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Paint Finish Formulations for Subtle Wall Effects

by Guest on Mar 26, 2010

Painting walls is the easiest way to change the look and feel of a room. Sometimes, though, flat paint is too bland for the look of the room, but bold effects are too much. That is when subtle wall effects come into play. There are a variety of subtle wall effects that can be created from paint finish formulations.

Rag Painting

Rag painting finishes are an easy way to add subtle color and depth to the walls of a room.To create a rag faux finish you will need two coordinating colors of paint and at least four rags.Paint the walls in the lighter shade of paint first, making sure that the coat is even and completely dry.Then, using a rag, apply the second, darker coat of paint to the walls by pressing it onto the wall surface.Use another rag and blot some of the darker paint off the wall.This creates a rag blotting effect that adds texture to the room's walls.Be sure that there is some of the lighter color peeking through after the top coat has been blotted off for the best effect.

Color Washing

Another easy, subtle paint wall effect is to create a color wash.Color washes are achieved with the use of a special glaze that dilutes the darker paint color.As with the rag painting technique, the first step is to paint the walls the lighter shade.After it has completed dried, apply the diluted color wash color to the walls with a brush.It should be applied in a sweeping, criss-cross pattern that adds movement and flow to the room's walls.For an even more subtle effect, use a top color that is just slightly darker than the base coat.It will still have a hint of movement, but there will be no clear delineation between the dark and light coats of paint.Paint stores and home improvement stores with paint departments both carry all the paint color wash formulations necessary to achieve the desired look.


Creating a fresco style wall is quite simple.It is a much used technique, because of its simplicity and almost instant beauty.The key to achieving a fresco style wall is to use a special fresco water wash glaze.It dilutes the color and makes it easy to apply.Applying the color is actually much easier than using a brush, as it is simply rubbed on with a cloth or rag.Since the paint is diluted, the effect is subtle and soft.It appears more like a watercolor than a well thought out faux finish plan.

No matter what type of paint formulation is chosen for a subtle wall effect, the important thing to remember is that a little bit of paint goes a long way to creating a soft, gentle look.The more subtle the colors are, the more subtle the paint finish will be.Take the time to experiment with the look on a piece of board or a leftover piece of drywall before attempting it on the walls of the room being repainted.It will save time and frustration if the first attempts are not to your liking.With a little time and effort, the room will have a brand new, subtle wall look.

Veronica Smith, writes for AmericanArtisanArt.com and has many ideas for bringing the beauty of wall art metal and contemporary metal wall art to your interiors.

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