Antique glazed walls impart a softened, aged patina to distressed plaster walls.



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featuring the
3 step colorScheme system

You can create additional plaster wall color tones, in virtually any color combination. For additional color recipes visit the artsparx color palette. To create alternate colored plaster walls, simply follow this step-by-step tutorial, substituting the base color suggested below with the base color specified in each color recipes at the artsparx color palette, and complete the effect using the glaze recipe from the selected Color Palette tutorial.


No. 2B pencil
Kneaded eraser
Artist Acrylic Paints
  Raw Umber
Yellow Ochre
Sap Green
UltraMarine Blue
Cadmium Yellow M
Paper palette
 2.5 quart buckets (2 liter)
Disposable gloves
Artist Red Sable
No. 6 brush
180 Grit Sand Paper


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Frescoes Series 3

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Learn how to create a textured plaster surface suitable for color washing, glazing and painted fresco elements.


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


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.

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

Leonardo da Vinci  1452-1519



Simulated Fresco -
Hand-painted fresco elements Series 3

Decorative elements, such as these
painted olive branches and bumble bees, enhance this country bath.

Rating 2.5 -moderate
Plaster Effects Center
Fresco series 1 - Creating a plaster surface
Fresco series 2 - Antiquing the plaster surface
Fresco series 3 - Hand-painted fresco elements
Color mixing recipes
Parchment color recipe
artSparx Color Learning Center
More decorative paint and glazing techniques
Series 1
Applying a plaster finish
Series 2
Antique glazing and distressing
Series 3
Hand-painted fresco elements

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, Series 2 illustrates antique glazing and plaster distressing methods, culminating in the final fresco simulation Series 3, hand-painted elements. You can complete each tutorial as a finish and style in it's own right. Or, depending on your interests and style needs, combine the tutorials to achieve the hand-painted fresco appearance that will bring your environment to life.

Series 1 - Plaster effects Application
Series 2 - Antique glazing and distressing
Series 3 - Hand-painted fresco elements

Antiqued Plaster walls ready for hand painted elements


Preparing the surface

Step 1: Once you have completed the antiquing of the plaster finish (Antiqued Plaster Finish), and allowed the surface to completely dry, you are ready to begin adding hand painted elements to your plaster wall surface. We've chosen to create a playful Tuscan theme using olive branches and bumble bees for this country bath.

Begin by lightly sketching the pattern you've created directly onto the wall. It is often helpful to do a quick sketch on paper first to get a sense of scale and how your image will lay onto the wall area. When using your No. 2B pencil, keep a light touch, just enough to leave an impression on the antiqued plaster surface.

Creating your color palette

Step 2: Artist acrylic paints work well for this application. Your colors will vary, depending on the subject matter of your painted images. For our demonstration we will use earth tones of Yellow Ochre, Sap Green, Raw Umber and UltraMarine Blue. Creating a loose, water solution is the key to this treatment, with the colors painted on in almost water color fashion.

A darker green is created mixing Sap Green with a small portion of
Yellow Ochre and UltraMarine Blue.

Beginning the painted effect

Step 3: Begin placing the branch lines using a blend of Yellow Ochre and Raw Umber acrylic paint. Follow this with the outlines of the olive leaf forms. This color is created using a mixture of Sap Green with a small portion of Yellow Ochre and UltraMarine Blue.

Placement of the painted elements varies depending on the design solution you have for the room. When painting branches, simply having the branches drop down, or extend out of the ceiling, creates the impression of being in a garden or under the tree itself.

Step 4: Adding additional details. Olives are painted next, and added in groups of two or three randomly through the hanging branch. First outline the shape using UltraMarine Blue mixed with Raw Umber to create a blackish tone. Follow this by adding simple brush marks to create a feeling of volume. Leave a portion of the olive unpainted to imply a light reflection.

Step 5: Before proceeding further, use a soft gummy eraser (a.k.a. kneaded eraser) to remove any visible pencil markings.

Step 6: Begin blocking in the leaf forms using the same green color blend as before. Use a loose, watery solution and brush over the surface, in effect 'staining' the plaster wall.

Step 7: Once this is dry you may choose to repeat this process, this time simply adding a small accent line at the base or on one side of each leaf to create a shadow line.

Step 8: As a final detail, add stylized bumble bees using UltraMarine Blue mixed with Raw Umber as your outline tone. Follow this with a swatch of bright Cadmium Yellow Medium on the bee's striped areas.

Step 9: Lightly sand over over the painted elements to soften and distress the features. This creates the aged, softened look so commonly associated with this wonderful fresco treatment.

You have now completed the 3 part simulated fresco process.

Series 1
Applying a plaster finish
Series 2
Antique glazing and distressing
Series 3
Hand-painted fresco elements


artSparx Book special

Italian Style


Italian Style

Explore the evolution of Italian style from many decorative influences spanning centuries of art and design: the balance and symmetry of Roman architecture; the flamboyance and opulence of grand Renaissance decoration; and the use of earthy colors such as Naples Yellow and Tuscan Red.

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