How to Create a Brushed Linen Paint Effect

Nothing adds more prestige to a room than a brushed linen paint effect which has the exact appearance of fine linen being stretched tightly against the wall. To create the brushed linen paint effect there are a few steps you will need to take. You will also make use of two colors with a specialty linen finish brush.

You must first apply a base coat to the room. Usually, this is a light color that will be exposed “ever so slightly” through the linen pattern. Think of linen as a textile that is woven from two or more yarn colors. Your base coat will effectively be a color of “yarn” in the pattern.

Preparation to create a brushed linen effect:

The biggest factor that will determine your preparation steps is the size of the room. a linen paint effect makes use of 22” – 38” wide work sections. If your room is smaller- or more narrow, go more towards the 22” end of the spectrum. Using a level, mark out your work area with vertical light pencil marks. In order to stay precise use your level as a guide during this step.

NOTE: You will need to allow each work area to dry before you prepare the alternating work areas. As a helpful tip, follow the pattern illustrated to make the process faster with better results. Divide your work area into alternating “A” and “B” regions-only working on one at a time.

Mask Correct Work Region (A-First):

After you have measured out your predetermined linen color wash pattern length (approximately 22”-38” wide), tape off all of your “A” regions. These regions will need sufficient dry time before moving to the “B” regions- so DO NOT tape any “B” regions at this time!

Apply the Glaze:

Using your special roller, apply a thin layer of glaze to your designated work area. Roll vertically only, do not use any haphazard patterns- strictly up and down. Finish this one work region only and immediately grab your linen brush.

Make the Linen Paint Effect Horizontally:

Using your linen brush and starting at the top of the wall, drag the brush smoothly across the work region. Clean the brush after each pass. If you fail to clean your brush, your pattern will look irregular and not realistic. Linen color wash techniques require symmetrical precision- so take care to make even strokes. Begin and end on the painter’s tape to ensure the pattern is as realistic as possible.

Make the Linen Paint Effect Vertically:

After you have completed your horizontal brush drags, begin from the top to bottom dragging the linen brush to the bottom of the wall. Try to make this one continuous pass. The is fairly easy to do with 8-foot ceilings, but with taller ones, you may have to stop to reset. If this is the case, clean the brush and try to align where you disconnected from the wall as precisely as possible.

Immediately remove the masking tape after you have completed your work region.

After You Have Finished All Your “A” Work Regions:

Allow them to dry overnight. You will have to prepare your “B” work regions for work the following day, however, you will have to wait until the “A” regions are completed.