DIY Home Decor: How To Paint a Faux Concrete Wall Finish

Color Therapy

A few years ago I wrote about a distressed glazing technique which has a distressed feel to it, a way we developed to add visual texture to your walls that doesn't like a stock rag rolling. Here, we take this process one step further.

The look is both soft and contemporary, works well in urban environments, and is still livable. It’s unique every time, and in this example we’re emphasizing a linear quality, as if the “concrete” was poured into a wood formwork.

We started with a basecoat of Benjamin Moore White Water 2120-60, and then broke up the grey with slashes of black, brown and blue applied randomly with a putty knife, which remain as part of the underpainting.

We then drew in pencil lines at four-inch intervals; these need not be exact, and follow the rhythm of the room.

Glazing begins with Nickel 2119-50 (glaze 3:1 ratio to paint) applied with a nine-inch plaster blade and blurred in with a rag, and the knifing aspect of this suggests Venetian plaster or stucco. There’s no sponging this time out, and drips and splatters add to the charm.

Next, we went around the room again with a darker glaze in Smoke Gray 2120-40 to build up layers, and then closed the whole thing up with a final glaze in our original wall color of 2120-60. This makes the whole thing look like one substance.

You should think of your room as one big painting, with a beginning, middle and end. It’s like Abstract Expressionism for the walls.

- Re-edited from a post originally published on July 17, 2013 - DF

(Image credits: Mark Chamberlain)