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How to Paint a Plaster Column. Plaster columns can be made to look like alabaster or marble or granite, but simple paint is sometimes the best way to enhance their visual appeal. Don't forget the metallics!
Place the column at eye level in good light on a newspaper or a drop cloth.
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Study the column. What patterns do you see? Which lines connect? Which shapes or figures are isolated?
Decide on a color scheme. For a subtle look, try varying shades of gray, white, green or pale yellow. For rococo, go for red and gold; for Caribbean, terra cotta, violet and apricot.
Begin with the main color and the biggest surface (or the longest lines or the basic pattern), following the plaster's contours with your brush.
Fill in the rest, one color at a time, stepping back to review your work as you go and changing any colors you don't like.
Acrylic paint and plaster are extremely forgiving; you can paint and repaint to your heart's content.
Plaster dissolves in water; paint that is still wet can be wiped off with a damp cloth or sponge but once it begins to dry it's better to leave it and paint over it than try to wash it off.