Two Asian-Look Wall Techniques

Find out how to accomplish two Asian-theme paint effects: crisp grass cloth and exotic stylized clouds.
Asian Clouds Wall Project
Finished red asian clouds room Freehand designs in abstract cloud
patterns add to the Asian theme.

For centuries, Asian artists have captured nature's beauty in a unique, surrealistic style whose bold aesthetics, at once striking and serene, translate well to modern living.

These Asian clouds capture that style, and even if you are a novice artist, you can give them a try. Just express your creativity by painting a freehand design onto the wall.

The trick is to first draw the design on the base-coated wall using a colored pencil. When you are satisfied with the result, apply a stretchable automotive striping tape along the lines.

Brush an orange-red glaze mixture onto the wall using a horizontal dragging motion, then remove the tape to reveal the lines, seemingly etched in gold.

To increase the richness of the color, apply a dark brown stain to the entire wall. Use this technique to create any linear design or motif that complements your decorating style.


Basic Steps

Gel stain

  • Create design with tape
  • Drag glaze horizontally
  • Add thickened mixture
  • Remove tape and repeat
  • Apply gel stain with cloth

Gather Your Supplies

gold latex paint samplepainters tape

  • 2-inch blue low-tack painter's tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Stir sticks
  • Paint tray
  • Standard roller frame with 9-inch roller cover
  • Paints: gold satin-finish latex paint for base coat; red satin-finish latex paint for glaze coat
  • Colored pencil: tan
  • 1/4-inch plastic automotive striping tape
  • Crafts knife
  • Glazing medium
  • Plastic container with printed measurements
  • Brush: 4-inch chip
  • Minwax Aged Oak gel stain
  • Small paint pan
  • Rubber gloves
  • Lint-free cotton cloths


Step 1 create design with tapeStep 2 drag glaze horizontallyStep 3 add thickened mixtureStep 4 remove tape and repeatStep 5 apply gel stain with cloth

  1. Prep: Mask ceiling, baseboards, and trim with painter's tape.
  2. Paint the wall in the gold base color. Paint two coats if necessary. Leave tape on; let dry overnight.
  3. Sketch the design onto the wall with a colored pencil. Tape along the lines with striping tape. Pull gently on the tape to stretch it around curves, pressing it firmly to the wall as you go. Cut the tape with a crafts knife to prevent tearing. Burnish the tape with your finger.
  4. Mix 1 part red paint to 4 parts glazing medium in a plastic container. Using a 4-inch chip brush, drag the glaze mixture in horizontal strokes across the wall. Work down from the top of the wall. Keep the first coat light; let dry.
  5. Add paint to the glaze mixture, thickening it to 1 part paint and 1 part glaze. Drag the brush lightly across the surface, varying the amount of glaze mixture and the pressure on the brush to create small patches of heavier color.
  6. Remove the tape while the glaze is still wet, and repeat Step 3. Let dry.
  7. Pour gel stain into a small paint pan. Wearing rubber gloves, apply stain to the surface with a clean cotton cloth. Work in small areas, feathering the edges to avoid overlapping lines. Continue until the wall is completed. Remove tape; let dry.

Continued on page 2:  Grass Cloth Wall Project