Color Washing

If you thought color washing was a difficult paint technique to achieve, think again. I’ll tell you how easy it really is!

1. Choose two latex satin paint colors. A good piece of advice is to select colors in the same family. Then they complement each other, and the effect is subtle instead of overbearing.

2. Paint a base coat on the entire wall and allow it to dry completely.

3. Get a large shallow pan, some rags, latex gloves and a bucket of cool clean water.

4. Mix three parts paint to one part water for the topcoat.

5. Dip the rag into the mixture. Ring it out well, and then start washing it onto the walls. Use large random circles and work from top to bottom, and left to right. (Make sure that you step back from the wall every so often, so you can see where you need more paint or blending.) When your cloth gets too saturated rinse it off and wring it out really well or switch to another one.

6. To soften the look, use a clean damp rag to blend the paint more before it dries.


How do colors effect room size?

Generally, warm colors like reds, oranges, and yellows close in a space. Blues, greens, and violets tend to make a room look larger. Dark colors have a diminishing effect. Whites are always a good choice for making a room look larger.

My room has a chair rail and I am using two colors….?

This depends on the look you want to achieve. If you want an open, airy look, always paint the portion of the wall below the chair rail darker allowing the lighter color to dominate.

Should trim work be painted the same color as the walls…?

Use the same color to hide trim work, use a lighter or darker color to bring out the trim work and add highlights.

Will the paint I choose look lighter or darker on the wall?

Larger surfaces make the paint appear darker. As a general rule, always choose colors that are a shade or two lighter than what you want. Do keep in mind that colors can also appear lighter or darker depending on surrounding colors and lighting.

What is the best way to decide which color is best for my room?

Take color chips home to determine the color of your room. A nice technique is to hold the color chips in the daylight and at night so you will see how lighting will effect your color choices.

What color should I paint my ceiling?

White or off-white colors will create the illusion of having a higher ceiling and more open space. Whereas medium to dark colors will create the illusion of lowering the ceiling. Customarily, white or off-white tend to be used.

Will the paint actually match the color chip?

As a general rule, paint on a color chip will appear slightly lighter than when applied in a room. Always take into account the sheen of the paint, the lighting in the room, and other colors that are in the room.