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4 Steps to Color Washing Your Wall

Are the walls of your home looking a little bland? That is a common theme among homeowners, particularly those who purchase new homes, as most modern houses are painted with neutral colors when they are built. Or maybe you have had your home for several years and are tired of the same old color. If either of these scenarios apply, then maybe it’s time for a change. One of the popular painting styles today is color washing your walls. Color washing is a method of painting haphazardly to create a rough, old-world, chic look. The good news is that it does not require a lot of money or effort to achieve this look. In order to successfully complete this project, you will need the following items:

rolling yellow paint in paint tray

  • Paint tray
  • China-bristle brushes
  • Latex paint (these will be used as your base coat and top coat colors)
  • Latex glaze
  • Water bottle
  • Paint buckets or plastic containers
  • Tarps
  • Paint roller

Once all the materials have been purchased, cover any furniture or other appliances with the tarps and start the project.

Pre-wash the walls

The first thing that needs to be done is to pre-wash the wall or walls that are going to be painted. Pre-washing the walls will remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated over the years. Even if it is not visible to the naked eye, any leftover dirt will show once the wall is painted. Use the water bottle and a damp rag to wash the wall thoroughly, and if needed, spackle any holes that may be in the wall before beginning to paint.

Paint on the base coat

Paint a line around the trim, ceiling, and corners using a smaller paint brush. This will help to section off the work space. Then grab the roller and paint on the inside of the section that you created with your base coat. One coat should be enough unless the color that you are replacing shows through, then add a second coat. The base color that you choose is optional, but to truly capture that old-world feel, try an egg-shell color as the base.

Add the first coat

This is where the magic starts happening. Take one of the containers and mix the top coat paint with the glaze. This Old House recommends that you use two parts paint to one part glaze and stir thoroughly. Then grab a paint brush and paint an "X" in the middle of the wall. Then continue to paint the wall by making random marks throughout the wall. This is where color washing differs from regular painting. You are not painting in even strokes, but rather, painting in a zigzag fashion. Once you have finished, let the wall dry before applying the second coat.

Apply the second coat

After your wall dries, it is time to apply the second coat. To apply the second coat, repeat the last step. When you are finished, let the paint dry. Be sure to rinse out all the brushes and rollers used and store away any unused paint for later.

Color washing is an easy paint job that will add life to drab walls. If you are still uncertain about what to do or would rather have a professional do the work for you, contact Major Painting today.

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