I almost always apply texture to the objects in modeling phase, I need to apply pretextures to seeing the working result, I also illuminate almost completely to have an exact idea of where to go.
Most of the objects use the same mapping system, I apply an "Poly Select" modifier, I select polygons and I apply them a "UVWMapping", then I copy that "Mapping" clicking with the button 2 in the modifiers rollout, I apply another "Poly Select", I select other polygons, I paste the "mapping" and I move, I scale or I rotate the gizmo to avoid the "Tiling" efect. In the picture of the left there are very few repetitions in the vein of the wood.
Another thing that I make frequently it is to vary the output maps parameters , by this way I can obtain, for example, many wooden varieties with just one map. This also allows me to control with more precision of exact color that I need in each object.
The rasped varnish effect I have obtained with a "Blend" material, two different wood maps and an dirt map from the "Total Textures" CDs.
The effect is very realistic.
The sculpture has a "Composite" material formed by two "Concrete"
I move the UVWMapping gizmo making coincide the irregularities of the map with the geometry
The light focuses in the roof have a radial gradient map in the Self-Ilumination slot and a "Noise" map in Diffuse
To hide the tiling effect in the walls I select all the polygons of that wall, then, I make a detach of those polygons with the purpose of isolating them, once isolated ("hide unselected") I make a render in "Front" viewport using the "box selected" mode disabling shadows and "Environment" effects.
I put the render into Photoshop and there I edit it to dirty corners, to put graffitis, to rotate blocks of bricks, etc. finally I mapping in MAX with an "UVWMapping" planar to the whole wall.
To make some materials of the scene I used a blend material, in a slot I put a material of "Total Textures", in the other slot I put the same material but varying the output parameters of the diffuse map to make it a lot more dark and a dirt map the "Mask" slot
The step ladders have a "Splat" map that simulates painting splashes.