This is the first article in a three part series on how to do a wash technique on your walls.
When someone asks me what they can do to bring a little creativity and life into a room without spending a fortune, the first answer is to do a paint technique.
Paint techniques can vary from rather simple wash techniques (rubbing a thin layer of glaze paint over a new coat of paint using mutton cloth), to more complicated suede paints, to extremely complicated marble techniques that should not be attempted without a thorough understanding of the types of paints that you can use, the sealers that should be used and a good artistic hand to actually combine all the different colours and paints to create something that looks like marble or granite.
In this series of articles, I will discuss how you can do a wash technique on a newly painted wall and how everything should be prepared.
In reality, you can do a wash technique on a wall that has previously been painted, provided that the paint is still in a very good condition, i.e. it must be clean, smooth, and without any marks, dents, or dust. The paint must be in a good condition because the glaze that you are going to use will accumulate in the rougher, untidy or damaged areas, and emphasise those areas, making it look unsightly and spoiling all your hard work.
One point that needs emphasising is that your walls should be smooth for the wash technique to work well. This in not a problem in most newly developed houses as their walls were Rhinolighted when the house was built. On the other hand, in a lot of older houses, the walls will have been done with a rough plaster that looks like long streaks running from the ceiling to the ground. In this case a technique might look blotchy and unsightly. However, depending on what you like, you can still get very creative with such walls.
The best ways to get a rough wall smooth is to use Rhinolite (only if the walls have never been painted before) or Plaster Skim (can be thinly applied over previously painted areas). I would strongly recommend using a specialist for this type of work.
I will continue this series from the assumption that you have smooth walls and that you have decided to give your walls a new coat of paint. I will describe the painting steps in detail in the next article entitled “Paint – more than just slapping a blotch on your walls”
About the author: Michael Pretorius is an experienced interior designer and owner of Creative Touches interiors. For more information you can visit www.creativetouches.co.za or call him directly on 082-392-3336