How to Apply Metallic Glaze on Walls

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A metallic glaze placed over a base coat of paint provides an eye-catching metallic sheen, adding a layer of luster that can transform the look of the base color completely. Applying the metallic glaze is more than simply rolling the glaze in place with a paint roller. You have to prepare the wall first, removing anything that can interfere with the glaze’s adhesion. In addition, when working with drywall, you’ll need apply primer and paint as a foundation for the glaze. Even after glaze application there’s often more to do, as most glazes look their best only after texturizing.

Things You'll Need

  • pH-neutral cleanser
  • Sponge
  • Cloth
  • NIOSH-approved respirator
  • Medium-grain sandpaper
  • Fine-grain sandpaper
  • HEPA vacuum (optional) or rope mop and floor cleaner
  • Drop cloth
  • Masking tape
  • Latex primer
  • Paint tints
  • Paintbrush
  • Low-nap paint roller
  • Roller pan
  • Latex paint
  • Natural sponge
  • Acrylic polyurethane finish

Clean the surface of the wall with a pH-neutral cleanser and a sponge to remove all dirt, wax or grease that might interfere with the glazing application. Rinse the cleanser off the wall with clean water then pat dry with a piece of cloth.

Put on a NIOSH-approved respirator to protect against possible lead dust and remove any scaling or flaking paint with medium-grain sandpaper. Sand the wall using small circles over the affected area to avoid leaving sanding lines until only well-adhered paint remains. Go over glossy paint using fine-grain sandpaper until you’ve removed the glossy surface. Wipe off any sanding residue from the wall with a damp sponge, then vacuum up the paint dust from the floor with a HEPA vacuum or mop away dust with a wet rope mop and floor cleanser formulated for your floor type.

Place a drop cloth on the floor lining the base of the wall, and apply a strip of masking tape along the edges of adjacent surfaces to prevent paint spillage.

Apply a layer of latex primer onto the wall if working with a drywall or plaster base. Otherwise use the already painted wall if desired for your base coat. Mix tint in with the primer in the same color as the base coat you intend to use on the wall. Follow the tint manufacturer’s instructions for the mixing ratio required to color the primer. Cut the primer in at the edge of the walls by applying a 3-inch strip along each edge with a paint brush. Switch to a paint roller to apply the rest of the primer. Pour the primer into a roller pan and then roll the paint onto the walls with a low nap roller in rows that overlap one another by about 2 inches. Allow the primer to dry before continuing.

Apply a latex base coat to the wall over the primer. Use the same application process with the base coat as you used with the primer, first cutting in the edges then filling in the center. Use two layers of paint for the base coat to fully cover the primer and create a consistent look across the wall’s surface. Allow two hours drying time for the first layer before placing the second layer of paint on the wall. Wait overnight for the second base coat to dry.

Apply the metallic glaze to the wall using the paintbrush in 3-by-3 foot sections. Do not make the sections square. Instead, apply the glaze using irregular coverage patterns to avoid creating section marks on the wall. Press a natural sponge to the glaze after application to create a texture to the glaze, breaking up the appearance of the material on the wall. Extend the texture to the edge of the applied glaze then use the brush to apply more of the glaze to the wall, working from the still wet glaze section to cover another 3 square feet of wall. Texture the new glaze section, extending the texture from the edge of the old, but taking care not to smear the texture along the border of the two sections.

Continue to apply the glaze in sections until you’ve covered the entire wall. Place a strip of masking tape along the edge of adjacent walls in corners to avoid spreading the texture to the new wall. Allow the textured wall to dry completely before beginning the adjacent wall.

Remove the masking tape from the adjacent wall and place a strip of tape along the edge of the finished wall to avoid double glazing that wall edge. Texture the new wall following the procedure used on the first. Allow the wall to dry completely for the length of time recommended by the glaze manufacturer, and then remove the tape from the first wall.

Cover the glazed walls with two layers of acrylic polyurethane finish to protect the glaze from damage or staining. Brush the first layer of finish on using a paint roller. Wait 15 minutes for the finish to begin drying then brush on a second coat. Allow this second coat 48 hours drying time before touching the wall.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a wallpaper brush instead of a sponge to create a lined texture on the wall in a pattern of your choice, using straight lines or arcing the lines.

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