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Home > Craft Topics > Projects > Colour Washing

Colour Projects - Colour Washing Paint Techniques

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Materials and Equipment

Base colour
When choosing colours, the base coat is as important as the top coat of coloured oil glaze because it shows through the loose brush strokes and transparent glaze, affecting the final colour. A white base gives a light, airy look to the finished wall. A deep base gives a light, airy look to the finished wall. A deep base colour creates a darker, intimate effect.

Use an emulsion glaze over an acrylic or emulsion base coat, and an oil glaze over an eggshell base. For colour washing, the glaze should be heavily diluted to a very thin, watery consistency.

An ordinary decorating brush can be used for applying the base and the glaze and for removing excess glaze. Alternatively, to produce a more textured effect, a specialist brush, such as a flogger or over grainer, with widely spaced, tufted bristles, can be used to remove the glaze. A dry cloth gives a similar effect.

Colour washing
The following demonstrations used an eggshell base and an oil based glaze. The glaze was made by mixing equal proportions of oil glaze and white spirit. Artist's oil paints were also used to colour the glaze.

Basic Colour washing Technique

1. Using a decorating brush, apply the glaze solution to the base colour with loose brush strokes

2. While the glaze is still wet, take a dry brush and go over the surface with quick random strokes to remove some of the paint and to soften the effect

Colour Projects - Colour Washing from www.walkaboutcrafts.comColour Projects - Colour Washing from www.walkaboutcrafts.com

Two colour effect

When two colours are used they combine to make a third colour. By 'mixing' colours on the wall you can achieve beautiful effects of broken colour with flecks of the base colour showing through, instead of the flat, opaque look of pre mixed colours.

1. Here a pink oil glaze is brushed over a strong magenta eggshell base. The result is a pink colour with flecks of deep red and purple showing through in places. You can of course use two contrasting colours.

2. Soften the glaze colour by working over the surface with a dry brush in the usual way.

Colour Projects - Colour Washing from www.walkaboutcrafts.com

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