Pearl effects can be applied with a roller or brush.

How to Apply Pearl Effects on Walls

by Alec Preble

Interior decorating has evolved along with the tastes of homeowners, and plain walls are no longer always what you want in your home. Pearl paint effects give walls a glazed or iridescent look and brighten the interior of any room. Paint companies have begun manufacturing formulas with pearlescent elements mixed in, making application easier than ever, but you can use your imagination to create a myriad of pearl-painted looks.

1. Paint Types

To create pearlescence on interior walls, decide what look you're going for, and then choose the correct paint type for your project. If you want an allover pearl look, choose a paint base with a pearlescent component and have your desired color mixed in. For a more complex brushed pearl look or for accents, choose a pearl topcoat that can be applied over any type of regular wall paint.

2. Supplies

You'll need basic paint supplies, including rollers, trays and liners, painter's tape, drop cloths and a ladder for any painting project. Use separate trays and new rollers for each color and clean, dry paintbrushes for each application. Sponges, rags, specialty brushes, trowels or other applicators may be necessary if you want a textured or mottled look. Check the packaging and directions of the paint you choose for specific information regarding recommended brushes and applicators.

3. Preparation

Proper preparation is essential for any painting project. Use tape to mask off areas where you don't want paint applied and lay out drop cloths to protect the floor. Always start with a base coat. If you're working with drywall, apply an all-purpose or specialty primer compatible with your chosen paint type. Clean already painted walls with a damp cloth and allow them to dry thoroughly to avoid chipping paint and grit from leftover dust and dirt.

4. Application

Apply an even coat of pearl paint to the wall you want covered, avoiding the edges near ceilings, other walls, trim and baseboards. Use a paint roller, brush or sponge. For a faux, mottled finish, run a trowel, brush or sponge over the wet paint in circular motions and allow to dry. Some projects may only require one coat, while others will require several. Stop when you have achieved the desired pearl effect, then use an angled brush to cut in around the edges and trim.

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