Different ways of painting

Painting a surface purple – or any other colour – is a trivial exercise in itself, but there are techniques to give the finish a refined, rich and often spectacular effect. There are too many techniques to list them all. We’ll limit ourselves to the most current ones, which we sometimes tend to forget.


Natural sponge painting consists of giving the painted surface a less smooth, less polished aspect, making it more natural. You can either paint directly with a sponge or use a brush or roller first and then go back and use the sponge. If the sponge is synthetic, the result will be slightly different. Using a glaze or adding a little water to latex paint makes it more translucent and enhances the power of the effect. An example of a combination of colours: a dark blue applied over a clear blue will give the impression of a stormy sky.

The stripped paint effect provides a wrinkled relief. With or without adding glaze or water. The technique consists of applying a fabric or newspaper on fine coat of paint which the absorbent will end up erasing in some places. The first colour breaks the second colour. Grey and purple for example. The sky’s the limit.


Imitation marble paint requires a badger and a glaze. You can blend several techniques for more creativity: sponge paint, grainy appearance, stripped effect, graining.

The smoothing and graining techniques are derived from the imitation wood technique. The three give rise to a wood effect. The graining technique also reproduces the texture of certain fabrics. However, the tools required vary from one technique to another. Bristle brush for a smooth effect, cradles for graining, brushes or sponges for imitation wood.

Practice on a small surface or in closets and wardrobes before opting for a technique. It’s the only way to master the craft. Based on experience, it can be more fun working as a pair. It’s relatively easy to do if you’re working alone. However, keep in mind that you have to the entire job from start to finish without stopping. No phone calls or texting. If the paint dries, there’s a high risk that there will be a difference in the finish.

To learn more about these techniques, or simply discover others, we recommend that book below, which we used for inspiration. It’s clear, accurate and well-explained.


Peintures à effets décoratifs pas à pas, Annie Sloan, Éditions Fleurus, Paris, 2000, 96 pages