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Paint Effect – Colour wash Walls, Harrogate

Listed under Blog Posted May 28 2014

Colour wash paint effect on the walls

Colour wash paint effect on the walls

Lee Simone Traditional Painter in Yorkshire, explains in great detail about creating a colour wash paint effect on the walls of this en-suite bathroom.

This was the 2nd stage of a recent project I did for some great clients of mine in Harrogate. The first part of the project was creating a cloudy effect on wardrobes of the master bedroom, which I wrote about in this Blog

Over the years I have created a variety of different paint effects throughout the house – broken colour finishes in the master bedroom and kitchen, stripes in the dining room and a metallic pearlescent finish in the lounge, to name but a few.

The master en-suite had originally been painted with a stippled effect over 16 years ago by Nicola Creasey, a fabulous decorative artist who I worked with for a year. She helped instill in me my love of all things decorative and painty.

The fact that the finish on the bathroom walls had lasted so long and was only now showing slight areas of wear and tear is a testament to the continued interest and high durability of paint effects, and how cost effective this kind of decorative solution can be! (We are starting to see a gradual rise in requests for non-block colour finishes!)

Masking up & Base Coats –

Base coat - three coats of Glidden Acrylic Eggshell

Base coat – three coats of Glidden Acrylic Eggshell

The first stage of the project was to mask off all areas. For this, and most of my other projects, I turn to 3M’s Edge Lock 2080EL tape (Reviews on the 3M site). I cannot rate this tape highly enough as it sticks brilliantly (even though it’s low tack), can be left on for 60 days without any problems and leaves a razor sharp edge.

Once all masked off I applied three coats of Glidden Acrylic Eggshell using a Purdy White Dove 9″ Roller Sleeve. I’ve only recently discovered these and have to say I am very impressed with the even and flat finish they give.

The colour I chose for the base was a light grey which I had colour matched to the lightest shade of the feature tiles. The benefit of choosing a coloured base coat for this type of project is that it is seen through the glazes and immediately adds richness and a further depth of colour.

Another benefit of using the 3M Edge Lock with this type of paint is that when it’s removed it doesn’t take half the paint off with it, unlike some other tapes, which really struggle with acrylic eggshell paints.

Mixing the Glazes & Colours –

The Tinted Glazes

The Tinted Glazes

Once the minor damage had been repaired and the base coat completed, it was time to mix up the glazes for the effect itself. I mixed the colours by hand, adding a variety of pigments and tubed oil paint colours to existing oil eggshell bases that I had in stock. I then mixed them with oil glaze and white spirit until I had a consistency akin to single cream – a ratio of roughly 30% paint, 60% glaze and 10% white spirit

The colours I mixed were inspired by those found in the bathrooms feature tiles and as you can see from the picture, the colours mixed – the small blocks in the middle – were quite dark. When mixed with the oil glaze however, the colours become transparent, a lot less intense and ‘lighter’. The top three samples in the picture show the colours when mixed with the glaze, the bottom swatch shows the colour when all three glazes were mixed together.

The Brushes

The Brushes

Creating the Effect –

The colour wash effect itself is a two stage process and is essentially created by first applying each of the glazes separately, blending them out before blending the next colour into the one you have just applied.

It’s important to work methodically and in manageable sized areas, around 2 – 3′ square works well. The brushes I use are very soft 3″ and 4″ brushes which allowed me to blend the paint out easily and ensure there are no brush marks. The aim of the first layer of glaze is to create a cloudy effect that gently incorporates and blends each of the coloured glazes into one another.

The second stage is a repeat of the first, using the same glazes and the same technique. There is no need to keep to the same ‘pattern’, as going over the lighter glazed areas with a mid tone glaze is fine and is actually what creates the depth and dimension of colour for this kind of finish.

Close up of the 'cloudy effect'

Close up of the ‘cloudy effect’

Sealing & Protecting –

Dulux Clearcoat Matt Varnish

Dulux Clearcoat Matt Varnish

The final stage for this paint effects project was to protect the finish with a suitable varnish. Over the years I have tried various products and have found that Clearcoat by Dulux is up there with the best. It was used over the original effect some 16yrs ago and was still going strong despite the condensation and watery atmosphere being created by literally thousands of showers.

It’s a doddle to apply, dries beautifully evenly and comes in either Satin or Matt. For this project I used the Matt version as I really wanted the effect to ‘pop’. I applied two coats of the varnish using a combination of acrylic brush, mini foam roller and Purdy White Dove.

Once dry I removed the tape, tidied up and hey presto, another fab paint effect and another extremely happy client 🙂

The Finished Effect

The Finished Effect

Close up of the Finished Effect

Close up of the Finished Effect

Lee Simone hand painted kitchens yorkshireBased nr. Harrogate, North Yorkshire, Lee Simone began Imaginative Interiors in 1999 and now travels throughout Yorkshire transforming and rejuvenating furniture and kitchens to the highest level.

Alongside beautifully hand painted kitchens and furniture, Lee can also offer you outstanding specialist paint effects, faux finishes, murals and trompe l’oeil.


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3 comments to “Paint Effect – Colour wash Walls, Harrogate”

  1. Mark McCarthy

    This is a very nice effect Lee and nice to see that there is demand for this type of work. It was popular in the late 80’s -early 90’s. Regarding the Purdy short pile dove sleeve. I have been using these for quite a few years now on general emulsion work and after thorough preparation the finish looks like it’s been sprayed ! They last a long time too. My only complaint nowadays is the quality seems to be suffering probably due to mass production which is a shame.

  2. Imaginative Interiors Imaginative Interiors

    Cheers Mark, I think paint effects are brilliant value for money and have such longevity and much more interest than plain emulsion. I think many people still think rag rolling when they think of paint effects which is a big shame as the finishes can be as subtle as you like but always have a lovely depth of colour. Roller wise, have noticed MyPaintbrush.com is selling Axus Pro Finish..have you tried them, any good?

  3. Brendan

    How do you paint over this finish once customer wants a change? I have some zinsser wallpaper primer sealer I was thinking of using first , under soft sheen. What do you think? Thanks

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