riaz’ gorgeous decorative painting through Instagram. She shared many of her #ModernMasters projects with us and we were charmed with her artistry. We’re very happy to share the work of her studio, Portfauxlio, Inc., here today as part of our ongoing Modern Mastery series.

Modern Mastery: Aliya Riaz of Portfauxlio | Decorative Painting Feature on the Modern Masters Blog

Artist: Aliya Riaz of Portfauxlio

Artist Aliya Riaz of Portfauxlio in Chatham, NJ, Is in love with the decorative arts. Every day and every project brings something new to get her creative juices flowing. She especially enjoys solving design dilemmas either as part of a design team or with the client directly to bring an abstract idea to life. When not busy with projects, she has a line of painted Anaglypta wallpaper that can be custom ordered or made from existing samples.

Aliya also finds great joy in teaching decorative finish workshops. She shares, “I never know who learns more – my students or I. Whether it is individual instruction or a group, I love helping students with decorative finishes, gilding, découpage and, more recently, working with foils. Having taught so many, a lot of my students stay in touch long after class. It’s interesting to track how they run with the knowledge and take it in different directions to suit their own personal endeavors.”

Custom Anaglypta Wallpaper is sold by the roll by artist Aliya Riaz of Portfauxlio | Modern Masters Metallic Paints | Decorative Painting Feature on the Modern Masters Blog

A view of the custom anaglypta rolls that Aliya Riaz paints and sells. She frequently uses our Metallic Paint Collection to help create them.

Modern Masters Venetian Plaster on ceiling with a beautiful Bronze Metal Leaf pattern | Project by Aliya Riaz of Portfauxlio

This ceiling was rendered in a dusky blue color using a base of our Venetian Plaster. It was waxed and polished after the design was put in place using bronze metal leaf.

Gorgeous Metallic Ceiling with a Raised Ornamental Pattern by artist Aliya Riaz of Portfauxlio | Decorative Painting Modern Mastery Feature | Interior Designer: Rachel Kapner | Modern Masters Blog

Over a field of Platinum Metallic Paint, Ms. Riaz cut a stencil based on the design of the window fabric. The stencil was painted using Statuary Bronze Metallic Paint and Glass Bead Gel. The interior designer on the project was Rachel Kapner of Creative Wallcoverings and Interiors. Beautiful!


I would be hard pressed to say which Modern Masters Product is my favorite and it would be even harder to come up with the best color – though I do tend to use a lot of Warm Silver Metallic Paint. From the Dead Flat Varnish to the Metallic Plaster, my decorative finishes are enhanced in every way by the entire Modern Masters product line.

A mix of Metallic Plaster and Metallic Paint was employed to match the cap of this lovely light fixture | Project by Aliya Riaz of Portfauxlio | Modern Masters Blog Feature

A mix of Metallic Plaster and Metallic Paint was employed to match the cap of this lovely light fixture.

Modern Masters Metallic Plaster over Metal Leaf Wall Finish | Beautiful Decorative Paint Treatment by Aliya Riaz of Portfauxlio | Modern Mastery Series

This light and beautiful bath wall treatment has our Metallic Plaster over metal leaf.


My clients fell in love with the ceiling of a suite they stayed at in The Four Seasons Hotel, Milan – most of which is a 15th century converted convent. Armed with no pictures, they wanted me to recreate the ceiling of that suite in their New Jersey dining room. One challenge was that instead of 14′ high ceilings, we had only 9′ to work with, so the details had to be more delicate.

After a great many discussions, I drew up the plans. We started with a flat white ceiling. Aided by gifted woodworker Robert Bittner, I put into place each piece of applied compo molding (painted and gilded) using a palette of colors my clients loved. It was a labor of love and took well over a month to complete, along with the lime plaster walls, gold leaf gilding and using Modern Masters Metallic Paints on parts of the ceiling. It will remain one of my favorite projects not just because of how it all came together but because of the belief and trust placed in me by my clients.

