Design & Décor: How to Color Wash Your Walls

Trying to find a faux finish that isn’t complicated but produces dramatic results? Search no more. Color washing is one of the easiest faux finishes and can transform any room instantly.

Items Needed

  • Latex paint base coat
  • Glaze
  • 4″ brush, rounded sponge, and/or cloth
  • Roller tray
  • Paint roller
  • Bucket of water

  • Latex gloves
  • Clean rags
  • Dropcloths
  • Painter’s tape
  • Cardboard
  • Varnish (optional)

You can color wash with 3 different tools – a rounded sponge, a brush or a cloth. A brush leaves lines in the finish for a textured look. A sponge or cloth creates a softer appearance. Try experimenting with a combination of the tools to create the look you want by brushing the glaze on and blending it with a sponge or cloth. Always experiment with your colors and tools before beginning any faux finish.

Wall sponge painting ideas 300x150 Design & Décor: How to Color Wash Your Walls

Design & Décor: How to Color Wash Your Walls

Color Washing

Glaze for color washing dries quickly; you might find it easier to work with a partner. Always wear latex gloves when applying.

  1. Remove all furniture. Spread dropcloths. Cover windows and moldings with painter’s tape..
  2. Apply your base coat and allow to dry completely..
  3. Mix glaze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fill a paint tray about one-third full.
  4. Lightly dip your washing tool in the glaze, and apply to a 1′ x 1′ section of wall. Blend until the glazing tool is dry. Use a circular or washing motion with a sponge or cloth. With a brush, you can create a variety of patterns. Just move the brush along the glaze lightly in whatever direction you prefer. Keep a clean rag handy to wipe off any glaze that drips.
  5. Repeat until the entire wall is completed. Do not stop and start again or change techniques because it won’t be a continuous blend with the same pattern.

Once the first layer of color wash has dried completely, you can add a second layer using the same or a different color. Keep in mind that the last coat of glaze is the most prevalent.

To protect your finish, you may want to apply a light coat of varnish, especially in areas exposed to heavy traffic or moisture.

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