Add Subtle Color and Visual Texture to Living Room Walls with Rag-Roll Painting Techniques in Neutral Tints and Satin Sheens

Transform your living room walls with a faux finish applied with a rag-roll painting technique and contrasting neutral color in satin sheen paint and glaze. An old cotton rag and this modern variation of an ancient painting process can add rich painting interest to any smooth wall in your home, creating a new décor that's appropriate for any era.

Read More
selecting colors for rag-roll painting technique
Step 1

Prepare the Wall before Beginning the Rag-Roll Painting

Remove all layers of wallpaper and repair plaster or wallboard to ensure the walls are clean and smooth. Choose the coordinating wall and rag-roll painting colors. Apply two coats of satin sheen latex paint in the preferred base wall color.

mixing glaze and paint for the rag-roll painting project
Step 2

Mix Paint and Glaze for the Rag-Roll Painting Project

Mix equal parts of latex paint and water-based glaze in a container. These products have a satin sheen to match the gloss level of the painted walls and will produce a soft sheer look. The glaze also slows drying time.

dampening rags for the rag-roll painting project
Step 3

Prepare Tools for the Rag-Roll Painting Technique

Obtain cotton rags about a foot square and dampen them with water in preparation for the rag-roll painting project. Pour a small amount of the paint/glaze mixture into a clean paint tray.

forming a rag rosette for the rag-roll painting project
Step 4

Shape the Rag into a Rosette for the Rag-Roll Painting Project

Lay the cloth out flat, pinch and lift it at the middle, and gather it into your hand. Poke your finger into the center to give the desired shape/texture of a rosette for the rag-roll painting project.

masking off the trim for the rag-roll painting project
Step 5

Empty and Prepare the Room for the Rag-Roll Painting Project

Remove all the furniture and other room contents to provide clear access to the walls. Use painter's tape or low-tack masking tape to cover and protect the ceiling and trim immediately beside the wall while you paint.

daubing paint in the rag-roll painting technique
Step 6

Daub the Rosette in Paint for the Rag-Roll painting Technique

Daub the rosette lightly in the paint and apply several splotches on the wall. Continue daubing in an ever-expanding pattern to leave random white space and thinner areas of the paint behind for in the rag-roll painting technique.

carrying the rag-roll painting technique into corners
Step 7

Continue the Rag-Roll Painting Technique in Corners

Press the rag against the wall corners and tape-masked trim to carry the rag-roll painting technique and design into nooks and crevices on the sides and ceiling. Avoid touching wood trim and other areas that are not masked.

restoring the room after the rag-roll painting project
Step 8

Restoring the Room after the Rag-Roll Painting Project

Remove masking tape from the walls and trim when the rag-roll painting project is complete and the paint has dried. Replace the furniture and accessories to get the full effect of the rag-roll painting technique.

Ron Hazelton Headshot

Have your project done by a local, qualified professional.


Not everyone is in a position to do a project themselves. That's why I've partnered with HomeAdvisor Powered by Angi to provide you with free quotes from qualified local professionals.


Blog Articles

December 14, 2021

How to Make Moveable Drawer Dividers

This technique will allow you to create drawer dividers that are moveable and adjustable for any drawer in your home.

December 03, 2021

How to Enlarge a Hole with a Hole Saw

If you've already cut a large diameter hole with a hole saw and now need to enlarge it, you'll need to know this trick in order to get it done right.

November 18, 2021

How to Make a DIY House Number Sign

In this post, I’ll show you step-by-step how I made my DIY house number sign - everything from considerations and decisions to make upfront through the whole process until completion.

Recent Articles