Faux Finish Painting: Dragging Technique

Another in my faux finish painting series is the dragging technique. This technique will create a streaked effect that looks and feels like elegant wallpaper. It is very important to choose your paint colors carefully. Your base coat is going to be the stripes in your new wall. I recommend using a lighter color as your base coat and a darker color as your top coat. Some suggestions would be a gold shade for the base coat and a rich brown for your top coat; or a silvery blue for the base coat and burgundy for the top coat. Either of these will lend the elegant look you are going for.

This is a fun project to do but if you are doing it alone then you must move quickly when doing the top coat or the paint will set and not give you the effect you desire.

For this project you will need the following things: low tack tape, paint tray, paint roller, disposable latex gloves, a dry brush or other combing device (such as a broom), paper towels, and 2 colors of either flat or satin paint. Semi-gloss paint is not a good choice for this technique.

Start with prepping your walls. Repair any damage done such as holes or cracks with spackling, then lightly sand. Next, tape off areas that you don't want painted; like the baseboards, crown molding, door jams and window seals and frames.

Paint the entire room in your base coat and let it dry for 2-4 hours. I usually let it dry overnight. Doing this ensures that the base coat is completely dry. Factors such as room temperature and humidity will affect the drying time of paint. Therefore, waiting till the next day is always a safe bet.

Brush on the top coat in a 3 foot wide section going from top to bottom. The top coat should be dragged immediately. Start at the top and pull the broom or combing device down to the bottom. This must be done without lifting the device from the surface. Immediately after dragging the first set; clean the broom or combing device on a paper towel and continue dragging the section. Overlap this one a little bit with the first dragging so that there are no breaks in it.

It's much easier if you can get a partner to do the dragging as you do the rolling. This will ensure that the work goes smoothly without you having to rush before the top coat sets.

Now you have a beautifully painted wall that, without close inspection, appears as elegant wallpaper.