How to Rag Paint a Wall

Learn how to rag paint walls from decorative artist Aliya Riaz in this Howcast painting tutorial.


So in our series of decorative painting techniques, now we come onto the technique called ragging, which, again, uses glaze, and a pan with a roller, plus your base color, which in this case is kind of camely color, and my glaze color is more of a caramel.

So very carefully roll on the glaze, as evenly as you can. And when you're working on a wall, try and do two foot sections at a time, from the ceiling down to the floor, and work quickly, and if you're lucky enough, try and convince a friend to help you, so that one of is doing the rolling, and the other person is doing the ragging part of the technique.

So there I've set up my glaze, and then I have some fabric, which is just 100 percent cotton. When you cut your fabric, try not to have little tails on it showing, or threads, because they can all be transferred to your glaze. And the technique largely depends on what kind of fabric you use. You could use tee shirt material, you could use velvet, a chamois, anything you want to use to get a particular effect. So the key is always, before you do anything on your wall, try and do a sample such as this, so that you know what you're going to get.

So, this is possibly, maybe, a foot square, and I'm rolling it up, and here I am, again, manipulating the rag the whole time, making sure you don't get the same imprint over and over again. Try and keep it organic, and from time to time, just take the cloth, pull it apart, and roll it up again.

So many people ask me if it's possible to do a two-layer ragging, and it certainly is, but you do have to allow the first layer to dry. And then I would always recommend that you actually use a sample and you do your first layer, then you choose your secondary glaze color. It could be the same color, which will add richness to your final finish, or you could choose a completely different color, but always try before you actually go onto your wall.

And just to give you an example of how the base color and the glaze color can have such a dramatic impact, I have a a beautiful purple base coat, and over that, I've ragged on the golden glaze, so it gives a completely different feel to the technique.

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