Faux Painting Techniques- Color Washing

 If you’re looking for a way to give your home a professional designer look without the expense of hiring one, there is a relatively simple faux painting technique that can transform ordinary walls into extraordinary walls. Color washing, also known as glazing, is a type of decorative painting that creates a multi-dimensional, textured effect to walls, ceilings or any surface it is applied to. The technique involves a two-step process where a base color is layered underneath a second glaze color. Various visual effects are created depending on the method used to apply the glaze mixture.

One of  the most straightforward techniques is to apply the glaze mixture with a soft, damp rag. This typically results in a soft, mottled or marbled look that is subtle, yet elegant:   

The lighter base coat can be applied with a paint roller. Water based, latex paint is the easiest to work with.  After the base coat is completely dry,  the wall will be ready for the glaze. Clear glaze can be mixed with your choice of latex paint or you can buy a tinted or pre-mixed glaze. To apply the glaze, dip a damp rag into the mixture and begin to wipe the color onto the wall in a circular motion, just as if you were cleaning the wall.  Keep extra rags on hand in case you make a mistake or need to thin the color out more.    
For a more textured look, a brush or a sea sponge can be used:
Eclectic Bedroom design by Phoenix Interior Designer Chris Jovanelly Interior Design

When applying glaze with a brush, start with a large “X” pattern, about 12 inches tall and wide. Continue to fill in the space using criss cross brush strokes until the color is blended with the base color showing through. Go back over the area with a clean dry brush to feather and soften any brush strokes that remain.

 If you choose to use a sponging  technique, wet the sponge with water and then wring it out  thoroughly. Dip the damp sponge into the glaze and dab the color on the wall. Continue blotting color in random patterns, leaving several inches between each blot until there is no more glaze left on the sponge. Go back and fill-in the empty spaces without reloading the sponge. Always work in small sections when color washing, in areas about 4′ x 4′.    


Eclectic Living Room design by New York Interior Designer Kimberly DesJardins, KDI – KDIA

 You can pick up sample boards at paint stores such as Sherwin-Williams that you can use to practice faux painting techniques like color washing.  Once you have your favorite technique mastered, you can give your walls an artistic makeover that will certainly impress guests at your next dinner party!   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *