Decorative Paint Finishes

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Decorative finishes add texture, style and originality to any home. Here we take the mystery out of the techniques used by professional decorators and show you how to put mystique into your living space.

For the types of decorative finish discussed here, the process involves first applying an opaque base coat with an eggshell/satin sheen followed by layers of different color applied in a pattern or thinned as a wash. (Because flat paint is porous, it doesn’t work well as a base coat for decorative painting, but it may be used as a topcoat.)

Either latex or solvent-based paint can be used, but you must use one type only. Latex offers the advantage of easier clean-up; however, alkyd paints slower drying time allows you more time to work the pattern before it hardens.

These are three types of popular finish techniques:

Sponging
Rag Rolling
Stenciling

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