Ornamental Ceiling Designed and Painted by Aliya Riaz of Portfauxlio | Modern Masters Metallic Paint | Modern Mastery Series

Ornamental Ceiling by Aliya Riaz of Portfauxlio | Modern Masters Metallic Paints | Decorative Painting and Finishing Feature for the Modern Mastery Series

Gorgeous close-up of an ornamental ceiling designed and created by artist Aliya Riaz of New Jersey studio, Portfauxlio | Part of a feature of the Modern Mastery Series showcasing incredible decorative finishing projects and surfaces | Modern Masters Blog


Paying it forward helps us all. If Plan A doesn’t work out, you still have plans B through Z to work on! We decorative artists are known for thinking on our feet and in most cases come up with ingenious ideas and solutions. I find our community is amazingly supportive and have learned to reach out for help when needed.

Gorgeous Modern Masters ShimmerStone finish on Walls | Project by Aliya Riaz of Portfauxlio | Interior Design by Mary LaVecchia | Modern Mastery Series

Stunning Coffered Ceiling with Metallics and Gilding and ShimmerStone Plaster Wall Finish | Decorative Painting by Aliya Riaz of Portfauxlio in New Jersey | Interior Design by Mary LaVecchia |Modern Masters Blog Feature

This project was done in a private residence in New Jersey. The walls were plastered using ShimmerStone. The beautiful plaster finish provided the perfect shimmery neutral backdrop to the vaulted coffered ceiling, which is about 25 feet high. The interior designer on the project was Mary LaVecchia of Creative Wallcoverings and Interiors.

We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the beautiful decorative painting work of Aliya Riaz! She is truly quite versatile, as is her finishing work. If you’d like to keep up with her studio, be sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Houzz, as well as her Portfauxlio website. Many thanks to Ms. Riaz for sharing her exquisite Modern Masters projects with us. We look forward to seeing many more and keeping up with your amazing studio!






Product Spotlight: Warm Silver Metallic Paint

Our Metallic Paint Collection is used the world over for a multitude of surfaces and one of the most popular colors is Warm Silver.  It adds a bit of warmth to the coolness of silver without losing its personality and works well with so many design styles. It is an opaque color which means it provides excellent coverage without tarnishing — no wonder it’s one of our best sellers!  We thought we’d showcase a few projects from our friends with this very versatile hue.

PB&J StoriesMetallic Paint always looks amazing on ceilings!  Here, DIYer Pamela from PB&J Stories rolled the Warm Silver Metallic Paint in a chevron stripe pattern for her little girl’s nursery.  It’s so fun, elegant and unexpected — we love it!  Be sure to see more of this beautiful space in Pamela’s post on using metallic paint for a nursery ceiling.

Stenciling with Metallic Paint

You can also use metallic paint to stencil. Depending on your design goal, you can soften the pattern with the metallic paint like decorative artist Tiffany Alexander did above. Or, make it a strong focal point as decorative painter Kari Caldwell did with the allover stencil pattern below. Both are equally lovely uses of the Warm Silver metallic paint and yet so different. Gotta love that versatility!

Allover Stenciling with Modern Masters Metallic Paint

Of course, our Metallic Paint Collection is not just for walls and ceilings…

Painting a Light Fixture with Metallic PaintOne of the best ways to transform and reinvigorate a light fixture is to simply paint it with metallic paints. Chandeliers and sconces are a popular choice and painting the ceiling medallions that surround and enhance a light fixture will yield gorgeous results as well. Here, Stephanie Jones from Me & Mrs. Jones did a DIY makeover with a rusted, old candelabra by using Warm Silver Metallic Paint. The results were so pretty, she used them for her daughter’s wedding reception. Now that’s trash to treasure.

Metallic Paint Highlights Furniture DetailsWarm Silver Metallic Paint — any of the colors in our metallic paint collection, really — can be used to both highlight furniture details and paint the furniture itself to produce a wonderful, lovely shimmer.  Artist Peter Panagiotakakos of European Faux Finishes embellished the standing sink above — doesn’t the Warm Silver look perfect against the rich wood?  Our friend Jennifer from The Magic Brush says her most talked-about furniture finish is created with an aged Warm Silver and you can spy it below. Just gorgeous.

Aged Warm Silver Metallic Paint on Furniture

Has our Warm Silver lighted your imagination with possibilities? We hope so! Of course, our Metallic Paint Collection has over a hundred color choices for you to choose from that look spectacular on so many surfaces — you really can’t go wrong! Be sure to visit our Modern Masters Pinterest boards and Facebook fan page for even more project ideas! Have a creative day!