Make a Splash!: An Overview of Passionate Paint Finishes for Walls (5)

Paint Finishes for Walls53. Dragging (also called strié)

This effect is created when a dry brush is pulled through a colored glaze. In doing so, the base color is revealed in very fine lines, which make the walls look like silk fabric. Dragging is most effective in soft colors, such as pastels, over a white base coat. You can also use a cream or off-white base with tan or taupe colors to create a “vintage” look.

The Steps:

  1. Apply two coats of a latex base coat (white or off-white). After painting both coats, let the wall dry for at least two hours.
  2. Mix satin latex paint with latex glazing liquid according to the instructions on the package of the glazing liquid.
  3. Apply the colored glaze to a workable length of the surface.
  4. Start at one end and pull a 4” dragging brush (or any long-bristled paintbrush) through the wet glaze. You also can perform this technique using a dry rag. Repeat several times to get the desired effect. Keep your hand as steady as possible as you drag. Note that if you are working with the full height of a wall from ceiling to baseboard, you can use a very wide brush, such as a wallpaper brush or even the end of a wide broom.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 on the next area. Clean the dragging brush on a rag before dragging the next area.
  6. If applying the dragging finish to woodwork or trim, apply a coat of varnish after the finish is dry.
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