Glazing over a previously painted surface creates decorative effects such as antiquing or faux textures that resemble plaster, marble, fabric or suede. Also called color washing or sponging, different tools and techniques used to apply the glaze results in different decorative effects. Using a second glaze color adds additional depth and dimension to walls. Glazes can also be applied to furniture and cabinets.

Vintage room with Venetian plaster
credit: archideaphoto/iStock/Getty Images
Painting with glaze produces decorative faux texures such as Venitian plaster.

Rag Technique

Step 1

Prepare the area to be painted by removing or covering furniture and floors with a dropcloth or tarp. Clean the wall with warm soapy water to remove dirt and oils and allow it to thoroughly dry. Remove outlet and switch plate covers and apply painter's tape to baseboards, door and window casings and any other wall edges where the paint should stop at a clean line.

Step 2

Open the base color paint can and stir the paint thoroughly. Pour some of the paint into the paint tray. Load the paint roller with paint and apply two coats of the base color, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. Allow the base color to dry overnight.

Step 3

Mix four parts glaze to one part paint, or 1 gallon of glaze with 1 quart of paint in a plastic bucket or container. Stir the mixture well. Pour some of the glaze mixture into a paint tray.

Step 4

Put on the disposable gloves. Dip a soft rag into the glaze mixture. Starting in the top corner, apply the glaze to the wall using circular motions as if washing the wall. Vary the direction and motion of the wiping to make it look more natural and random.

Step 5

Stand back periodically to assess your work. Use a clean rag to remove color if it is too heavy in some areas. Continue the technique until the entire wall is covered.

Paintbrush Technique

Step 6

Follow Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3 of the rag technique.

Step 7

Dip the 4-inch paintbrush into the glaze mixture. Apply the glaze using a crisscross motion, forming an X-shape on the wall. Without reloading the paintbrush, continue painting over the X-shape with random crisscross strokes, spreading out the color and filling it in while also allowing the base color to show through. Reload the paintbrush when the paint begins to dry or the color runs out.

Step 8

Use a dry paintbrush to feather out the brush strokes and soften the color on the wall. Stand back periodically to evaluate the work you've completed. Continue the technique until the you have covered the entire wall.

Sponge Technique

Step 9

Follow the first three steps in the rag technique.

Step 10

Dampen the sea sponge in water, while wearing disposable gloves, thoroughly wringing out the excess. Dip the flattest side of the sea sponge into the glaze mixture. Blot off the excess paint onto craft paper or cardboard.

Step 11

Dab the sponge onto the wall in a random pattern, keeping the colored spots a few inches apart and filling in a 3-foot section at a time. Dab with a light pouncing motion and light pressure, turning your wrist with each pounce so different parts of the sponge make contact with the wall. Fill in the sections between the spots without reloading the sponge.

Step 12

Step back from the wall to periodically to assess your work. Leave irregular borders around each section of work space to avoid creating recognizable lines along the wall. Blend as necessary until you are happy with the results and continue until the entire wall is covered.