Transform a room in a weekend using DIY glazing techniques to give the walls a designer makeover
Create easy paint effects using simple glazing techniques
For less than $100, you can make over a room in a weekend. Here are three decorative finishes that look unique but were created using the same inexpensive method of masking a wall and applying a glaze finish.
Masking and glazing are easy techniques to DIY but you need patience as each finish requires multiple layers of paint and careful applications of tape.
You can complete the revamp in a day, but it’s better to set aside an entire weekend to leave plenty of drying time between coats of glaze.
The first step for each look is to paint the wall with the base coat colour. For this you’ll need typical supplies like a stepladder, drop sheet, brush and roller.
Next you mask off the wall with tape then mix up glazes in the colours of your choice and paint the design.
Making a glaze is as simple as mixing paint with an extender, varying the ratios to change the opacity.
Working with glaze
Glaze is a thin layer of transparent colour spread over a painted surface to change the tone. To make it, mix water-based paint with an extender like Floetrol Acrylic Paint Conditioner, $52 for 4L (floodaustralia.net).
Depending on the ratio of paint to extender used, glaze varies from transparent to nearly opaque. For these designs we used acrylic paint, including metallics.
To help avoid the lap marks that can show up when you pounce over dried glaze, we chose a low-sheen base coat for the walls.
This helps because the glaze won’t soak in and is easier to move around.
1. Mix the glaze in a paint bucket, using a measuring cup to get the ratios right but don’t worry about being exact, as you can add water to thin the glaze for more workability. Don’t thin the paint so much that the glaze runs down the wall.
2. Layer the coats of glaze on top of one another, leaving at least a few hours between coats so the glaze is dry to touch.
3. Test the glaze to see if it’s ready for another coat by applying and removing masking tape in an inconspicuous place to make sure it won’t pull glaze off the wall.
4. Apply the glaze with a sponge or paintbrush in small sections, working fast to prevent the leading edge from drying out.
It’s a good idea to work in pairs, with one person applying the glaze and the second person pouncing it to get the desired finish.
TIP When working with glaze, err on the side of applying too little, as you can always add another coat.
Using a sponge
Decorative paint finishes often call for specialised sponges but we found that the inexpensive humpbacked sponges from hardware stores work best.
These sponges leave a soft, subtle texture that works for the pouncing technique used here.
Apply the glaze to the wall with a sponge or a brush, then spread it out in a thin, even layer with a second sponge.
Practice the glaze technique first, using the sponge to create layers of glaze.
TIP: A painted piece of plasterboard is ideal but you can also use MDF or thick cardboard.
Finishing right up to an inside corner with a sponge is difficult. You’ll get uneven coverage or a sloppy build-up of glaze.
A better technique is to finish within 10mm of the corner with the sponge. While the finish is still wet, use a dry brush in a pouncing motion to work the glaze into the corner.