DIY Articles

DECORATIVE PAINTING TECHNIQUES


Add something unique to your home with various painting techniques (sponging, paneling, etc.) With a little instruction and a little practice you can let your creativity flow!

Glazes and Washes

The term "broken color" refers to the application of colors in broken layers on top of a base coat for texture. Glazes and washes are often used to achieve this effect. Glazes are generally more transparent than washes are. They are oil based paints with linseed oil. They are slower drying, and therefore are great for working on projects that may take a little longer to complete. Washes are great for the learning process. They are easier to use and clean up. Washes are latex paint with water added.

Sponging

Use a natural sea sponge for sponging. This gives better depth and texture.

To sponge, apply a base coat. Once it dries, use a damp sponge to tap on a wash or glaze. If you intend to sponge paint with several colors, be sure to let each color dry thoroughly before adding the next color. It is usually done so that the lighter colors are added to a darker colored base coat, but the reverse looks nice too.

Another sponging technique is called "sponging off". To do this, apply a glaze over the base coat. Then, before it dries, take a sponge to the glaze. This will allow the undercoat to show through.

Stippling

Stippling produces a more sued-like effect to the walls. To do this, apply your base coat. Once it dries completely, apply a different color coat on top in 12" wide strips from top to bottom. Then, before the paint is dried, take a large brush and jab at the wet paint. This will take off little pieces of paint, for a really fun effect. Occasionally, tap the brush onto a cloth to reduce paint build-up on the brush and allow for the best results. If you wish to add more colors to this, you can use the brush to very lightly dab new colors onto the wall, instead of removing already existing colors.

Ragging and Rag Rolling

Ragging and rag rolling can give walls the appearance of crushed velvet, watered silk, parchment, leather, and more.

To do this, apply a solid color base coat and let dry. Then, dip a crumpled piece of cloth into a glaze/wash. Now begin to dab the color onto the base coat. This is called "ragging on". The term "ragging off", like in sponging, refers to the removal of the glaze/wash to expose the base coat.

Rag-rolling is done just slightly different. To rag-roll, take a cloth and roll it lengthwise into kind of a rolling pin shaped piece. Dip the cloth into the glaze/wash and, in a rolling motion, apply it to the base coat. To "rag-roll off", apply a glaze/wash completely over the base coat, and then take the cloth, a little damp, and run it through the wet glaze. This will show the base coat underneath.

You can use other fabrics for cloths. Linen and other natural fibers are most common and work great.

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