Specialty Painting Techniques Add Wow to Your Walls

Danielle Blue/flickrWhy settle for boring walls when instead you can make them WOW? Today there are tons of exciting specialty painting techniques and finishes to help you create very personal spaces in your home. Here are detailed descriptions of a baker's dozen of the trendiest.

Chalkboard – Turn your wall into a gigantic writing (or drawing!) pad with chalkboard paint. This specialty paint is easy to apply, and you’ll end up with a good-looking, convenient place for shopping lists, family messages ... or just doodling.

Color Washed – Lime wash is an eco-friendly mixture of limestone putty, water, and natural pigments. Applied atop mineral-based primer with a dedicated color wash brush, it creates a soft, richly weathered look. HEALTH BENEFIT: Lime wash is hypoallergenic and reputed to improve indoor air quality.

Crackled – A wall or other surface freshly coated with latex is treated via a crackle medium. When the crackle glaze has dried, a second coat in a contrasting color is applied. The result is an intriguingly rough, crinkled texture, which reveals both paint hues.

Faux – The sky’s the limit when it comes to contemporary paint’s uncanny ability to mimic luxurious or earthy natural substances such as stone, silk, denim, leather, or wood. Roll on "as is," or use together with joint compound for realistic texture.

Glitter – Glitter paint is designed to be used as a topcoat over a painted surface. Containing bits of glitter for sparkle and shine, this specialty paint adds a touch of magic to the wall of a child’s bedroom or a whimsical living room.

Layered – You need no special equipment to create a striking, yet subtle, decor effect with layering. Simply paint 3 areas of a room (usually the lower wall, upper wall, and ceiling) 3 different shades of the same hue, similar to the color block method used for fashionable apparel.

Metallic – Jazz up a bit of trim, an accent wall, or an entire room with shimmering tones of silver, gold, bronze, or copper. Just brush on metallic paint or glaze to create the sheen of a regular or hammered metal finish.

Mottled -- To produce an artistically mottled surface, dab, roll, swirl, or drag one or more layers of colored glaze irregularly over a base coat. Use a variety of tools -- such as a two-part roller, a chip brush, or even a clean, absorbent rag -- to vary the texture.

Pearlescent – You can purchase pearlescent paint that will give a lustrous, pearl-like sheen to your wall or trim, reflecting light in charming rainbow hues.

Sponged – Sponge painting has been fashionable for a while now … and no wonder. Dabbing paint with a natural sponge – or rolling it on with one of the handy new sponge rollers -- gives your walls a unique elegance with ease.

Stenciled Stenciled wall decor continues its enormous wave of popularity. Paint over cutout patterns to produce an attractive design on walls, borders, even floors and ceilings … wherever you need some extra specialty painting techniques pizzazz!

Strie (AKA “Dragged”) – From the French word for “streaked,” this special paint finish gives a subtle impression of stripes or crosshatching similar to the weave of fabric. Apply paint with a pad, then texture by dragging a dry bristle brush through the wet paint.

Venetian Plaster – When you’re planning a decorative wall refinish, consider Venetian plaster, which is plaster blended with marble dust for polished 3-dimensional flair. Apply it with a drywall knife or trowel, then burnish to produce a smooth, attractive, durable surface.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.

Updated December 20, 2018.

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