The Power of Feature Walls and how to Paint Them

Updated: Mar 29

Feature walls! Maximum impact, minimum cost.

You don't need expensive wall papers to crate a stunning feature wall, you can create them with paint, and the good news is, it's easy, cost effective and fun.

Below is a picture of a feature wall I did in the shop. I get asked by many people how I achieved it so here goes!

The wall is painted in chalk paint with a gold tinted wax to add a touch of lustre and interest. The tinted wax over the paint is a great way to achieve depth and give the wall more of an organic feel.

  1. Apply a thick coat of paint, deliberately working in every direction to achieve brush marks and texture.

  2. Leave it to fully dry and touch up/add a second coat if required.

  3. Apply a thin coat of clear wax this will seal the paint. Sealing the paint first means there will be less "grab" when you apply the second coat which will be tinted with gold paint. If you want a more dramatic gold tint then omit this step, but do bear in mind that you will not be able to remove any excess gold without a coat of clear wax underneath.

  4. To make the gold tinted wax, spoon a good amount of clear wax (bearing in mind it goes a long way) onto a plate or board. Open and MIX WELL a tin of Metallic Gold. Once fully mixed and combined, use a 40/60 ratio of gold to clear wax on the plate. Keeping a slightly higher quantity of wax to paint will ensure that the paint stays buttery and easy to work with.

  5. Take a wax brush and apply the wax in every direction pushing it into the brushstrokes that you made with the paint. You can wipe off any excess with a lint free cloth and buff to a sheen of you wish when its dry.

Another method of achieving a feature wall with depth but little texture, is to water the paint down as you apply it. The picture below is an illustration of what I mean. I will talk you through what I did below.

To achieve this look, I combined Paris Blue with Nightfall all mixed together in a container before I started. A word of caution when doing this, ensure you have mixed enough paint to do the whole wall! This time I got it right, there are many times when I haven't and I have run short, just before the end. Needless to say I had to start again!

So here's how I achieved the look.

  1. Apply the paint from the container with a large brush, a wall brush is ideal.

  2. Spray water from a water spray/mister bottle, directly on to the wall and spread with the brush. As you water the paint down you will notice the pigment change depending on how much water you add and how much you move the paint around.

  3. Use another dry wall brush to add a little brushstroke and texture to the paint.

  4. As you go keep stepping back and adding paint to different areas. If you want certain sections darker, add less water to those you want lighter or more broken down.

  5. The over all effect will depend on what colour the original wall was, in my case it was white, so you can see areas of that coming through. I deliberately kept the paint thin in areas, this is where the blue is at its lightest.

  6. I did leave this wall unfinished as I like the chalky nature of the paint and know that few things will be rubbing up against it.

  7. If you want to seal the wall and make it more robust you can use; clear wax which this will give it an organic feel (as the wax is absorbed by the paint) and is low sheen; or lacquer which comes in Matte, Satin or Gloss depending on the sheen level.

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