How To Color Wash Your Walls For A Soft And Fabulous Textured Effect

If you’re looking to create a warmer atmosphere in your own home, it’s easy to do with a painting technique called color washing. Ahead, we discuss color washing and how you can achieve this fabulously textured look in your own home. 

What Is Color Washing?

Color washing is a painting technique that mimics the look of watercolors. It’s a soft effect that adds texture and warmth to any space, and it makes the perfect backdrop for today’s trendy geometric-adorned and vintage furnishings. 

Color washing is random. The technique calls for feathered brush strokes and imperfection. In fact, the more imperfect your strokes are, the better this effect looks. 

When you color wash a wall, you use complementary colors and a glaze in the top-most layer. This achieves the layered, textured effect you’re going for. The nice thing about color washing is that you don’t need to be a skilled painter as streaks and brush marks are allowed and encouraged!

How To Color Wash The Walls Yourself

Color washing your walls can get a tad messy, so be sure to tape off or cover in plastic any surface you don’t want the paint to get on. Next, paint your wall(s) evenly with the base color you’ve chosen. Allow it to dry for at least 48 hours before continuing. 

Once the base layer has dried, mix the top color and glaze. A good ratio for this technique is 4 parts glaze to 1 part paint. This will thin the paint out and keep it from drying too fast while you work the color wash technique. 

Dip a large brush into the mixture and begin making large “X” marks on the wall. The brush should be loaded but not dripping. Don’t worry if the x’s look too perfect or are perfectly aligned – you’ll work out the harshness in the next step. 

Once you’ve covered the wall in x’s, take a sponge, brush, or cloth and begin feathering out the x’s to soften their look. A dry cloth will give a softer effect while a clean brush or sponge will leave behind more texture. Continue to dab and swipe around the wall until you achieve something you like and voila! You’ve color-washed your wall(s)!