Friday, August 7, 2009

Painting Trick

Meet my old friend from college, Matte Medium. I used to use this all the time on canvases to create straight lines. You tape off an area. Apply the matte medium along the tape line apply a layer of paint. Allow to dry. Remove the tape and voila, you have a straight line.
Well, as you know, I've been painting my house and needed a way to tape off straight lines, but because our walls are so textured, I needed a way to do it and still get a crisp edge. I'd heard of using glazes to do this, but didn't really know much about them. Then one day, I was watching some design show (wish I knew who to give credit to but I watch so many, there's no telling) and they mentioned using matte medium to do just that, create a crisp edge when painting interiors. You mean you can use matte medium on something other than canvases? You betcha! I followed the same steps that I did with acrylic paintings on canvas and it worked great!
Here's where I taped off a weird angle on our ceiling.


This is just to demonstrate that even a subtle change in paint color can make architectural details like moldings "pop".
I didn't want anything too bold because I don't want to have to repaint if/when we move. So I wanted something neutral. Plus, darker colors can tend to make spaces look smaller.

Here's an up close pic of where I taped off in our kitchen. I hadn't decided what color to do in the kitchen, so I stopped along the corner. I had some difficulties in deciding where to stop because I have rounded corners, but I decided to stop right before the corner. I don't think it really matters as long as you stop consistently on all the other corners.
Notice how textured the wall is.


1. Tape off the area you want to paint.

2. Apply a thin layer of matte medium along the edge you want to be crisp.

3. Allow to dry.

4. Apply a layer of paint. Allow to dry. (apply another layer of paint if necessary)

5. Once paint has been allowed to dry (I waited at least 6 hours), remove the tape.

Just make sure that you don't apply the matte medium or paint to thick. Also, just use a back and forth motion along the edge of the tape.

1 comment:

TLEB said...

I love the tip about the straight line - thank you! I have striped ALL OVER this house and it has always driven me crazy how the line is bumpy. I wished I had known about this!!