The technique of colorwashing walls is easy to master. In addition, it adds soft-focus color to your room and visual interest to your walls. If your wall has blemishes, scrapes, or other imperfections, colorwashing may be the answer to your problem. In heavily trafficked areas like hallways, or in bathrooms where humidity can effect the appearance of walls, the gentle color variations of colorwashing can make any wear less noticeable.
Use a 1:1 ratio of latex paint and wallpaper paste. The color of the base coat, as well as the intensity of the top coat, will effect the overall look, so you may want to test your mixture first to make sure it is what you really want.
Load the tip of a very wide brush with your latex-paste mixture and "dash" a few strokes onto the wall. Then, without reloading the brush, use side-to-side, diagonal sweeping brush motions (like you are making large, loose X's across your wall) to blend the paint evenly. You may also use a sponge to create the colorwash effect, but you will have to experiment with the sponge strokes depending upon the type and size of sponge you use. Finally, use a dry brush to blend any noticeable seams.
Colorwashing with two layers can add subtlety of color and even more interest to your walls. Again, you may wish to experiment with color layers before you apply the color so that you can achieve the desired effect on the first try.
To colorwash with two layers, simply follow the above steps twice, allowing the first coat of paint to dry before starting on the second. A lighter color on top of a darker color will soften the effect of the darker color. Two complimentary colors similar to each other on a color wheel can produce a new, vibrant shade.
Colorwashing can be done quickly and easily to disguise imperfect walls with a sophisticated finish. It's fun and requires only materials and application tools.
By Dorothy Edison