Faux Painting with Tissue Paper to Achieve a Veined Look – Or – I’m too Lazy to Repair This Wall Properly

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faux-paintFaux paint techniques are a cool way to make something look like something it’s not. You can make simple drywall look like it’s stone or stucco, or as if there are leaves embedded in it, and so on. But, faux painting isn’t just artsy and decorative. No, it can also be used to hide all sorts of imperfections and is an easy out for people like me who don’t want to be bothered with filling, sanding, mudding and re-taping or any other unpleasant, repair related tasks.  

Here Are the Steps for Tissue Paper Faux Painting

The veined looking, tissue paper paint technique shown here is easy to do.  (And you’d never know how dinged up the drywall is underneath!) You will need:

  • Two-tone base coat and glaze in the colors of choice. We used Sherwin Williams “Faux Impressions”

    Tissue paper and sponge -- easy peasy.
  • 9″ paint roller
  • Tissue paper
  • Paint tray
  • Heavy sponge

First, roll the wall with the base coat and let dry.

Next, prepare the tissue paper. Tear some of the tissue into manageable strips (I used 3-4 inches wide) for use along joints/corners. For larger sections of wall, leave the sheets whole. Working in sections of about 2 x 2 feet, roll a light amount of base coat onto the wall, spread a section of tissue paper over it so it sticks, and roll it in. The tissue will create natural wrinkles and veins as you go over it with the paint roller.  Allow the wall to dry.

The Two-Tone Glaze Mixture Gives the Real Contrast in Faux Painting

Once it’s dry, you’ll see the raised veins and wrinkles, but it’s the application of the two-tone glaze mixture that really shows the contrast. In a separate tray, add some of the glaze to the base coat. NOTE: This step warrants a little experimentation because a little glaze goes a long way, especially if you’re using darker colors. It’s worth it to try a test spot before you apply the paint to the entire wall, which is what I did.  (Remember, I don’t like to be bothered with extra work?)  The result I got is a bit darker than I was hoping for, but I’m living with it. (I didn’t even want to repair the wall — so as you might imagine, there’s no way I’m repainting.)

By the pros at "Faux Walls and More"

When you’ve arrived at the desired depth of color, dip a dry sponge into the glaze/base mixture and rub over sections of the wall in a circular motion. It’s best to feather the paint from one section into the next so it doesn’t look too heavy or gloppy. Continue the process, overlapping sections until the surface is fully covered. Use the torn strips to get into corners and joints, or to fill in any areas that may have been missed during the process.

View a live demonstration of this technique or check out other examples of faux painting by the real pros at Faux Walls and More.

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About Liz

Liz is a professional, custom picture framer based in Central New York. She and her contractor husband are currently renovating their second home together. At the time of this writing, they are not on speaking terms. Her love of making stuff with wood and DIY home projects began by watching her Dad. (It was also around this time Liz's incessant use of "colorful language" took root.) She's an avid gardener, stellar cook and doesn't throw like a girl: an all-around rad chick.

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