Step 1: Paint the Base Coat

how to paint a color wash step one: paint the base color
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Clean the walls, and cover the floors and furniture with a canvas drop cloth. Using a putty knife, fill holes with spackling compound. Sand and prime the spackled areas when dry.

Using a 1½-inch angled sash brush, cut a line of the base color at the ceiling, corners, and around the trim. Using a roller, fill in the field until the walls are covered. Apply another coat only if the color you’ve just covered shows through.
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    Tools List

    • tarp
      Canvas and tarps
    • putty knife
      Putty knife
    • paintroller
      Roller frame
    • paint pan
      Paint tray
    • bucket
      Paint bucket
    • paintbrush
      1 1/2-inch angled sash brush
    • synthetic brush
      Two 2 1/2-inch polyester-nylon paintbrushes, and a 4-inch polyester paintbrush to dry-brush the finish

    Shopping List

    1. Latex Paint: You need to choose three colors: a base coat in semigloss and two layer colors in eggshell or matte. The layer colors get mixed with glaze, so get about half as much of these two shades as you would need to paint the whole room.

    2. Latex Glaze to smooth the effect and create a translucent top coat. One gallon is enough for a 10-by-10-foot room. 3. Spackling Compound to repair the walls before painting.

    4. 150-Grit Sandpaper

    5. Primer to spot-prime any spackled areas.

    6. Tray Liners and Bucket Liners

    7. 3/8-inch Nap Roller Cover