Painting is the simplest way to add dimension and texture to your old tired looking walls and revive them with new character. There are lots of interesting ways to add color to your walls and glazing is a popular technique often used by professional decorators.
The natural beauty of any color is greatly enhanced when you use glazes to build more layers on your wall. The more layers there are to reflect your light the more intensely the color will develop.
Always wear disposable gloves when working with glazes and be aware of your rooms ventilation.
After your walls have been base coated, apply your glaze working left to right in a two or three foot wide vertical area. Starting at the top of the wall and working downward in this way will help the glaze to blend with your new coat while it is still wet. Using a partner can be especially handy. One person rolls on the glaze while the other person follows up with the finished ragging or combing technique.
Ragging is a painting technique that can be done in a variety of different ways. Linen or cotton rags make good rags but knit fabrics can provide an unusual look as well. Experiment with different rag fabrics, wadded plastic sacks turned inside out or even cheesecloth until you find the ragging pattern right for you.
You will be using rags to apply diluted paint and glaze to a wall or to texture glaze that is being newly placed on a wall. The harder you press your rag on the surface of new glaze the more glaze it will remove. Be sure and work in a random pattern and change the hold on your rag often to avoid a pronounced repetition in your method.
This technique produces a soft finish and is obtained using a very thin glaze. Color Washing is effective with both water and oil based paints and are a great way to cover up blemishes in your walls. You will want to choose colors that are very similar in tone. You are trying to build up many translucent layers to create depth and interest. First apply the glaze with a roller and lightly brush the walls with a wide soft bristle brush stroke. Try not to leave any brush hair lines. The glaze may dry quickly and make blending difficult, in that case use a acrylic paint retarded to slow down the drying time and give you time to work.
Using a large household sponge or a sea sponge you can sponge like a professional painter in a short amount of time. If the household sponge is to precise in the sponged look, use scissors to cut out pieces of the sponge to round off the corners and create a imperfect look. You can use a up and down bouncing method to apply your glaze or diluted paint to a wall or wipe the edge of the sponge across the surface in short random brush strokes. If applying glaze, start with a moistened sponge and wring it out as the paint builds up.
Dragging a comb through your wall glaze can create an interesting patina. You can pull the teeth of the comb through in a wavy pattern or in a straight line to simulate wood grains or basket weaving. Combing techniques require a steady hand that can continuously produce a smooth motion.