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How to Do Sgraffito Painting aka Scratching

Learn how to do sgraffito painting aka the scratching technique from decorative artist Aliya Riaz in this Howcast painting tutorial.


In our series Decorative Painting Techniques we're going to explore another Asian-inspired technique which relies on two strong colors. One being your base color, in this case I've chosen a really crisp apple green, and the top color is decidedly orange, so I've charged my roller and I'm going to apply and give almost full coverage over the green base. And I first came upon this technique because a client of mine had asked me to do an accent wall in his house. The key is always the combination of the two colors. In the one I did for my client I had a gold background with a brown glaze, and the ratio to paint is around 50-50, so you'd use about 50 percent paint and 50 percent glaze.

So the other very important tool in order to carry out this technique is the very humble eraser and that is what you use to make your marks. So first you can go horizontally and then vertically or completely the opposite way if that's what you prefer to do. And all the lines, whether they're vertical or horizontal, really do not have to be straight. In fact they should really be artistically slightly curved. So this is a very revealing Asian technique. And, again, when you're working on a wall you need to work fairly quickly because the glaze paint will dry, so work on two or three square feet at a time. Other good combinations possibly might be a silver base with a beautiful sapphire blue glaze. Really your imagination is the limit. So here we have an Asian-inspired decorative technique.

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