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How To Faux Parchment Paint Drywall

If you want to give your walls a classy, aged touch, consider adding faux parchment. Faux parchment makes the walls looks like they are covered in parchment. Parchment was made from sheep and goat skins, then stretched to produce a writing surface. 

The faux parchment paint technique looks especially elegant in dens and libraries  Use these tips to paint a faux parchment look on drywall.

Prepare to Paint the Faux Parchment

To paint faux parchment, gather:

  • work gloves
  • eye goggles
  • trisodium phosphate (TSP) 
  • sponges
  • painter's tape
  • drop cloths
  • buckets
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • joint compound
  • putty knife
  • cotton rags or cheesecloth
  • two-inch paint brushes
  • paint roller
  • oil-based glazing liquid
  • satin oil-based paint (base and two complimentary accent colors)

Remove wall hangings, and transfer furniture to the center of the room. Inspect the drywall for dings and holes. 

Use a putty knife to spread joint compound on them, let it dry, then lightly sand the area. Add a half-cup of TSP to five gallons of warm water, and wipe down the wall with the sponge. Use a clean, damp sponge to rinse, then let it dry.

Brush on the Base Coat

Open a window, wear a respirator, or run an exhaust fan to ventilate the area. Spread drop cloths or plastic over stationary items and the floor, and cover outlets switches, and trim with painter's tape.

Light colors, such as eggshell, or white work best for base colors. Roll on the base coat, using the brushes to cut in corners. Let it dry several hours, and add a second coat, if needed.

Apply the Parchment Effect 

Paint colors should be the same color, but different hues, such as two brown shades or two blue shades.  Traditional parchment paper has a warm hue, such as brown, gold, or earth shades.  

Make two glazes from one part glaze, one part water, and one paint color in a bucket or large container, or follow instructions for mixing. Alternate the glaze colors on the wall, painting one-foot long squiggly lines spaced six inches apart, starting at the top.

 Apply the glaze in three-feet by three-feet sections, so it won't dry fast. The lines don't have to be uniform, but you still don't want too many light spots that make it look unnatural. Check for lighter spots, and fill them with more glaze. 

Form a ball with the cotton rag or cheesecloth, rub the outside of two lines together in a figure-eight motion. Work in four-feet by four-feet sections, and don't let the ends of the rag or cloth hang. Continue until all lines have been blended. Let the paint dry, which commonly takes 24 hours.