faux distress
November 13, 2012 6:46 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to faux distress my walls. How?

Here are some examples of how I'd like my walls to look.

I'd like to do this myself with paint (ie - cheapest option) but will consider other ideas. Also, I don't want to ruin the walls by actually distressing them. I'd like to be able to easily paint over them when I'm ready.

I'd love it if anyone has an actual technique that is tested, but any info or points in the right direction would be greatly appreciated!
posted by cestmoi15 to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
One is nearly how walls in my house (+/- 90 yrs old) actually looked at one point during a reno; the other is sponge painting -- which is closer to what you want?

Have a good browse through uglyhousephotos.com (posts tagged with faux finishes are here) for loads of examples of what to avoid, which I think is almost if not actually more useful than 'what to emulate' here.
posted by kmennie at 7:03 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

The green walls with the white plaster would be easier to emulate, with a sea sponge, and white/grey/black paint lightly dabbed over a green glazed wall.
posted by xingcat at 8:01 PM on November 13, 2012

The green sponges wall is relatively inexpensive and not too difficult -- put a light color glaze over a similar darker color. It can look crappy if you rush through it, though; definitely practice on some scrap board or something until you have the technique down and are clear on how much glaze you want to apply. Rotate the sponge a lot, go slow, and scatter each sponge hit over a large area rather than doing a lot all at once in a small area (this will help prevent repeated sponge patterns or big blotchy areas.) if you use a sponge roller, vary the direction you roll constantly; never roll out even vaguely parallel lines. Corners are tricky; tear off small bits of sponge and go slow.

The orange wall would be a lot harder to fake.
posted by ook at 9:18 PM on November 13, 2012

(Sponging paint over paint is harder to do well; if you use a semi transparent glaze instead it is a lot easier to make a texture that doesn't immediately look like sponge prints. You can also use a big stipple brush instead of a sponge for a different texture... Home Depot et al will have a little rack of specialty brushes and paints and booklets of instructions for various techniques. Most of them are harder than they look.)
posted by ook at 9:22 PM on November 13, 2012

lime wash your walls
posted by iiniisfree at 1:04 AM on November 14, 2012

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