Decorative Techniques



Rag rolling techniques give walls the dramatic effect of crushed velvet, parchment, chamois leather, watered silk or brocade.

What you need:

  • Solid base color paint
  • Glaze
  • Pieces of fabric, such as linen, lace, and burlap

How to do it:

Step 1:
Begin with the application of a solid color base and allow it to dry. For "ragging on," dip a crumpled cloth in a glaze or and blot on the wall. "Ragging off" involves lifting off part of the glaze coat to reveal the undercoat.

Step 2:
"Rag-rolling on" requires the painter to roll the cloth into a sausage shape of varying tightness. Lightly dip the roll into the glaze and apply to the base coat with a rolling motion.

Step 3:
For "rag-rolling off", roll a slightly dampened rolled cloth through the wet glaze coat to reveal the undercoat.

Using different fabric for the rag will create different effects. Popular materials include linen, lace, and burlap, but almost any natural fiber material will do as long as it is clean and lint-free. Layering glazes works well with this technique as long as each layer is allowed to dry thoroughly.

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