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Faux Painting - Base Coat, Glaze and Ragging Technique

by Guest Post on Dec 19, 2010

Ragging is a faux finish technique that uses a rag to produce a mottled decorative effect. Ragging can be done negatively where the rag is use to remove the glaze, or ragging can be done positively where the rag is used to apply the glaze to the wall. Either way, you choose to do it, ragging is a simple faux finish that most DIY'ers can pull off without too much trouble.

Positive Ragging

The easier of the two ragging methods, usually done with latex glaze and paint. Positive ragging technique consists of a base coat and one or two (or more if desired) colors to be ragged on over the base coat with a paint and glaze mix.

Choosing colors

A simple color scheme consisting of using two or three colors in the same color family. For instance, you might choose two or three hues of beige, one for the base coat and the other two to be ragged on with a paint/ glaze mix. You can make the base coat the darkest of the three or the lightest of the three colors, each way will have a slightly different look. You can finish the whole thing off with a thin whitewash ragging to blend and soften all the colors together if you wish. Try out your color choices on a piece of illustration board and make a sample of your finish before beginning on the actual room itself.

Base Coat, Glaze and Ragging Technique

With ragging on, your base coat will show and play a big part in the overall finish. The base coat should be flat or satin latex paint. Paint the whole room with the base coat and allow it to dry.

The glaze is added to the ragged on layers to give the paint some transparency and to help the paint hold a pattern. You can use the same sheen for your ragging as you did for your base coat or use a slightly higher sheen to give the technique some shimmer and a bit more interest. For instance, if you used a flat for a base coat you could use satin for one of your ragged on colors and semi-gloss for a second ragged on color.

Ragging is done by dipping the rag directly into the paint and ringing the rag to remove the excess paint. After dabbing the rag against a roller grid, you take the rag to the wall and begin applying the paint to the wall with the rag in a patting fashion. Turn the rag as you go to avoid repetitious patterns from the rag. Rag the paint on in a random manner, stepping back from time to time to check the overall balance of the technique. Don't fill in too much with the first color, leave a lot of open base coat showing for your second layer and ragging color. Apply the second layer of ragging after the first layer has dried. Your goal is a graded mottled look that is well balanced and pleasing.

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