The 7 Best Painting Techniques You Need to Know

These clever painting techniques are a no-fail way to transform your space

A single application of a new color of paint can drastically alter the look of your interior. If you take your paint job a step further and employ some creative techniques, the outcome will be a unique interior design. And, surprisingly, it doesn’t take an artistic genius to do this; all you need is some materials, some time, and a little bit of imagination. If you are looking to add a touch of subtle class or make a bold impression, the ideas below can help you update the inside of your home with style.

1. Color Washing:

Color washing involves layering two paint colors together to create a textural effect. Typically, this technique works best when you combine a lighter and darker version of the same color, such as light gray and dark gray, or complementary colors. If you choose mismatching colors or hues with too much contrast, it can make the wall look a bit messy.

All you need to do is paint a solid, semi-gloss base coat, then use a brush or sponge to sweep your two colors on randomly, allowing bare patches and brush strokes to show. To prevent your top paint colors from drying too quickly or thickly, it’s helpful to mix them with glaze to thin them out and keep them wetter longer.

2. Sponge Painting:

Sponge painting is an effortless approach that doesn’t necessitate any artistic skill. It also doesn’t consume a lot of time. Depending on how much of a difference you would like to make, you can either apply it to the existing wall color or use it on top of a new color. You simply need a sponge paint roller or a normal kitchen sponge and a paint color you prefer. Dip the sponge into the paint color and dab it all over the wall. You can create a thin layer for a delicate effect or a thicker layer to create an attractive, textured look.

3. Rag Rolling:

Similar to sponge painting and color washing, rag rolling is a great way to add some dynamic texture to your interior. And it tends to be a bit more subtle than the other two techniques, so it’s a great way to quietly elevate your look.

Rag rolling also might be the easiest paint technique of all; it quite literally involves taking a wet rag and rolling it in a top coat of paint. Once you dip the rag in paint, bunch it into random creases and folds, which will help to create the wall texture, then press it onto the wall. Since the first blots will be heavier, it helps to spread them out at first for a consistent appearance.

4. Ombre:

An ombre effect involves one paint color fading into another, usually from dark to light or vice versa. To create the gradual fading effect, you actually need three colors rather than two. The third color will be used in between the two main colors in order to create the effect.

Once you decide on your colors, measure and mark three equal horizontal sections of the wall, creating a bottom, middle, and top section. Then paint each section in a different color, leaving a couple inches of space between sections. After you paint these main sections, mix some of the bottom and middle paint colors and fill in the space you left between these sections. Then do the same with the middle and top colors.

5. Wall Stenciling:

Stenciling a wall offers a more affordable and customizable alternative to wallpaper accent walls. And there are endless stencil designs and patterns out there, so you’ll have no trouble finding the right fit for your aesthetic.

Once you find a stencil you like, choose a paint color that complements your existing wall color. Typically, people opt for their stencil pattern to be lighter than their existing wall color, but this is completely up to you and your preferences. Then simply use your stencil to paint on the new design.

6. Striping:

Painting stripes on the wall, either horizontal or vertical, can result in a variety of impacts depending on the thickness and shade of the stripes. If you’re looking for a bolder result, try using thicker stripes that stand out against the base shade. Thinner stripes in a more neutral tone can give a more delicate look. Painter’s tape combined with a ruler can be used to space out the stripes and paint every other section for a striped result. Vertical stripes give the feeling of taller ceilings, while horizontal stripes can make rooms seem wider.

7. Strie:

Speaking of vertical lines, that’s exactly what the Strie technique creates. However, these lines are much finer than striping, creating an effect that looks similar to linen. Strie is ideal for anyone who wants to add warmth and texture to their design, but it works particularly well in French country and cottagecore aesthetics.

To achieve the look, start by applying two coats of satin paint as a base, letting it dry for at least four hours. Then mix four parts glaze to one part paint. Use a roller to apply the mixture, then quickly run a wallpaper paste brush from floor to ceiling to create the Strie effect before the glaze dries.

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