Transforming a Room With a Few Simple Strokes
Paint can do more than change the color of a room — it can add texture, pattern and visual interest. Today’s decorative painting techniques are simple and sophisticated alternatives to wallpaper, and a far cry from the dated sponge painting from years past.
Here’s how you can transform a room with a few simple strokes:
Give any room an extra bit of “oomph” with textured techniques. One simple technique is simulating the texture of fabric on walls — it makes any space feel warm and homey. To add a more masculine feel to a bachelor pad or study, use paint to create the appearance of leather on walls — apply a mix of glaze and brown paint to walls using a scrunched-up plastic bag to give the right texture. Once it is dry, use a roller to add a layer of brown glaze over it.
A technique called combing is also great for those new to decorative painting — it’s simple to do, and mistakes are easy to fix. To “comb” your walls, paint your base coat of color and let it dry completely, use a paint roller to apply a thin layer of clear glaze, and “comb” through the glaze with a special paint comb.
Simple but stylish, stripes are an easy way to update your space. Vertical stripes create the feeling of high ceilings, making rooms feel spacious, while horizontal stripes add a modern, funky touch. For a subtle look, paint two-toned stripes in neutral hues — such as cream and taupe — or use the same color in two different sheens (i.e. glossy and flat). For a more dramatic redo, choose two contrasting colors, create multicolored stripes or paint stripes in a variety of widths to add extra interest.
A chic alternative to traditional stripes, chevron, or zig-zag stripes, is a way to make a big impact on your room with minimal effort. Create a pattern of many chevron stripes, or go for major drama with fewer, wider stripes. Paint the pattern around the entire room, or add chevron to one focal wall. To get the look, use pencil or chalk to create a grid on the wall; use a level to make sure the grid lines are straight. Then, apply painter’s tape — FrogTape Delicate Surface is a good choice for this technique, too — to create the chevron pattern, utilizing your grid lines as a guide. After the painter’s tape is applied firmly to the surface, paint in-between the taped design. Lastly, make sure to remove the tape as soon as you are finished painting.
Make an ordinary space extraordinary with stencils. Nowadays, stencils are available in almost any shape and size. Buy them precut at your local craft store or online at etsy.com, or create your own for a design that is completely unique. Add floral designs for a feminine look, or go classic with preppy polka dots. Stencil a chandelier shape for instant sophistication or paint a meaningful quote to add a personal touch to your space. Geometric patterns, damasks and paisleys also add spice to boring walls. Some retailers even offer wall size stencils, helping you to cover a large area with ease.