Decorative Techniques: step-by-step



Acrylic glaze method
Latex based paint eggshell sheen
Drop Cloths
Painters tape
3 - 2.5 quart buckets (2 liter)
Latex glaze coat
Universal tinters
Brushes (3 to 5 inch)
Disposable gloves
1 large household sponge
Stir sticks


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


Glazing tip:
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.

Hand-painted Delft tiles

The loose un-even quality of this faux technique makes painted Delft tiles an ideal decorative effect for the beginner or inexperienced do-it-yourselfer.

Irregular lines and hand painted renderings add character and old world charm, easily achieved without any prior painting experience.

more decorative treatments



Dragging: Water based


Rating 3 - 
mod. to difficult

more about glazing...

For use on trim, moldings, furniture, objects

A dragging finish produces the appearance of fine lines or grains.  Especially effective on doors, trim and moldings, dragging acts as a complement to wall surfaces that have been treated with another decorative paint effect, mural painting or plaster treatments such as fresco and stucco lustro, polished plaster.  Wall surfaces are occasionally treated in a dragging method..

Striee glazing is a slightly more refined variation of the dragging technique. Mastering this technique will provide you with the basics of faux wood graining, and various simulated fabric textures such as faux denim.

An eggshell sheen is recommended for all surfaces being treated with all decorative finishes produced with the Negative method of glaze application.

The method that follows is designed to create a standard dragged effect, with a dark tone glazed over a lighter base coat.

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: Isolate moldings, doors and trim by taping off wall surfaces and surrounding areas. If necessary, remove all electrical cover plates. Cover furniture and floor areas with drop cloths.

Base colors and mixing your glaze

Step 3: Determine the overall color value of the surface being treated. Choose an eggshell base color. A base coat of slightly off white, such as latex paint , is sufficient, as the top color will act as the finished color tone.  Allow this base color to fully dry (8 hrs).

Step 4: Mix the secondary, drag color. In a bucket create a color combination that is the value and color you would like to achieve. The glaze coat is mixed as a concentrated color, then diluted to the fluidity needed for the glazing process. As a general rule, it is better to mix too much glaze color than not enough. It is very difficult to match the custom color once you have started glazing a room. For most rooms, one quart of Paintmanufacture latex glazing liquid will be sufficient. Using universal tinters, add color slowly, mixing thoroughly until desired color is achieved. Add ¼ cup Floetrol to help extend the drying time. It may also be helpful to add small amounts of water to facilitate mixing. This will be your ‘master glaze’. You can experiment in a low visibility area of the surface being treated. Adjust color of the ‘master glaze’ to your liking, wiping clean your test area after each test application

Step 5: Wear disposable gloves. With glaze color prepared, place a portion of glaze color in one of the 2.5 qt. Buckets.  Add water and dilute to proper consistency. Experiment. Fill the other bucket 2/3 full with water.

Step 6:  Prepare an ordinary household sponge (approx. 1 ½ inches thick x 6 inches x 4 inches). Use scissors to cut all edges of the sponge to create rounded corners. Find out how.

Step 7: As the dragging treatment on doors and trim resembles a wood grained effect, it is important to drag in the proper direction to maximize this effect. Below is a diagram that shows the proper method of drag glazing doors and trim.

Glazing a door with inset panel.

A: Begin with center panel. 
B: Continue to center panel moldings, always dragging in a horizontal or vertical manner.
C: Drag top and bottom panel in a horizontal manner. 
D: Use a damp rag and wipe clean a straight line between panel 3 and 4. This mimics the grain pattern of how the door is put together.
E: Glaze left and right panel 4, carefully dragging against clean line created in step D with your dry brush.

When dragging, always work from innermost areas to the outside. For example, when glazing a door, start with the inner door panels, top first, then lower. Moving progressively outward towards the edges until door is complete.

wetting the wall

Step 8: Use the sponge for the water and a clean 3 inch to 5 inch brush to use for your color glaze. Wet the surface with water, and dampen surface. Work one area at a time. See glazing methods for more information. Saturating the surface first allows the glaze to go on fluidly and evenly.

applying the glaze

Take a brush, dipped in the glaze, and brush over dampened area to spread glaze. Work evenly over area for full coverage. Make sure not to leave any untreated areas. 

Dragging glazing application diagram for wall surfaces

Apply glaze in regular sections.
Leave edge wet with glaze so when moving from one area
to the next there is a smooth transition.
more information


dragging the glaze

Step 9: Take a clean, dry bristle brush and with a firm hand begin at one end of surface, dragging the brush evenly through the glaze until you reach the other end. This will remove the freshly applied glaze from the surface, revealing the base color and producing a dragged, lined texture. 

Regularly wipe dry brush with a clean rag to remove excess glaze and to insure a fresh drag pattern. Work evenly over surface. 

If glaze is too fluid and continually “sags” or runs, allow to set momentarily then return and work at glaze with a dry brush until smooth. Be aware that latex glazes set quickly.

Step 10: Move to next area and repeat. Work glaze to previous edge but don’t overlap existing glaze. Continue until area is completed.

Applying a protective varnish coat

Step 11: A water-based varnish, such as latex varnish, may be applied after dragged surfaces have dried completely (24 hrs.) for surface protection. For trim and molding surfaces it is recommended to use Paintmanufacture Low-luster finish, or Satin sheen varnish.

Step 12: Clean up with warm, soapy water.

Step 13: Retain some of the master glaze for future touch ups in a covered glass container. Dispose of remaining glazes properly.


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