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Painting a “Denim” Wall

Q: I saw a “denim” wall at an open house that I’d like to recreate in my home. At first I thought it was wallpaper, but it turned out to be a painting technique. How is this done?

A: The denim faux painting technique is also called “chambray.” A 12-in. wallpaper brush is used to give the wall surface the crisscross look of soft, worn, woven cloth. First, paint your base color on the wall and allow it to dry overnight. Use an eggshell or stain finish for the base. Then mix up a glaze, which is usually the same hue as the base coat but a different shade. Working in a 4×8-ft. area at a time, roll on the glaze over the base. Comb the wallpaper brush straight though the glaze from top to bottom. Experiment with different angles and pressures to find the pattern you like. Comb quickly to limit irregularities in the pattern. Make three or four passes to soften the effect. Then, comb horizontally in the same manner to create the crisscross effect of fabric.

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