Metallic glaze paints are one of the easiest ways to get an updated look for your walls with minimum effort. Glazes are easy to use and more widely available than they used to be. You can now find several shades of pre-mixed metallic glaze at the big home improvement stores. Metallic glazes are available in hues intended to mimic natural metals such as gold, silver, pewter, copper and bronze.
Glazes should be applied over a base coat of semigloss paint in a color that is close to the metallic glaze color. If using pewter glaze, paint a base coat of gray. You can use gold glaze over light tan or beige paint that has hints of yellow in the base. If you need help with your selection, ask the professionals at the paint stores or home improvement warehouse. They will gladly guide you through your paint choices for the base coat.
Prep work is a key ingredient to getting the best results when painting with metallic glazes. The lustrous quality of the glaze will show imperfections more than regular latex paints. Bumps, scratches and any drywall repair jobs will show through easier on walls that have been glazed. Be sure to sand smooth any spackle used to fill nail holes. Then use a latex primer over the repaired drywall before painting the entire wall with a base coat of semigloss paint.
If you’re worried that painting an entire room with metallic glaze will overpower the room, there are ways to tone it down. One method is to paint alternating stripes of regular paint and metallic glaze. You control how wide or narrow the metallic stripes will on the walls. This technique gives a softer sheen but still adds depth. For the most sophisticated style, choose a paint and glaze in almost the same color for the stripes. A brown latex paint and a bronze metallic glaze would be beautiful together. Soft neutrals such as white or ivory are also good base colors for the stripes.
One of my favorite techniques doesn’t involve measuring and taping at all. A color wash technique simply uses painters’ rags to apply the metallic glaze on the walls in a circular motion above a chair rail only. This allows natural light to reflect on the glazed surfaces of the upper walls. This gives a subtle warm glow to a room when sunlight, wall sconces or overhead lighting reflects on the metallic glaze.
So the next time you consider updating a room with paint, keep metallic glazes in mind. They’re fun, easy and don’t require any special artistic skills to apply. Metallic glazes can impart a dramatic new look without spending much money at all. They only look rich!