Using decorative paints and techniques allows you to transform any wall or surface into an artistic masterpiece. There are many different techniques you can try including stippling, wood graining, ragging and fresco painting.
Rag rolling is a technique that involves rolling a rag up and down on wet painted walls to add texture and depth. It is subtle enough to blend with any aesthetic without overtaking the design.
Stenciling is one of the oldest decorative painting techniques. This technique involves using a stencil (typically made of cardboard or plastic) to create an image on a surface. Paint is pressed through the holes in the stencil, which allow color to pass through. The result is a pattern or design that can be repeated across the surface of your walls.
The earliest known stenciling was found in cave paintings that show hand prints outlined with pigment. Other examples of this art form can be found in Japanese silk dyeing techniques like Katazome.
Besides stenciling, there are many other decorative painting processes that can give your wall a unique look. These include frescoing (gives your walls the look of parchment), ragging (creates a mottled appearance by rubbing wet glaze or paint with fabric) and stippling (pouncing with a brush or a stippling block, while a glaze is wet, which creates tiny dots). These and other decorative painting techniques can add interest and personality to any room.
The color wash technique is an easy way to add warmth and character to walls. Like a stain, it soaks into the painted surface to create a one-of-a-kind finish that can add depth and interest to any room. This is a great technique for beginners because it doesn’t require precise line work.
With a little practice, you can also create a more dramatic look with the color washing technique by layering darker shades of paint. It’s important to have a test board before you start this project to make sure your colors match.
Decorative painting can be applied to any surface that can be repainted, including floors, furniture and (with scaffolding) ceilings. Some techniques, such as faux finishes and stenciling, require a professional, but others are perfect for the do-it-yourselfer. With the right skills and paint, a variety of creative designs can be made for any wall. From ethereal and airy to moody and dramatic, the possibilities are endless with a decorative paint technique.
Like stencilling and color washing, rag rolling is a decorative paint technique that gives your walls a natural texture and weathered look. This painting technique is easy enough for beginners to master and requires a few supplies, such as a primer, paint and glaze.
Start with a latex base coat of your wall’s color choice, then apply a light contrasting glaze with a sponge roller or rag. While the glaze is wet, rub it over your rag in a random pattern across the wall surface to create an uneven, mottled finish.
You can also do this with a specialized roller, which makes it easy to achieve a structured linear pattern that works well in corners and other tight areas. Just be sure to wear rubber gloves and mask off trim, door frames, windows and other surfaces that will not be painted. A quick wipe afterward will leave your walls ready for a fresh coat of paint.
Painting stripes on your walls allows you to create a unique vertical or horizontal pattern that suits your style. This technique also works well on doors and furniture.
Decorative painters often work from stencils and tracings or with patterns, but as they learn and develop their skills, many start to experiment with freehand drawing and painting, modifying designs or designing projects on their own. This is when decorative painting begins to move from craft to art.
Glazing is a transparent coating that’s tinted and applied over painted walls or other surfaces. It is often used to hide brush strokes or to create a texture, and it can add an element of depth or contrasting color to a room. It can be used with both latex and alkyd paints. Depending on the desired effect, glazes can be used with stenciled or hand-painted motifs. It can be used to emulate a variety of different finishes, from stone to marble to wood graining or trompe l’oeil.