Antique glazed walls impart a softened, aged patina to distressed plaster walls.




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featuring the
3 step colorScheme system

You can create additional plaster wall color tones, in virtually any color combination. For additional color recipes visit the artsparx color palette. To create alternate colored plaster walls, simply follow this step-by-step tutorial, substituting the base color suggested below with the base color specified in each color recipes at the artsparx color palette, and complete the effect using the glaze recipe from the selected Color Palette tutorial.

Plastering method

180 grit sandpaper
Drop Cloths
Painters tape
2 - 2.5 quart buckets (2 liter)
Disposable gloves
Universal tinters
Floetrol or
Latex Glazing Liquid
(1/2 inch)
2 Sponges


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Frescoes Series 2

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Learn how to create a textured plaster surface suitable for color washing, glazing and painted fresco elements.


More techniques
Color washing
Glazing techniques 
Rag rolling 
Wood graining 
Striee glazing
Dragging techniques 
Pouncing techniques
Style archives
Preparation of surfaces
Know your materials

Classic Parchment
color recipe.
Available only at the artSparx Color Palette!


Hand-painted Delft tiles

The loose un-even quality of this faux technique makes painted Delft tiles an ideal decorative effect for the beginner or inexperienced do-it-yourselfer.

Irregular lines and hand painted renderings add character and old world charm, easily achieved without any prior painting experience.

more decorative treatments

"Poetry is superior to painting in the presentation of words, and painting is superior to poetry in the presentation of facts"

Leonardo da Vinci  1452-1519



Simulated Fresco -
Antiquing techniques Series 2

Photo courtesy of Freccia Studios -

Decorative elements, such as these painted
olive branches and bumble bees,
enhance this country bath.

Rating 2.5 -moderate

Plaster Effects Center
Fresco series 1 - Creating a plaster surface
Fresco series 2 - Antiquing the plaster surface
Fresco series 3 - Hand-painted fresco elements
Color mixing recipes
Parchment color recipe
artSparx Color Learning Center
More decorative paint and glazing techniques
Series 1
Applying a plaster finish
Series 2
Antique glazing and distressing
Series 3
Hand-painted fresco elements

Create old world charm or contemporary sophistication with these easy to follow plaster effects and simulated Fresco techniques.

artSparx has created a 3 stage step-by-step tutorial series. Series 1 begins with basic plaster application, Series 2 illustrates antique glazing and plaster distressing methods, culminating in the final fresco simulation Series 3, hand-painted elements. You can complete each tutorial as a finish and style in it's own right. Or, depending on your interests and style needs, combine the tutorials to achieve the hand-painted fresco appearance that will bring your environment to life.

Series 1 - Plaster effects Application
Series 2 - Antique glazing and distressing
Series 3 - Hand-painted fresco elements

Plaster walls before an antique glaze is applied.


Preparing the surface

Step 1: Once you have completed the plaster application (Creating a plaster surface), and allowed the surface to completely dry, you are ready to begin the antiquing of your plaster wall surface. Begin by lightly sanding the plaster surface to smooth it and remove any coarse areas. Use 180 grit sand paper and loosely sand surface. This should be done in a quick and efficient manner. The intention is to smooth the surface only, not to get rid of textured areas.

When the sanding is complete remove any loose dust with a tack cloth.

Step 2: If you removed the tape and protective sheeting from the previous step (Fresco series 1), then tape off all baseboard edges, ceiling edge, trim, window and door frames. Remove all electrical and light switch cover plates. Cover furniture and floor areas with drop cloths.

Antique glazing the plaster wall

artSparx Color mixing ratio: Water based products only

Antique Plaster
color mixing ratio

ratio 5:2 - Raw Sienna:Raw Umber

Mix five parts Raw Sienna with one part Raw Umber in Glazing liquid and/or Floetrol.
So 10 drops of Raw Sienna to 2 drops Raw Umber. You may need to add more (like 30 drops RS to 6 drops RU) so mix some up, rub on wall as a test, then add more
tinter as needed.

About tinters and colorant:
You can use
Universal tinters, or artist acrylic paint for water based glazing. You will need Raw Sienna and Raw Umber.
optional; Burnt Umber. 


For the full tutorial on color washing visit artSparx Color Washing. For the 'Classic Color Glaze' mixture and other color suggestions refer to the artsparx color palette.

The basic glazing process

Step 3: Getting Ready:
You will need 2 plastic buckets, 2.5 gallon or larger. One will hold your glaze mix and the other just plain tap water. 

Bucket 1 will have glazing liquid, tinter (colorant of your choice) and water mixed in. The amount varies on the size of your room. A quart of glazing liquid will be sufficient for most large rooms ( i.e. 12 x 18 ft or so). 
Pour the glazing liquid in, then slowly add drops of tinter until you reach the desired color. Follow the recipe above. Add 1/8 cup water to make it easier to mix. 

Test the color in a non conspicuous area of the room, then wipe off when you get your color right. 

The 'Master Glaze':
You have created you ‘master glaze’. Now that you have your color, you will need to dilute it by adding more water. Again experiment. Depending on how dark you want your walls to be will determine the quantity of water added. 
For a light, soft, floating look, add more water to thin the glaze considerably. For a darker, richer look add less water, leaving your glaze thicker. 

Your second bucket has plain water in it. The quantity does not matter because you will use this water only for dipping one of your sponges into, the washing over the wall to make it wet before you start applying your glaze with the other sponge (or brush). When the bucket runs out of water, just fill it up again and continue as needed.

Applying the antique plaster glaze

Step 4: The first step in the glaze application process is to wet the plaster wall first with clean water. This allows the glaze to move freely over the plaster surface. If you were to apply the glaze directly to the dry plaster the colored glaze would immediately soak into the dry, porous surface and stain the wall, resulting in spotty, unworkable glaze.

Wetting the plaster wall with clean water to prepare for the glaze color.

Step 5: Using a moistened sponge dipped in your antique glaze, spread color over the damp plaster surface.

Continue to spread color around the wall area, in circular motions, moving the glaze over the wall surface. Begin to soften the color by varying the pressure applied with the sponge. You will notice some darker glaze 'settling' in the recesses of the textured wall, with the 'high points' getting lighter, caused by the continual softening of the glaze due to your sponge movement.

Color irregularities, i.e., dark and light areas, are desirable and accentuate the antique look of the plaster wall.

Glaze application detail

Applying the glaze in a loose manner Softening the color with a moist sponge.

Step 6: Continue in this manner until you have completely antique glazed (or color washed) all your walls.


When you reach a corner apply the glaze mixture with a small 1/2 inch brush and smooth outward with a dry brush.

Step 7: Allow the glazed surface to dry completely. The overall color will lighten as the moisture from the wall dries.

Completing the fresco process

You have now completed the 2nd portion of the 3 part simulated fresco process. You can leave your walls as they are, resulting in a lovely distressed plaster look. You are also ready to move to series 3, adding hand-painted elements to create the simulated fresco appearance.

Series 1
Applying a plaster finish
Series 2
Antique glazing and distressing
Series 3
Hand-painted fresco elements

Series 3 Adding Hand Painted elements


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Italian Style

Explore the evolution of Italian style from many decorative influences spanning centuries of art and design: the balance and symmetry of Roman architecture; the flamboyance and opulence of grand Renaissance decoration; and the use of earthy colors such as Naples Yellow and Tuscan Red.

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