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Silk Effect with Paint

I am interested in creating a silk-like effect with paint using a green base and Martha Stewart gold. I have seen several videos for other effects, but not the silk. The room will have an Oriental decor. Help.

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Posted 2011-08-17T17:28:09+0000  by KJC KJC

Hey there KJC,


Thanks for the question! Great to see some more interest in doing fun and inventive finishes. It's also great because it gives me the chance to make another video, which is always a plus! So since you asked nicely enough about it, I've made one for you on this particular finish, just to give you a quick run through on how to apply the texture.


I would recommend, if you haven't already, watching my video on the linen finish. It gives a couple of points out  that double for this type of finish as well. You can check it out -> here!


First things first though, a list of what materials you'll need for this:

  • Base Coat

This will be your "background" color. You can choose any type of paint be it Behr, Martha Stewart, etc. I would recommend something lighter than your eventual glaze coat, as well as something without a lot of shine (ex. Eggshell)

  • Glaze Color

This is the color the actual linen effect will be in. You'll need less of this than you will of your base coat (you'll need 1 qt. for every gallon of glaze coating you do) Again, this can be mixed in any make of latex paint.

  • Faux Finish

We sell these from either Behr or Martha Stewart in our stores, and either works great for this (I'll be demoing with Martha Stewart for you.) You will actually mix your latex glaze color with this, and it becomes your new glaze coat. Be sure to follow the appropriate mixing proportions on the can, or ask at the paint desk when you're picking the colors out.

  • Steel Wool

This is included in the Martha Stewart Faux kit, but you can also purchase it seperately in our store. It's recommended to use a #3 or #4 style wool, meaning the coarsest available. But you can experiment with finer ones as well.

  • Thin Roller or Chip Brush

If you're covering the whole wall, I would use a thin 1/4" nap roller to apply the glaze coat. If you're working in sections, use a small chip brush then.

  • Terry Cloths or Shop Rags

Keep some handy, you'll need em!





  1. Apply your base coat like you would normally and let it dry.
  2. As it dries, unroll your steel wool and loosen it up. Roll it back the opposite way and be sure to remove any errant pieces. Loosening it up this way gives you the fine striping were looking for.
  3. Put a thin layer of your glaze coat over it with the roller or chip brush, not too thick though!
  4. As it's still wet, use the wool to drag the paint. Be sure to keep your lines straight as I mention in the video.
  5. Repeat (3) for the rest of the wall, slightly overlapping the previous pass with your next go.
  6. Let it dry and enjoy!~

As I mentioned in the video, the wool's coarseness will be the deciding factor in this finish. Martha recommends using the #3 or #4, but that's totally up to you. Experiment a bit using different styles on a small drywall board like I demo on.


Also be aware of two things:

  • As you are applying the texture, the filaments of the wool may stick to the paint as you go. Be sure to be careful when this happens and how often it does. If you are seeing a lot of it, consider balling the wool up again. Don't let the filaments dry into the paint, be sure to remove them as quickly as possible. 
  • Be aware that you will need to complete this finish from top to bottom. So have a step ladder handy for this job since doing it in sections just won't look the same as if it is in one pass.

Like I mentioned, be sure to let me know if you have any other questions on doing this finish. And if you can, post up pictures of the before and after of this so we can marvel at your handywork too!~

Posted 2011-08-18T15:53:19+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI
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