Ragging is a type of faux painting technique that is used for walls and on wooden furniture. This process creates a texture from a few different colors of paint, and the applicator is a paint-dipped rag. Learning how to rag is just a matter of having all the right items and a little bit of practice.
How To Rag
In this decorative faux painting technique, you will apply a colored glaze over a darker base coat via a dry rag. The rag is crumpled up, and one side is dipped into the glaze. Excess paint should be wiped off, and then the rag is pressed over and over again onto the base coat. The result is a textured, fabric-like appearance that gives depth and warmth to the room.
Before putting the brush to the wall, practice the ragging technique on a large piece of plywood or even cardboard. Paint the thick base coat on the practice board, and use some different techniques of ragging to get the feel of it and figure out what look you want.
Clean Dry Rags
The ragging technique works only if you use a fresh crumpled rag. Once the rag gets soaked with paint, it will only muddle the glaze onto the base color. A fresh rag will still maintain all the nice sharp crinkles that make this faux painting style stand out.
Play With Fabric
The fabric used for a rag can make a big difference as well. Cotton knit will give a more delicate texture than terry cloth rags. Choose the look you like best, and get plenty of rags. It's not unusual for someone to go through 25 rags in a medium-sized living room. You can even combine two different fabrics for a deeper texture.
When painting faux finishes, it's easy to get into the habit of holding the rag in the same hand and applying it in the same manner. For the best ragging results, rotate the rag so that the textured pattern is being applied in a different direction. Also, rotate the arm so even more random texture will be applied. Ragged walls that haven't been applied well tend to get dark streaks and visible X patterns from predictable applications.
Blot The Ragging
After the glaze has been applied, blot sections of the wall with a clean, damp sponge. Most professionals like to use a sea sponge, as it creates the desired soft blend of this decorative faux painting technique.
Faux seems like a dirty word to some people. Whether it's because they have seen horrendous examples of faux finishes or because they think it is too difficult, they just aren't interested in attempting it. They have a "don't try this at home" attitude when they see faux techniques on television or read about them online or in magazines.
Color washing is a type of faux painting that gives walls texture and depth using several different colors. The look is often compared to stucco and is perfect for either normal walls or walls that have slight damage.
A crackle finish is perfect for transforming a tired old piece of furniture into a classic shabby chic piece that looks like an heirloom. Even better, a crackle finish is one of the easier faux paint finishes for beginners.