Decorative Techniques


Burgundy Faux Finish

What you need:

  • Deep tone latex burgundy paint
  • Deep brown latex paint
  • Latex glaze mixture
  • Paint roller
  • Sea sponge

How to do it:

Step 1: Prepare the surface
As with any paint project, be sure to clean and prepare the surface properly before beginning your project. See our Interior Prep, Prime and Paint for details on the surface you"ll be painting.

Step 2: Choose the specific colors for your project
The faux technique shown will utilize a deep tone latex burgundy paint as the base coat. You can use this technique with a wide range of basecoats and glazes that would suit your particular home. Decorative techniques work best with eggshell or low sheen paints rather than dead flats.

The glaze coat for the Burgundy Faux should be a mix of a deep brown latex paint plus latex glaze mixture. Mix ratio is 4 to 1 (4 parts glaze to 1 part latex paint) to impart translucency and workability to the glaze. Be sure to use latex glaze with latex paint.

Step 3: Test the technique
Purchase a few foam boards to test the technique and color combinations before applying to the wall. Once boards have been painted and dried, put in different locations in the room to see the color in different lights — both daylight and artificial light.

Step 4: Apply the decorative finish
  • Apply basecoat, first "cutting" out around ceiling, corners, baseboards and doors. Roller apply basecoat using medium nap roller to minimize roller tracks. Deep tone paints often require multiple coats to cover the surface. Using top quality paints will give you the best coverage. Allow basecoat to dry thoroughly.
  • Prepare the 4:1 latex glaze/deep tone brown paint mixture and pour into a roller tray lined with plastic liner. Fill reservoir of roller tray with glaze, you will be using flat portion to "offload" your decorative tool.
  • Prepare a sea sponge(s) by soaking in water to soften, then squeeze out all excess water. Dip sponge into glaze mixture, "offload" by dabbing sponge on flat part of roller tray, then apply to wall in random pattern. Glaze can either be dabbed onto wall, angling wrist — or glaze can be "wiped" onto wall with sponge and then "blotted" with a clean sponge to achieve desired look.

The important thing to remember when applying glaze is to work in small areas so a "wet edge" can be maintained, i.e. keeping the glaze wet until the desired look is achieved. Many people use a partner to help them with faux projects — both to make it more fun and to work quickly to maintain the wet edge. Always start at the corners and work across a wall.

One tricky part of creating a realistic faux look is to make the corners and edges (ceiling and baseboards) look like the rest of the wall. One tip is to first mask the edges, then find a sponge that has a flat edge. Cut small pieces of that sponge to make it easier getting into the small, straight spaces.

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