Decorative Painting Techniques: Two-Tone Patina
Two-tone patina gives a smooth wall the appearance of textured plaster
To create the effect of patinaed plaster, Finkelstein brushes two different colors of glaze over a base coat of paint, then blots it with cheesecloth. The technique works well with colors from the same family, but can also work with unrelated colors. One foolproof method is to pick a "goal" color from a manufacturer's color strip, then go one shade lighter for the base and use the goal color and a shade one notch darker for the two tinted glazes. But remember: Always test a scheme on posterboard before committing to it on the wall.
The secret to decorative painting is glaze, a transparent coating that's tinted and applied over a painted wall. Glazes come in latex (water-based) and alkyd (oil) formulas. Finkelstein recommends the latter for its longer working time. Note, however, that alkyd glaze requires an alkyd base coat, and cleanup means mineral spirits or turpentine. Glazes are sold untinted, so to get the color you want you'll need to add pigment. Many paint stores will sell you small amounts of the pigments they use to tint paint separately; for as little as $5 you should be able to purchase enough to tint a gallon. To get the color right, fill a small bucket with glaze and add pigment drop by drop. Make sure your base paint and all glazes are thoroughly mixed and that you try them out together on a test piece of primed drywall before you begin.