Painting Techniques Inspired by a European Suite

Eddie Shekari
May 7, 2018

Have you ever dreamily looked at rooms in European homes on the internet wondering how you could achieve such professional looking textured walls? Wonder no more! We?ve got your next DIY project for you step by step right here.

Venetian Plaster


For step one you will apply venetian plaster to a wall. To start this process, prep the room by taping the doors, windows, and moldings and throw a drop cloth on the floor. From here you can apply a base coat of flat latex paint using a roller for wider surface coverage. 80% is fine for the first coat because it creates contrast later. Follow the roller with random sweeps using a trowel to level out the surface and clean it often for a smoother appearance. Next, add a tint to the plaster. You can use a color similar to the tint for the base to help eliminate white spots.

After that, scoop plaster and put it in the center of the blade using a putty knife. Sweep the blade from side to side to apply a thin coat of plaster. You will want to apply it in crossed and rounded strokes to create the illusion of texture. Fill in any holes and even it out now for 100% coverage. Make sure you do at least two thin coats. You can add more as necessary to achieve your desired texture. Let this plaster dry for at least four hours before applying another coat.

Once this is dry as well you will take 400-grit sandpaper and sand down the wall in circular motions. Then wipe it with a damp towel or rags and do the same thing with 600-grit sandpaper. Sanding more creates extra contrast so do this to your desired effect and then remove the dust.

Strie or Dragging

Strie or Dragging

Step two consists of applying a strie effect to the walls of the room which don?t have the plaster. Make sure you choose a wall that is in good condition and don?t add too much water to the paint or it will drip and sag in the finish.

Once again, you will prep the room before starting. Then spray the paint pad with some water to allow you to manipulate the mixture before it dries. Dip the pad into the paint and apply the base coat in one continuous vertical stroke.

The next part is where it gets interesting. To make a topcoat glaze, combine three parts glazing liquid with one-part latex paint and apply in two-foot sections on the walls. Now the tricky part: create a combed effect by using a fair amount of pressure to drag a dry brush from top to bottom through the wet topcoat. You will want to do this right away because once the paint starts drying the coat will get goopy and uneven in some spots when you run a brush over it. Rub the brush with a rag between strokes to keep it dry and be sure to overlap each stroke a bit. If it looks like too much paint is in one area wet the brush, wipe it off, and lightly brush over it again. You will then do the same thing across the wall horizontally until the look is complete.

So Suede


Step three is the suede. If you plan to make a drastic color change then tint the primer by mixing a small amount of it with the wall color, apply, then let dry. Now mix two parts wallpaper paste with one part paint to create a pudding like consistency.

For the suede effect, you just apply paint regularly with a brush, then stipple over it, which means you make dots or short strokes over the area. Before this dries you will roll a crumpled rag over it, an effect called rag-off. To do this effectively, fold the cloth in one hand so the ends are tucked in, then apply it to the painted area and pick it straight up, moving off some of the paint. Continue the process by turning the cloth as you go so a new part will always hit the surface, working in circular motions as much as possible.

After the first coat has dried completely apply a second in the same way to add richness and depth to the walls. You want to achieve a smoothed out look with no gaps in the pattern.

Whether you choose venetian plaster, strie, suede, or all of the above, these effects can be a lot of work, and waiting between steps, which lends you to want to hire a professional. Pro Painters is here for you to create any faux textures to your home or office?s interior walls. We have been painting around the greater Houston area for over twenty years and know just how to put life back into your walls, so give us a call today!

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Eddie Shekari

Eddie founded Pro Painters in 1995 to meet the growing need for high-quality residential and commercial painting needs in Houston. In nearly 20 years, Pro Painters has exponentially grown our client base, serving residents across the greater Houston area. Our core principles have helped us achieve the highest standard of workmanship and customer satisfaction. Our years of experience have allowed us to become an extension to our customers as the all-in-one solution for home makeovers.