How to Create a Faux Fabric Effect With Paint
With a little practice and a dry brush, you can create the look of textured wall coverings
Dragging, or strie, is a way to add interest to a smooth surface. The technique is as simple as pulling a dry brush through a coat of wet tinted glaze. It allows a range of looks, including striking, fabric-like "weaves." One thing to know before getting started: "You've really got to work quickly," says decorative painter Ingrid Leess, who recommends having one person roll on the glaze while another one does the dragging. The effect is pronounced when there's a clear contrast between the base- and glaze-coat colors; tones of similar intensity can yield a subtler look. Witness the play of color and texture shown here. Below the crisp white chair rail, Behr's Cornflower Blue is topped by a crisscross pattern of Mesmerize over Starless Night, evoking the warmth of your favorite jeans. Above it, Behr's Ashwood is topped by a one-way pattern in Ultra Pure White for a look that's closer to starched linen.
Tip: Dragging the brush from top to bottom is easier when a wall is divided into sections.
Mix the Glaze Coat for the Upper Walls; Roll it On
Once the base coat is dry, use disposable cups to mix equal parts glaze and the first color, in satin latex. Stir, and pour into a paint tray. Beginning at the top corner of the upper wall, cut in and roll the glaze from the ceiling down to the chair rail. To keep the glaze from drying before you drag it, don't go wider than 3 feet.