Different Types of Paint Finishes

A Guide to the Various Types of Paint Finishes

There are many different types of paint finishes on the market. In this article each type is discussed, as well as essential accessories you’ll need for the perfect paint job.

Rag Rolling

Whether you’re sprucing up your property or putting the decorative finishes on a new build, the rag rolling technique is a great way to add texture to the walls and install a sense of life in an otherwise plain room. This technique is relatively simple to carry out, but like any painting task it can be quite messy. Cleanliness is a must if you want to achieve the desired effect, and if there are any spillages attending to these should be your first priority. Having said this, rag rolling is still an excellent way to add a rippled effect to your interior walls. If this sounds of interest, you may want to purchase some of the supplies listed below so you can begin rag rolling your walls today.

  • Emulsion paint in the colour of your choice
  • Ragging cloth or ragging chamois about 4 feet in diameter
  • Gloves
  • Paint roller and roller tray
  • A wet jay-cloth
  • Plastic sheets

If you have all of the equipment above you can start rag rolling, but first you will need to know how this should be carried out. Preparation is everything in painting, and firstly you will need to lay down your plastic sheets to protect the flooring and then use a wet clean cloth to wash down the walls. Once this is done it is a good idea to test out your rag rolling technique on some cardboard until you are happy with the effect that it creates. Once you are happy with this, you will need to paint the walls using silk emulsion paint and a roller. It is important to avoid using matt emulsion paint here as it is quite absorbent, and ultimately your newly painted walls will act as your canvas.

The above paragraph has looked at the preparation stage of rag rolling. Once your newly painted walls have dried you can begin.

  • Apply a second coat to the walls using a roller, but this time don’t allow them to fully dry
  • Roll the bunched chamois or rag across the walls in big “S” shapes. Squeeze out any excess paint when necessary
  • This can sometimes create visible seams. Use a softening brush or roller to blend these in before re-ragging them
  • Even though you want to be making large “S” shapes it is a good idea to work systematically and preferably from bottom to top. Assess your work at regular intervals

Once you have followed the steps above, all you have to do is wait for the paint to dry and then you can begin to admire you newly rag rolled walls. Even though this effect is quite easy to achieve, it can be quite time consuming and will require a lot of preparation. If you like the idea of rag rolling, but you don’t like the idea of undertaking a lot of preparation work, then maybe you should hire a professional. There are many building contractors who will have no problems undertaking a task like this, and they can save you a lot of time and effort. If you want to try it yourself then good luck, and have fun rag rolling!


Adding decorative finishes to any home is a great way to transform mundane rooms into vibrant spaces that add a lot of character to a property. There are a number of ways this can be achieved and perhaps the easiest method is to simply enlist the services of a local building contractor. But if this sounds too easy and you want to go it alone, then why not try the sponging technique. The sponging technique can transform your interior walls by providing you with a wide range of effects. You can achieve a subtle look by using muted tones, or you can gain a more adventurous appearance by using different colours with a number of layers. To apply this decorative finish technique throughout your home you will need the following:

A beautifully painted room can really change the style of a room

A beautifully painted room can really change the style of a room

  • A natural sponge
  • Plastic sheets
  • Silk emulsion for the background of your walls
  • Coloured emulsion for the finishing coat on your walls
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller and roller tray
  • A large piece of cardboard
  • A wet jay cloth

Assuming that you have all of the necessary materials which are listed above, you can begin to prepare your walls for sponging. The first stage of preparation that you will need to carry out is to paint your walls in a regular fashion using a silk emulsion. This layer will effectively act as your canvas so it needs to be left to dry before any additional paint can be applied on to it. Once this has been done then the sponging can be begin!

Before you apply any paint to your newly coated yet dry walls, you will want to test out your sponging technique on a large piece of cardboard. To do this, simply dampen your sponge in water and then dip it into the coloured emulsion paint. Be careful not to overload the sponge, yet feel free to experiment on the cardboard until you get an effect that you are happy with.

Once you feel confident with your sponging technique, you will be ready to apply this method to your interior walls. This is the fun part, but there are a few useful tips that you might want to keep in mind.

  • If you are using multiple colours, make sure each coat dries before applying a new one, and change your sponge
  • Frequently change the direction of the sponge to avoid seams and repeated effects
  • Minor mistakes can be corrected by simply wiping them over and re-sponging the surface
  • Wash the sponge out frequently to avoid overloading

By following these instructions and tips, you will be able to enjoy the unique finish that sponged walls provide. But if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, then you can always enlist the help of a professional construction company. They will be able to provide you with the effect that you desire in a quick and effective manner.

