Post details: Decorative Painting Primer - Part 4


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Decorative Painting Primer - Part 4

Helpful Hints

- This technique works well on smooth walls.
- If you are using a multisided rubber comb, you may need to cut off one or two sides to allow the comb to reach into corners.
- If the comb feels too flexible as you work, tape it to a putty knife. The stiffer the comb, the straighter the lines.
- When you are using paint without glaze, as in this example, work only in small areas to avoid paint becoming unworkable. The addition of glaze will lengthen the drying time, but the technique is still most easily done in narrow sections.
- Comb adjacent walls on different days; or, if done in the same day, allow at least four hours of drying time to avoid smudging.
- Vary the look of basic straight lines by combing zigzags, cross-hatches, or swirls.
- This technique is fairly easy but requires a steady hand. Corners can be tricky.


Skill Level: Intermediate
Time (not including painting base coat): 1 day




This project uses a yellow
background color and a green glaze.

- Satin paint for the base coat
- Tinted glaze for the top coat
- Large, stiff-bristled brush
- Roller
- Blue painter's tape, or another quick-release masking tape
- Rags


1. Tape off moldings, trim, and ceiling. This technique requires two people. Make sure your walls are smooth. Choose a background color that will show through the glaze.

Instructions2. The basic technique is rolling glaze over the painted wall. Then removing some of the glaze by dragging a brush with stiff bristles from the top to the bottom of your walls. This allows some of the background color to show through and creates visual texture.

3. One partner rolls the glaze in vertical stripes; the second removes some of the glaze by dragging the brush down the wall. Bristles need to be lightly touching the wall for best effect. Maintain a light, steady pressure.

4. Wipe the dragging brush on clean rags periodically to prevent it from being overloaded.

Helpful Hints

- One partner should be rolling the second vertical stripe while the other partner is finishing dragging the first. Stripes should overlap.
- Both partners should work quickly; neither can stop mid-wall. Tape off adjacent walls so glaze doesn't seep around corners.
- If you find it difficult to drag down in one continuous motion, stop two thirds of the way down the wall and drag from the bottom up, feathering your brush as the lines meet. Stagger the meeting points to avoid the distraction of a horizontal band appearing around the lower portion of your wall.

Better Homes and Gardens



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