Creating a Rag Faux Finish in the Kitchen

Updating the kitchen can be a timely task. A simple way to add a bright new look to the room, without the expense of a complete remodel, is to repaint the walls. This time, instead of a flat, solid color, spice up the room with a faux rag finish on the kitchen walls.

The process is easy and can be completed in a weekend. Follow the steps below to get you on your way.

1. Tape, Tape, and Tape Some More

Before ever picking up a paintbrush or rag, break out the blue painter’s tape and protect the kitchen cabinets.

Wherever the wall being painted comes in contact with the cabinets or counters, the surface should be thoroughly taped. If the baseboards and ceiling are not being repainted, be sure to tape them too.

This step is time consuming, but it will eliminate work should drips occur and will make clean-up a breeze.

2. Pick Out the Paint

For a rag faux finish, two colors of paint will be needed. Choose a base color and an accent color. Some people prefer a light base color and a darker top color, while others prefer the opposite look. If you are unsure as to which you prefer, practice the technique both ways on a piece of cardboard or scrap wall board.

Whatever colors are selected should work well together and create the look you are trying to achieve.

3. Basic Base Coat

It is time to start painting and the first thing to paint is the base coat. If the walls need to be primed, do that first. A high-quality primer is recommended for covering dark colors and wall blemishes that have been repaired. Although it may be tempting to skip this step, it is worth the effort.

After the primer has dried completely, usually overnight, paint the walls with the base color. If a dark color was on the walls before, a second coat of paint may be necessary to completely cover it. Allow the walls to dry completely before beginning the faux ragging technique.

4. Rag Away

After the base coat has dried, it is time to begin the faux ragging process. Gather 4-5 clean, dry rags that you can throw away at the end of the process. Instead of purchasing rags, use old, but clean, undershirts, t-shirts or kitchen rags. Each will give a different look and it will keep the overall cost of the project to a minimum.

Pour a small amount of the accent color into a paint pan. Bunch a rag in your hand tightly, creating an attractive pattern of ridges and bumps at one end. Lightly dip the rag in the paint and press it on the wall. Lift the rag completely after each press and move it to a different spot on the wall.

Try to work in a small 2×2 area instead of dabbing all over the wall. Once the square is completed, move on to an adjacent area, being sure to overlap somewhat so that there is no harsh delineation between the areas. Continue until the wall is finished and let dry completely before re-hanging any wall decorations.


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