From habitat plus - special paint effects
Learn to use Resene FX Paint Effects medium
Colourwashing, limewash or French wash • texture on texture • watercolour wall • white and grey wash • ombre paint techniques
Colourwashing is used to get a stronger colour and results in a lovely softly broken colour. A lighter colour base usually works best as it glows through the topcoat. Generally the best colour combinations are those that are close to each other in the colour spectrum. For example, creams through to yellow oxides, oxide based pinks through to oxide reds or greyed blues through to purple blues. Colourwashing may be done over a smooth wall or over a textured finish, such as Resene Sandtex.
You can create a limewash effect using exactly the same technique, but by choosing a plastered or textured surface, and softer more natural colours.
You can use these techniques to also create a rust effect finish and a weathered or concrete effects style finish. All you need to do is vary the colours used. For a concrete effect finish use colours such as Resene Quarter Stack over Resene Concrete. For more on how to use Resene FX Faux Rust Effect, a special product for creating the look of rusted steel see faux finishes.
Limewash or French wash was historically a very dilute form of quicklime applied to walls as a protective or decorative coating. You can get the same effect using a paint effects finish over painted basecoats.
Apply two basecoats, using Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in a light colour – this room uses Resene Double Alabaster.
Using a darker colour (this is Resene Silver Chalice), dilute the paint using Resene FX Paint Effects Medium, and add Resene Hot Weather Additive to slow drying. Use a ratio of 40% paint colour, 50% medium and 10% additive.
Working quickly, brush the darker colour over the base colour in a criss-cross pattern.
Immediately wipe off with a dish cloth or piece of muslin, using a soft downwards motion, to reveal some of the basecoat and create a streaky look.
Choose a colour from the wide number of Resene testpots available and mix one 60ml Resene testpot to one litre of Resene FX Paint Effects Medium. You can create your own personalised paint effects colours simply by experimenting with testpots of your choice or adding more or less to the effects medium. It is often surprising the colour that results when a testpot is added to Resene Paint Effects Medium, so always make sure you test your colour before starting the project. By subtly adjusting either the basecoat or your chosen paint effects topcoat you can create a whole new look. The key to paint effects is to develop your own colour combinations and application technique to add your distinctive mark to the completed job.
Texture on texture
If you are hiring someone to create the painted effect for you, ask them to prepare a sample panel and agree on that as your standard before the job starts. This way, all parties will know what the finish will look like. If worse comes to worse and the final finish is not what you had in mind, you can always create a new paint effect by reapplying the basecoats and paint effects medium topcoat/s.
Add extra depth to an outdoor wall with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium coloured with Resene Moon Mist over a Resene Aspiring basecoat. This bench seat is Resene Aspiring and the deck is stained in Resene Woodsman Uluru.
A watercolour wall is a more dramatic interpretation of a wash effect, where the paint is applied in strips of colour over a basecoat, then overbrushed with a large wet paint or wallpaper brush so that one colour runs into the one below. To achieve this look, start from the top or bottom of the wall, and brush on stripes of the different colours, one at a time in uneven widths for an organic, softer look.
Top tip: With any paint effect you’re planning for a large area, like a wall, practice on some card first.
Resene has developed a series of products that give the appeal and look of washes already mixed for you. Resene Colorwood Whitewash is part of the Resene Colorwood collection, and gives a whitewashed look when applied direct to timber. It can be used on floors, walls, furniture or accessories, and in combination with stencilling and other colour-blocking.
Resene Colorwood Greywash is similar to whitewash but with a greyed effect for a more antiqued look. It comes in two strengths – light and mid – and can also be used on wooden floors, walls and furniture.
Top tip: The final look of your stain, whitewash or greywash will depend on the timber colour – always test your colour first on a representative sample of timber.
Ombre painting techniques have become popular for their soft melting effect. As a gradual transition of colour from dark to light, an ombre feature will add whimsy to a room. You can also use the effect on smaller items, like pots and baskets.
Creating an ombre effect is easy with Resene paints because many of the Resene colour charts and palette cards are grouped into similar shades of colour, and normally range from dark at the top to light at the bottom. So you are able to choose, say four or five blues or greens or your favourite combination from the one palette card that will work well blended together.
Use Resene FX Paint Effects Medium or Resene Hot Weather Additive to make blending easier with a brush or use a spray unit. If you want a simpler, stronger effect you can use stripes of graduated colour going up the wall instead.
Top tip: If bold colour isn't quite, well, bold enough, check out Resene FX Fluoro. It gives you the highlighter look and is fabulous in the dark when blacklit.
updated August 2021
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