There is an endless amount of different styles paint finishes can be

There is an endless amount of different styles paint finishes can be


When it comes to decorative finishes, there are a number of looks and effects that can be achieved. Different effects will appeal to different people, and ultimately the preference of these finishes will come down to personal taste. For those who want a unique finish in their home then perhaps rag rolling should be considered, but for those who want a more elegant effect then look no further than the dragging technique. The dragging technique is one of the most useful and versatile paint effects, as it can make any home look more extravagant by giving the impression that the ceilings are higher. This is an effect that is often employed by professional building contractors, but if you feel that this technique could be incorporated into your home, then this article will tell you exactly how it can be achieved.

Firstly you will need the following materials:

  • Coloured Emulsion for the dragging effect
  • Silk Emulsion for the first coat if you are painting a wall
  • Gloss if you are painting woodwork such as skirting boards or door frames
  • A paint brush
  • A roller and roller tray
  • A large piece of cardboard to practice your dragging technique on Plastic Sheets

Before this technique is applied you will have to consider the necessary preparation work. Firstly you will need to put down plastic sheets to protect your flooring and furniture. Then you will have to apply a base coat which will need to be left to dry. Once this base coat has finished drying, you can move onto the dragging phase:

  • Practice your dragging technique on cardboard before applying it to the wall. Different levels of pressure will give different effects
  • Apply the coloured emulsion in large strips. Do not let this dry
  • Whilst the paint is wet, use a flat side of a brush to drag the paint down smoothly. This should create the dragging effect
  • After each drag make sure that you wipe the brush. Doing this will ensure that each stroke looks clean and smudging will be avoided
  • If you are applying gloss on a wooden surface such as a doorframe, make sure that you follow the grain

Whilst you can use the dragging technique on walls, it is usually better to use it on smaller surfaces such as skirting boards or doorframes. This is because it’s harder to maintain a good level of consistency over a bigger area, but then again this will be down to individual preference.

If you want a professional finish, then you should speak to a professional builder who will have years of experience when it comes to applying this dragging technique. However, if you want to undertake this task alone, then simply follow the steps that have been outlined in this article.

Glazing Furniture

Glazing is a great way to turn dreary items of furniture into standout features of your home. When applied to wood, glazing can make furniture look a lot more appealing in a number of ways. Firstly it can imitate the look of more heavily grained woods which can add depth and character to furniture, but it can also alter the original colour. Glazing is a cheaper alternative to buying new furniture if you want to change the overall look throughout home, but it also has a number of protective qualities that are sometimes overlooked. These protective qualities basically act as a treatment for your wood, making it more durable which in turn will prolong its life. So from this perspective we can see that glazing has both aesthetic and functional values.

Traditionally specialist decorators carry out glazing work, but if you would like to try it on your own then follow the steps listed below.

You will need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Protective plastic sheets
  • Either oil or water based glaze
  • A paintbrush
  • A spray gun that can spray glaze
  • Finish

Once you have the items listed above you can begin, but only after you have laid down your protective plastic sheets.

Assuming that you have followed the instructions so far, you will want to begin by sanding down all of your furniture. This will probably make it appear lighter in colour, and if it does then you know you are doing it correctly. Sanding down your furniture will require patience and a lot of elbow grease, but if you see this task through to the end then the results will be worth it.

The reason that sanding has been carried out is that it will give the wood a different texture. This different texture will allow the glaze to be absorbed more easily, giving you a better end result. So now that the furniture has been sanded down you can apply the glaze. Both oil and water based glazes have similar effects, but it should be mentioned that water based ones are usually easier to apply.

Different forms of paint can provide different textures

Different forms of paint can provide different textures

To apply the glaze, fill up a spray gun and spray the glaze liberally across all parts of the exposed wood. If you want a specific area to be darker, then simply add more glaze. Once all of the furniture has been covered you will notice that the glaze effect will lose some of its shine. Do not be alarmed by this, as this simply means that the glaze is soaking in. If you want to recover some of this initial impact, then wipe it with a rag. This will bring some of the shine back to the surface, but the real effect only happens when an ample amount of glaze is applied.

As the name suggests, finish is the last type of wood treatment that should be applied. This works with the glaze to create an appealing effect, and also adds a protective quality which ensures that the glaze doesn’t rub off. It must be noted that the finish should only be applied when the glaze has completely dried, but assuming that this has been carried out correctly you can now start enjoying your new look furniture.

As previously mentioned the glazing technique is fairly easy to use, but it can be quite hard to master. For a professional finish it is a good idea to speak to a specialised decorator in your local area. They can provide quality work at competitive rates and will be able to provide you with some invaluable advice when needed. But by following the steps above you can achieve glazing work with similar results.

Antique Wood Graining

Antiquing wood is a simple and versatile technique that can be applied to many surfaces throughout a property. This can include floors, door frames and all wooden furniture which could benefit from an aged and rustic decorative finish. Most building contractors will be able to undertake wood graining tasks when needed, but if you would like to try this technique yourself then follow the instructions that are outlined in this article.

