MANGROVE REALTY ASSOCIATES
Lori Madden, MANGROVE REALTY ASSOCIATES
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Add a Dash of Splash

by Lori Madden 03/31/2019

The wall finishes you loved five years ago seem a little stale now. Even though the walls have held up and don't need repainting, the look seems dated. Either that or your do-it-yourself gene wants to express itself again with something completely different. Go ahead. Splash some paint on those walls. Better yet, try a new finish to add warmth, depth, and sophistication to any room.

Decorative techniques

  • Sophisticated stenciling. Instead of flowers, paisley, and fleurs-de-lis think techno dashes or graphic geometrics. Try a single wall in the bathroom, or above the backsplash in the kitchen. For a fanciful finish, wrap your design around a corner and fade into the larger wall.
  • Stripes and checks. New painter tapes and smoother wall finishes lend themselves to stripes and checks. For an intricate detailing try graduating from wide stripes to narrow as you move up the wall or start with a darker color and move to a lighter one. Another sophisticated look is a plaid or check. Think gingham for a classic design. You'll need both a deeper and lighter version of the same hue to complete the look.
  • Strié. Different from stripes, strié is a faux finish utilizing glaze and brushes in a horizontal or vertical motion to create natural striations—fine ridges or grooves—on the surface of the wall. Because the process removes glaze with each brush stroke, it is a "negative technique" rather than adding it. The simplest version requires rolling a layer of faux-glaze over the entire wall, then removing it in lines with a dry brush.
  • Dots and harlequins. Add a bit of whimsy to the wall of a bedroom wall with polka dots or harlequins (elongated diamonds). Use a stencil for the dots and tap for the harlequins. Raise the bar a bit with your dots by placing them randomly rather than an evenly-spaced pattern or put larger groups of dots nearer the ceiling with fewer and fewer as they progress down the wall toward the floor.
  • Metallics. A newcomer to the paint scene, metallic paints such as pewter or copper in a glossy finish add drama to a niche or alcove. Use a metallic bronze above a fireplace or paint a powder room ceiling antique gold.
  • Sponging. Arguably one of the least complex finishes to master, sponging can date your home back to the 90s or move it into the modern era depending on the care and precision you use. A single color, say blue or green on a white wall, is the old version of this technique. To give a completely updated version, paint the wall a medium dark color, say an ocean blue, and then sponge on slightly lighter and slightly darker colors with a light hand to give the wall the look of aged azure stone. For a more formal look, lightly add metallic touches with a dry sponge to add reflective tones.
  • Color wash. For textured walls and paintable wallpaper, color wash creates a beautiful finish. Paint the walls in a satin finish paint, then, brush over it with a glaze mixture to bring out the texture.
  • Hand rubbed. Like color wash, the hand-subbed technique uses a soft cloth or old cotton sock, instead of a brush, to rub the glaze in a circular pattern onto the wall.

No matter what the technique, if you don't love the finished product, simply paint over it and start again. Before utilizing a specialty paint technique on the walls in a home you plan to sell, chat with your local real estate professional to see if it's the right choice for your home.

About the Author
Author

Lori Madden

As a Florida native growing up in Sarasota, I have seen my hometown grow from a sleepy coastal town to a highly sought-after destination along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. After working in Chicago for 5 years, I returned to Sarasota and saw it through a new lens and really began to appreciate what makes Sarasota so desirable, including temperatures that allow for year round outdoor activities including tennis (a personal favorite), golf, boating, kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, or just relaxing and/or shelling on our pristine sandy shores, including Dr. Beach’s #1 beach in the United States for 2017, Siesta Key! Sarasota’s cultural amenities are many and diverse, appealing to a wide range of arts lovers. Downtown Sarasota has become a destination in itself, drawing many new developments for those who want to be within walking distance of Main Street's offerings and the picturesque bayfront and marina. Foodies will find an eclectic mix of locally owned and operated restaurants offering something for everyone, and there are now Farmers Markets every day of the week in various locations throughout Sarasota, but the Saturday morning Farmers Market in downtown Sarasota draws the biggest crowds. Since 1988, my passion has been selling real estate, representing both buyers and sellers. I have been recognized by my clients and customers for an uncompromising work ethic and dedication to helping them achieve their real estate goals. Relying on my experience as a real estate paralegal and being highly organized, I am able to help make the transition between contract and closing a smooth one for my clients. With an eye for interior and landscape design, I've been known to pitch in and help Sellers minimize and/or reorganize their belongings in order to stage their home to maximize its sale potential. I specialize in out of state buyers looking for their piece of paradise along the Gulf Coast and make it a priority to keep them up to date on our quickly changing local real estate market. I welcome the opportunity to share with you all Sarasota and her surrounding islands have to offer!