Monday, October 26, 2009

Softening Your Walls with Color Wash


by: Pamela Cole Harris
If you like the soft look of watercolors, why not try using a color wash on your walls? In addition to a softer color, color washing can accentuate the texture of your plaster or stucco walls. And it�s so simple that even I, a faux-finish-impaired decorator, can do it

There are two techniques for color wash application: sponge or brush. Each requires a slightly different glaze formula.

Sponge Technique:

Color Wash Glaze: Mix together 1 part latex paint and 6 parts water in a bucket.

1. Mask off (using painter�s tape) parts of the room which will not receive the wash. Its best to cover the floor with plastic drop cloths (especially if you are as messy as I am).

2. Prime the wall with a low luster latex paint and allow it to dry completely before the next step.

3. Dip the sponge into the color wash glaze and squeeze lightly.

4. Beginning in a lower corner, apply the glaze to the wall in short, overlapping strokes. Change the direction of the strokes frequently. Work on a small portion of the wall at a time (3 foot by 3 foot is a good size).

5. Repeat moving upward until all the wall is covered.

6. Allow to dry completely.


Brush Technique:

Brush Color Wash Glaze: 1 part flat latex paint, 1 part latex paint conditioner (available at your local home improvement center), and 2 parts water. Mix in a bucket.

1. Mask off (using painter�s tape) parts of the room which will not receive the wash. Its best to cover the floor with plastic drop cloths.

2. Prime the wall with a low luster latex enamel paint and allow it to dry completely before the next step.

3. Allow the paint to dry.

4. Dip a paintbrush in the glaze and remove the excess against the side of the bucket.

5. Apply the paint in a criss-cross pattern.

6. Brush over the surface repeatedly to soften the look of the paint.

7. Wipe excess glaze away, if necessary. (Better get the industrial-sized package of paper towels!)


There you have it! A soft paint look perfect for your newly decorated room�And since you have the technique down to a science, why not come and do my family room? Powder room? Closet?

About the author:

Pamela Cole Harris has been a writer and designer for 35 years (Yikes, has it been that long?) Enjoy her tongue-in-cheek approach to inexpensive interior design at: http://www.homeandgardenmakeover.comand http://www.diy-homedecor.com

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