You will need the following:

  • Fine sandpaper (not wire wool)
  • Lacquer – this is used as an undercoat
  • Wood stain – this provides the antique colour
  • Grain comb – this is the tool that is used to create an antiqued graining effect
  • Paint brush – this is the tool that is used to apply the wood stain
  • Plastic sheets
  • A wet jay cloth

The first stage of antique wood graining requires you to wash down all of the surfaces that you intend to change. Doing this won’t take long as it simply removes any dirt or grit from the surface in order to prepare it for sanding down. Once you have used your jay cloth to wash down the surfaces and have left enough time for them to dry, you can start sanding them. As mentioned in the list you will need to use fine sandpaper and not wire wool, as wire wool could damage the wood below the finish. Unfortunately this can take some time, but it is an essential part of gaining the end product that is desired.

Now that your surfaces are sanded down they will be ready for painting. Firstly you will want to apply lacquer; this will act as the undercoat before the wood stain is painted on. Apply the lacquer with a regular paint brush and leave an adequate amount of time for it to dry. Once it has dried you can then add a couple of coats of wood stain. If you want your painting to appear darker, add an additional coat. Again this will be fairly time consuming, but it is relatively straightforward. Make sure that you avoid drips and always paint with the grain, doing this will provide a much more professional finish.

Now that you have freshly painted wooden surfaces, you will need to leave at least 24 hours for these to dry. Once they are dry you can move onto the next stage which is where the antiquing effect begins to take place.

To achieve a dark antique looking finish with a strong grain, you will need to use your grain comb. Use your grain comb to effectively scrape the first few coats that have been applied. When doing this you will need to ensure that not too much pressure is applied as this could remove all of the coats that have recently been painted on. Now that you have used your grain comb across all of the necessary areas, you will almost be ready for the final step. But before you can move onto the last stage you will need to make sure that any debris from the grain combing is removed.

Assuming that you now have a clean surface that has been grain combed, you can begin to apply the last layer of wood stain. Feel free to add extra coats if you feel that the appearance isn’t dark enough. After this has been done allow for the wood to fully dry, and if all has gone to plan you should have achieved a dark antique finish that adds character to any wood grain surface.

This type of decorative finish is relatively easy to apply, but it can be harder to carry out than simply glazing wooden surfaces as there are more steps to follow. If you feel that you could use some help then why not speak to a professional building contractor. They will be able to provide you with quality work at competitive prices, whilst having a lot of antique wood graining experience.

When applying a paint finish you could add more than one colour

When applying a paint finish you could add more than one colour


Whether you’ve just moved into a new build or are simply thinking about changing your properties interior, having the right decorative finish can be seen as a great way to transform your home. Different decorative finishes provide different effects, but one finish that is ideal for bedrooms and other tranquil areas is stippling. Stippling is a painting technique that uses a stiff brush combined with short strokes and a dotting method that creates a soft freckled appearance. The look achieved is something that appeals too many, and traditionally a professional building contractor would undertake this task. But by reading the steps outlined in this article, you could try this technique yourself and gain a stippling effect that looks great in any property.

Before you can start stippling there are a few items that you will need:

  • Coloured emulsion paint of your choice
  • Silk emulsion for your background coats
  • Plastic sheets to protect your furniture and floors
  • A stippling brush – if you don’t have one of these then a large stiff brush will do
  • A paint roller and a roller tray
  • Cardboard to practice your stippling technique on
  • A damp jay cloth

As soon as you have the materials listed above you can move onto the preparation stage. To prepare your walls for stippling, you will firstly need to clean your walls using a wet jay cloth and then lay down the protective plastic sheets. After this has been completed you will then need to paint your walls in the regular fashion using the silk emulsion and a paint roller. These freshly painted walls will act as the canvas for you to begin your stippling which will be outlined in the next paragraph.

As soon as the base coats have dried you can start to apply the coloured emulsion. Apply the coloured emulsion over small areas and make sure that it doesn’t dry. Once you have done this use the bristles of your stippling brush to pat the coloured wall which will in turn create a textured effect. Ideally you should practice this technique on the cardboard beforehand in order to get a feel for the effects that can be made. Once you are happy with your technique, apply this method to all of the areas that you want stippled. Then simply wait for the paint to dry, and you can begin to enjoy the benefits of your newly stippled walls.

As you can see stippling is a fairly simple technique to employ but it can be a hard technique to master. To gain a professional finish it is best to get in contact with a building contractor that has years of stippling experience. But if you want to try to stipple your interior walls yourself, have a look at the tips below which could come in handy.

  • Use the stippling technique in a random pattern. This will make the overall effect look more natural by avoiding seams
  • You can use a paint brush to blend in areas that look uneven
  • Stand back from your work on a regular basis to assess the effect that has been created

It is a good idea to apply a clear varnish to the wall which will help maintain the look. Make sure that a minimum of 24 hours drying time is given before this is done