If you love the mottled look of a decorative paint finish, but aren't sure what "glaze" is, much less how to apply it, read on for some handy tips that will help you create a look you'll love.
Decorative painting has long been a prized skill of professional painters and decorators. But now, easy-to-use water-base glazing liquids put basic techniques, such as ragging, sponging, and combing, within the reach of the average do-it-yourselfer.
The concepts and supplies for decorative paint finishes are rather simple. The beauty is that the results aren't meant to be perfect. If you're not pleased with the result, you can wipe away -- or paint over -- mistakes.
Glazing liquid is the medium that gives decorative finishes their depth. Milky in appearance (see photo), it dries clear, makes paint transparent, is workable, and allows thin layers of color for a deeper, more professional look.
Historically, oil-base glaze recipes were used, and many professionals still use them. Oil-base advantages include more depth, more intense color, and a longer open time (the time a glaze stays wet on the wall), which allows blended, multilayer effects.
However, for simple applications, latex (water-base) products in paint or crafts stores work fine. They dry quickly and clean up with soap and water.
Before applying glaze to the wall, it's wise to experiment. Use sample boards (plywood or foam core) painted with your base coat to try colors, tools, and applications.
There are two basic ways to apply glaze -- a negative application or a positive application. In negative, you apply the colored glaze over the base coat with a paintbrush or sponge brush. Then you remove areas of glaze by rolling or dabbing it away, revealing the base coat. With a positive application, you dip the tool lightly in the colored glaze, wring it out, then lightly apply it to the wall.
Removing areas of applied glaze before it dries is a negative application (Photo 1). It reveals the base coat and generally results in stronger colorations and patterns.
Applying glaze to a painted wall with a tool is called a positive application (Photo 2). It generally results in lighter colorations and more subtle patterns.
Continued on page 2: Pick a Tool