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Ragging Painting Technique

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Background with ragging-style design painted with Benjamin Moore's Regal Matte Finish (221), and Studio Finishes Latex Glaze (405) and Extender (408).

By giving the appearance of shifting color density, paint ragging evokes the timeless appeal of well-worn leather or soft, faded chambray. As with sponging, different effects can be achieved by applying or removing glaze with a rag or cloth.

Tools and Supplies

Ragging Paints

  • Regal® Matte Finish (221)
  • Studio Finishes® Latex Glaze (405)
  • Studio Finishes Latex Glaze Extender (408) (recommended for all subtractive techniques)

Tools

  • 3/8-inch Benjamin Moore nap roller
  • Disposable latex gloves
  • Drop cloth
  • Lint-free rag, cloth or cheesecloth
  • Benjamin Moore nylon/polyester brush
  • Paint tray
  • Painter's tape
  • Water for cleanup

Ragging Paint Techniques

Ragging On (additive method)

Step 1 - Prepare your walls
Whether you're glazing and ragging your walls or another surface, be sure they are properly prepared before you begin.

Clean your walls thoroughly and repair any protruding nails or other imperfections.

For the best results, we recommend Fresh Start® 100% Acrylic Primer (023) before you apply your base color. Be sure to tape off any edges you wish to protect, such as those along ceilings, windows, and doors.

Step 2 - Prepare the Glaze Mixture
Mix together one gallon of Studio Finishes Latex Glaze (405) with one quart of Regal Paint, Matte Finish (221) paint in the color you have selected.

You can also use any other interior paint from our Regal Paint line, using the same ratio—four parts glaze to one part paint. Ensure that the glaze and paint are thoroughly mixed, and pour the mixture into your paint tray.

Step 3 - Apply the Glaze
To begin ragging the paint, slightly dampen your cloth and loosely gather it into a ball. Dip it into the glaze mixture, dabbing any excess off onto craft paper.

Starting in an upper corner, lightly dab color in a random pattern on your wall. Reshape the cloth throughout this process, taking care to replace it when it becomes completely saturated with glaze.

Ragging Off (subtractive method)

Step 1 - Prepare your walls
Whether you're using the ragging painting technique on walls or other surfaces, be sure they are properly prepared before you begin.

Clean your walls thoroughly and repair any protruding nails or other imperfections.

For the best results, we recommend Fresh Start 100% Acrylic Primer (023) before you apply your base color. Be sure to tape off any edges you wish to protect, such as those along ceilings, windows, and doors.

Step 2 - Prepare the Glaze Mixture
Mix together a half-gallon of Studio Finishes Latex Glaze (405) with a half-gallon of Studio Finishes Latex Glaze Extender (408). Once they are mixed together, add in one quart of Regal Paint, Matte Finish (221).

The glaze extender allows you more "open time" for your glaze mixture, and keeps it wet and workable longer. For longer open time, add more glaze extender to the mixture.

Step 3 - Apply the Glaze
Starting in an upper corner of your wall, apply the glaze mixture using either a brush or a roller, working from the ceiling toward the floor in two-foot-by-two-foot sections.

Step 4 - Pull off the Glaze
Begin pulling off glaze color from the wall with a clean, slightly dampened cloth. Reshape rag throughout process, and replace the cloth when it becomes saturated with glaze.

As you continue the paint ragging process, be sure to maintain a wet edge to prevent any hard lines from forming as you work from one section to another.

Note: Furniture in Ragging On photo courtesy of Dennis Miller Studios

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