Parchment Painting Technique

What You'll Need
Alkyd (oil) base colored paint
Alkyd (oil) accent color paint
Alkyd (oil) based glazing liquid
Mineral spirits or paint thinner
Paint tray and roller
Joint compound
Putty knife
Cotton rag
Drop cloths
Paint brushes

A popular variation of common faux painting techniques is "parchment" painting. In this technique, you end up with walls that look like they have been covered with sheets of old parchment. Like other faux painting techniques, parchment painting isn't difficult and it can transform a room in a weekend. Here how to go about covering your walls with "parchment".

Preparing to Paint Parchment
Your first step is to put a fresh coat of paint on your room. Move all the furniture out of the room (or into the center of the room and cover it with plastic sheets). Take down any pictures, wall hangings and remove all switch and outlet plates. Fill any nail holes or cracks with joint compound and give it time to set up. Once the compound is dry, you can lightly sand the walls (use 120 grit paper). Finally, give the walls a quick washing with clean water to remove any dust left from the sanding and once the walls are dry you can apply the first (base) coat of paint to the entire room.

Parchment Painting
After the base coat has dried, mix equal parts of oil based glazing liquid, oil based paint and mineral spirits or paint thinner together. Dip your paint roller into the mixture and roll a few strokes of the glazing mixture onto the wall. Don't use the same rolling technique you would for painting the entire wall, right now you just want the glazing mixture to be in separate strips, not covering the entire wall. Now use your cotton rag (rolled into a ball) to spread the glazing mixture into the unpainted/dry sections. Roll the rag as you spread the glazing mixture to produce slight variations in the finished appearance.
Work in relatively small sections (about 4 ' by 4') and don't stop until you have finished the whole wall.
You do want to end up with glazing mixture covering the entire wall, but you don't want to work it until it's totally smooth or you will lose the parchment appearance.

That's it; you've just given your walls a new faux parchment painted appearance. You can apply the parchment painting technique to an entire room or just a single accent wall whatever fits in with your design inspiration. Now, all that’s left is to wait for the paint to dry, restore your room and enjoy your handiwork.

Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer. His work has covered a wide range of topics, but he specializes in home maintenance and how to's. He has more than 500 articles published on the web, as well as print magazines and newspapers in both the United States and Canada.