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Color washing

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Colorant refers to the type of product that will create the pigment in your glaze.

Examples of colorants are:

Universal Tinters
Artist Acrylic Paint


More techniques
Color washing
Glazing techniques 
Rag rolling 
Wood graining 
Striee glazing
Dragging techniques 
Pouncing techniques
Style archives
Preparation of surfaces
Know your materials

Classic Parchment
color recipe.
Available only at the
artSparx Color Palette!


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Create old world charm or contemporary sophistication with these easy to follow plaster effects and simulated Fresco techniques.

artSparx has created a 3 stage step-by-step tutorial series. Series 1 begins with basic plaster application, our 2nd series illustrates antique glazing and plaster distressing methods, culminating in the final fresco simulation series 3, hand-painted elements.

more decorative effects

"Poetry is superior to painting in the presentation of words, and painting is superior to poetry in the presentation of facts"

Leonardo da Vinci 


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For use on walls, furniture, objects, and in fine arts paint techniques

This decorative effect creates the appearance of floating color. Soft and watery, or bold and striking. The color density varies over the surface and creates appearances from parchment to the softness of an evening sky or the deepness of watery depths. A subtle finish, with little texture, it is an ideal effect to create mood in a room, background ambience. When using earth tones the color wash can have a slightly aged appearance and is ideal for irregular wall surfaces.

For the 'Classic Color Glaze' mixture and other color suggestions refer to the artsparx color palette

Preparing the surface

Step 1: Remove all nails and repair any damaged or cracked areas. Prime as needed. Refer to the artSparx basic preparation resource for tips and techniques….

Step 2: Tape off all baseboard edges, ceiling edge, trim, window and door frames. Remove all electrical and light switch cover plates. Cover furniture and floor areas with drop cloths.

Base colors and mixing your glaze

Step 3: Choose and apply the appropriate eggshell finish base color. Benjamin Moore Linen White works well as an off white base tone. Allow to fully dry (6-8 hrs).

Water Based
Glazing Materials:

Glaze Coat or Floetrol
Universal tinters
Water based Varnish

Mixing your glaze: You can use Universal tinters or Artist acrylic paints. In a large bucket add about 2 cups glaze coat (or Floetrol), and water (1/2 cup) with your colorant. The amount of glaze you mix up depends on the size of the area you are working on. If a large area, then use a full can of glazing liquid (or bottle of Floetrol). It is always better to have extra glaze left over, than not enough.

Optional: Mix in 1/4 to 1/2 cup water based varnish to act as a hardener for your glazed surface and prevent color bleeding when washing or applying additional layers of glaze..

Testing your glaze: Experiment with fluidity and color strength by sampling a small swatch of your glaze on the wall surface and softening out with a dry brush. Adjust colorant as you see fit. Don’t dilute glaze too much, as this will be your ‘master glaze color’

Venetian Plaster and Plaster wall effects

Create aged and worn textured wall treatments using traditional Venetian and Stucco Plaster Effects. Smooth, polished and textured surfaces can be easily achieved for interior and exterior surfaces.

Visit the Plaster Effects Center now for
Step-by-step tutorials

Also available
Venetian Plaster Kits

Step 4: Place a portion of the prepared glaze color in a  2.5 qt. bucket. Add water slowly until you reach a consistency similar to cream. Experiment with this loose glaze on the wall to determine color depth and ease of mobility over wall area. Fill the other bucket 2/3 full with water.

Step 5: Prepare 2 sponges by rounding corners and edges (learn how). Ordinary household sponges will do fine (1 ½ inch thick and approx 6 inches x 4 inches).

When glazing, always work from top to bottom. If you start at the bottom and work upward, any drips or spills occurring can damage already treated lower portion finish.

Apply your color wash

Step 6: Use one sponge for the water and one for the glaze color. Starting at the top of the wall, take sponge 1 with the water and dampen surface. Work in one area at a time, moving methodically forward over wall surface. See glazing methods for more information. Saturating the surface first allows the glaze to go on fluidly and evenly. 

apply glaze

work over surface

With sponge 2, dipped in the glaze, rub over damped area of wall and spread glaze. Work evenly over area for full coverage. Vary the pressure applied to the sponge to leave areas with slightly denser concentrations of glaze. Continue to soften glaze color working in a criss-cross manner until desired smoothness is achieved. Work quickly and conscientiously, keeping exposed edges dampened with water.

soften color

apply glaze

rub over surface

soften color glaze

Step 7: Move to next area and repeat. Do not put glaze on previous edge but rather apply within 1 inch or so and soften into previous edge with sponge or dry brush.

soften with dry brush

At corners, apply glaze to within ½ to 1 inch of edge and with a dry brush, work into corner, then soften and smooth with light, gentle movements.

Applying a protective varnish coat

Step 8: To protect the surface, a water-based varnish, such as latex varnish , may be applied after color-washed surfaces have dried completely (24 hrs). For wall surfaces it is recommended to use flat (matte) finish, eggshell or low-luster finish varnishes.

Step 9: Clean up with warm, soapy water.

Step 10: Retain some of the master glaze for future touch-ups in a covered glass container. Dispose of remaining glazes properly.





Complete Basic Gilding Kits

Includes all the tools and materials
to apply imitation gold leaf, aluminum or copper leaf. Set contains one 4 oz. bottle
of Gilding Size, natural hair brush, cotton and mixing sticks, wet/dry paper and
book of leaf. Water-based.
book contains 25 leaves.
Each leaf is 5.5" x 5.5" square. Approx coverage is 5.25 sq. ft.


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