Faux Finishing - Strie Technique

Texture paint.
  • 2-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 200-400
What You'll Need
Paint for the base coat
Paint roller
Sandpaper and drywall compound
Putty knife
Drop cloths
Painter's tape
Paint for the glaze coat (usually darker than the base coat)
Mixing container
Paint brush/wallpaper brush

Faux finishes are popular with many people because they visually add texture to a room at less cost and much less aggravation than wallpaper. While applying a faux painting technique to a room can take you a day or two, the process is quite straightforward and well within the skill set of a DIYer, and the added bonus is an end result well worth the effort.

Strie is a strange-sounding word that was adapted from the French word meaning striate or stripe. So, strie painting is a technique that gives your walls, doors or panels a slightly striped or streaked appearance. You achieve the striped look by dragging a dry brush through a glaze mixture that was applied over a base color. Here's how you apply a strie finish.

Step 1 - Prepare to Paint

Start by preparing your room for painting. Take all the furniture out of the room (or move it to the middle of the room and cover it with tarps) then remove all pictures, electrical outlet covers and switch plates. Place drop cloths on the floor against the walls and use your drywall compound and a putty knife to fill in any nail holes or small cracks. After the compound has dried, give the walls a light sanding (120 grit sandpaper) to provide a "tooth" for the new paint and then a quick wash to remove the sandpaper dust. Finally, use your painter's tape to cover windowsills or baseboards.

Step 2 - Paint

Apply your base coat to the newly prepared walls using your paint roller.

Step 3 - Add Strie Finish

After the paint has dried, you can finally move onto applying your strie finish. Combine your surface color and the glazing mixture - commonly available at home or paint stores, in a 3:4 ratio, (that is 3 parts paint to 4 parts glaze) and mix them well. Apply the glaze mixture with a small paint roller in a vertical strip about 6 inches wide (always work up and down not across the walls). Before the glaze has dried, drag a dry paint brush or wallpaper brush vertically through it. Use long smooth strokes applying easy pressure and again work from top to bottom.

Continue working your way around the room applying your strie finish and slightly overlapping adjacent sections to provide a seamless appearance. Let the glaze dry and wait for the compliments on your fabulous new walls.

About Glazes

Glazes are available as either latex (water based) or alkyd (oil based). Latex is far easier to work with (no odor) and clean up (soap and water). However, oil-based glazes dry slower (so provide a longer working time) and are often thought to provide a more durable finish once dry.