Paint effects using emulsion

Simple paint effects can be easily achieved by a professional painter and decorator ( using water-based emulsion paints, and add an attractive finish to your walls. It’s important to make sure that your walls are adequately prepared before you start decorating them with effects. You will need to apply a basecoat of silk emulsion – matt emulsion will not work, as it is very porous, and will make it hard to move any glaze over the top to create an effect. Make sure that the basecoat is completely dry before you apply any effect, and cover any furniture and carpets in the room – as paint effects can be slightly messy!


This is one of the simplest decorating techniques. Create your colourwash by thinning emulsion paint – one part paint to four-eight parts water. Use a large paintbrush, and paint the wash onto the wall in a random criss-cross fashion. The more you brush, the softer the brush strokes will become. You can add another coat of paint once the first is dry to deepen the effect. Alternatively, you could add the second coat in a different colour to add contrast and tone to your walls.


For this method, you will actually need to use a large sponge! There are specialist sponging glazes available, but you can use thinned emulsion paint, as with colourwashing just as easily. You will also find this far cheaper. Wet your sponge, and allow it to expand to its full size before wringing it out until it is very slightly damp. Dip the sponge into your glaze and dab it over the surface with light pressure. Make sure to overlap each dab. You will need to clean your sponge regularly or else it may become clogged, and lead to splodges rather than textures!

Rag Rolling

Make up your glaze using diluted emulsion paint, and apply this to your wall using a brush or roller. Then take a very slightly dampened cotton rag or duster, and roll it into a sausage shape. Now roll this randomly across the wet glaze. This will remove areas of glaze and create beautiful patterns. You can even buy special rag rollers that are made specifically to create this painting effect.


For this painting effect, you will again be applying an even layer of glaze over the basecoat. You will then need a rubber paint effects comb to create the effect. Drag the comb across the surface. You can use random or even strokes, but try to keep the pressure of the comb as even as possible throughout the process.


This is an extremely simple process, which is good for bringing out the inner child in us all! In spattering, you are simply splashing wet paint onto a dry surface. You will need a short stick that you can comfortably hold in your hand. You then knock a loaded paintbrush against the stick, so that droplets are sprayed onto the basecoat. The spatter effect can be easily moderated, depending on how much paint you have on your paintbrush, and how hard you knock the brush against the stick.

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