Painting is one of our favorite things ever: the smooth feel of a paint-dipped brush against a fresh wall, just begging for a little color is something that gets us every time. However, your standard painted wall can get a little boring when done over and over, and what you need is a little texture to liven things up a bit.
Luckily, quite a few painters before us have had this exact same idea, and there have now been an almost infinite number of methods invented to impart some pizazz and texture to a plain painted wall. While some of these are pretty difficult and best left to advanced painters, there are plenty of textures out there that just take a little bit of instruction and an easy-to-come-by tool or two to use in your own home!
If that sounds like your kinda painting method, you’ve come to the right place, because today is all about simple, easy textures on the Prestige Painting blog. For all of these, we’ll assume that you have taped up and otherwise prepared the room for painting (remember ventilation!).
Rag Rolling (and Sponging)
One of the easiest textures to create, rag rolling is also one of the more fun, funky and effective at spicing up a plain wall. For this one, you’ll want a wall that already has a base coat, usually of a neutral color such as beige or white.
- Dip a rag or other bit of fabric you don’t mind ruining into paint.
- Squeeze the excess paint out and roll the rag into a ball or cylinder.
- Roll the ball on the wall!
- Change directions to create different patterns and use different fabrics for different effects.
- Make sure you go over the area with more than one roll if you didn’t cover enough of the area.
- Try this same technique with a sponge for a different effect. Natural sea sponges will create a different look than synthetic ones.
- You can also “rag off” or “sponge off” paint, meaning you roll on paint with a normal roller and then use a rag or sponge on it as you would above to actually remove paint in a pattern, giving it texture.
Crinkle Paper Texture
One of our favorites! This one requires you to have some paint and art tissue paper, and it creates a quite striking effect. You can do this right on drywall if you want, though it works on an already painted wall (but will fully cover whatever is behind it).
- Paint a part of your wall a bit larger than the size of the pieces of tissue paper you have. Starting in one corner is usually easiest.
- Crinkle a piece of the paper and then open it up to give it a texture.
- Press the open paper against the painted area, smoothing it out as you like with your hand.
- Paint over the tissue, smoothing it out further if you need and removing excess paper around corners and edges by tearing it.
- Repeat this in a horizontal line from where you started and then moving up to the next row. Make sure you overlap the edges of each piece of tissue paper so there aren’t any holes in the texture.
Another super-easy one, this texture only takes paint, glaze, a wide brush, a metal comb and a pre-painted base coat to achieve a beautiful look similar to grasscloth.
- Mix a paint that’s a bit darker than your base coat with your glaze in a three parts glaze to one part paint combination.
- Paint over the base coat evenly.
- Drag a wide, dry brush over the coat you just painted, going from top to bottom. Remove paint periodically from the brush as it builds up on the bristles, as you’re trying to remove a small amount of paint from the wall to give it a texture.
- Use your metal comb held vertically to scrape lightly across the wall horizontally in a line from left to right. Repeat this process one line at a time, covering the whole wall and overlapping a little with each stroke.
Another dragging texture, this simple idea uses a wall with a pre-applied base coat, paint, water, glaze, a paint pad and a bristle brush to give a similar effect to the grasscloth, though it comes out looking more like a fine fabric.
- Mix your paint, water in glaze in a one part paint, two parts water, one part glaze mixture.
- Spray some water on your paint pad to give you more control.
- Put your paint pad into the paint/water/glaze mixture and apply it to the wall in one continuous vertical stripe. Only do one stroke at a time, because you will need to move to the next step almost immediately.
- Over the stripe you’ve painted, drag the bristle brush vertically down the stripe, creating lines where it drags. Do this over the whole stripe, overlapping the edges of your brushing and wiping the paint mixture off the brush as it builds up.
- Repeat this process until the entire wall is covered and let it dry.
- You can then do the same thing horizontally if you like, applying the paint mixture over the first layer in horizontal stripes.
Faux Stone Texture
To create a look that resembles a stone wall, all you need is a little drywall compound, a painting trowel, paint, glaze and a few clean rags.
- Using the trowel, apply a layer of drywall compound to the wall that’s about ¼ of an inch thick. This doesn’t need to be flat or super even. Let this set for about half an hour.
- Take your towel and press it flat slightly into the compound, then pull away, leaving the impression of the trowel.
- Smooth over the peaked parts with the trowel, leaving them flat with a crater where the trowel was pushed into the wall. You can even give the edges a bit of a spin or swirl if you want a funkier texture.
- Repeat this over the whole wall, one next to the other.
- Let this set for at least 24 hours, preferably 48.
- Mix your paint and glaze in equal parts.
- Use the above rag or sponge method to apply the paint and glaze to the wall.
Smooshing is a technique that’s meant to be used with glazes when they’ve been painted over a wall before they dry.
- While the glaze is still wet, take a plastic sheet and press it against the wall.
- Squish, wrinkle or move the sheet around a little to create a texture, or just pull it off without doing any of that.
- Let it dry to create a marble-like look!
Other Drywall Compound Ideas
Being a thick substance, you can create quite a few different textures with drywall compound that can then be painted over. The most effective way to find different textures is to try out different tools on the compound that will create different shapes, such as: a trowel with teeth, a notched trowel, aluminum foil (makes peaks), a paint roller, brushes of different shapes or a whiskbroom.
Another simple solution is to simply buy a paint with a built-in texture. These are easy to find at hardware stores and have textures like popcorn, “knockdown,” sand and smooth.
Now, as we mentioned, these are all very basic textures, but they all look spectacular when done right in the right room. Try one out on a piece of cardboard or flat scrap wood if you want to make sure you can do it right, then move on to the big project! And, if you think you might have messed up a little or you want something a bit more complex, your friends at Prestige Painting are always only a phone call away.