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Easy Guide For How To Age Walls With Paint

When moving into a new home chances are we will want to add our personal touches and learning how to age walls with paint is a great way to make a home unique. Modern houses have their perks, with in-built central heating or air conditioning and other such comforts, but may lack charm. 

Sometimes blending new functionalities with older design aesthetics brings a little character to modern homes. Understanding how to make paint look old and faded is not as difficult as it may sound. With a few tools, anyone can learn how to antique a wall, adding depth and elegance.

Prepping The Wall

Before starting the actual painting, the wall had to be prepped, which meant getting rid of the wallpaper. This came with its own set of tools. Wallpaper can be painted over, but this one was textured and starting to peel on its own.

Tools For Scraping Wallpaper

  • Wallpaper stripping knife
  • Steam stripper (optional)
  • Wallpaper stripping solution
  • Sandpaper 

WP Chomp 52016 Wallpaper Scraping Tool Scraper: Sticky Paste Remover, Multi-Purpose

Easy Guide For How To Age Walls With Paint

Step By Step Instructions

Step One: Cutting The Wallpaper

Scrape the wallpaper with the stripping knife in diagonal lines, taking care not to scratch the wall underneath. This did not work out for me but the scratched notches added to the effect of the aged wall. 

Step Two: Peeling The Wallpaper

Soak the wallpaper with a stripping solution. Not all the wallpaper comes out as easy as the first few peeled-off fragments, so it needed some encouragement. After a few tries with the stripping knife, some tougher areas were impossible to peel off. At this point, the steam stripper had to be used to some success. 

Step Three: Smooth Imperfections

Sand down any hard edges that the knife made, particularly in some areas where the wallpaper just would not come off. 

Check Out How To Make Your Ceiling Look Like Space!

How To Age Walls With Paint And Texturing

There are multiple methods on how to age walls with paint, so a combination of a few was my choice. The reason for this was that the result I was looking for required more layers. Some of these layers need to be textured, contrasting in color, or with some extra details.

Tools And Supplies Needed For The Paint Job 

  • Water-based eggshell vinyl silk emulsion
  • Joint compound 
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Gypsum plaster
  • Small paint roller
  • Small paintbrush
  • Cloth, or an old towel
  • Scumble glaze
  • Paint tint in two colors (one lighter, another darker) – mine was light grey and dark grey
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • A spray bottle with water
  • Patterned paint roller (optional)

Step By Step Instructions

Step One: Paint Base Layer

In order to start using the scumble glaze, a base layer needs to be painted on the wall beforehand. Pour water-based eggshell vinyl silk emulsion into a tray and paint the entire wall you want to antique.  

Step Two: Adding Faux Wear

With some gypsum plaster add a few smudges with the putty knife that look as if the wall has a crack. Scrape off one side of the gypsum and leave an edged line. The edges of this can be smoothed out a little with the sandpaper, once dry.

Adding Faux Wear

Step Three: Preparing The Scumble Glaze

After the base coat and gypsum have dried, the scumble glaze can be prepared. Mix two cups of scumble glaze with some water, so that it doesn’t dry too quickly, and two tablespoons of paint. 

The glaze is a white medium so it will take on the color you add. Mix in the second color as well, to have it ready for use. Don’t make too much color scumble glaze as very little of it is used. 

Step Three: Paint With Scumble Glaze 

Using a small paint roller start painting with the lighter colored glaze in random patterns onto the wall. Don’t paint the whole wall at once, work in small sections so the glaze won’t dry up before the chance to add any details. 

After a section is painted with a light color, bring in the darker color and paint random wavy shapes with a small brush. Don’t worry about making a mess, that’s the point, as we want it to look like aged walls. 

For a more interesting aesthetic try using contrasting colors with the scumble glaze. This way it will look like multiple layers of paint were weathered over the years.

Step Five: Blending

Take the cloth and start lightly dabbing the scumble glaze to blend the two colors slightly. This is how to make paint look old and faded, without seeing evident brush strokes.

blend the two colors

Step Six: Extra Details

Grab the isopropyl alcohol and splash a few drops on the wall with your fingers. After that, spray some water from the bottle to create a dripping effect, further adding to the aged walls aesthetic. 

Step Seven: Finishing Touches

This last step can be skipped if you want to leave the aged walls like this. What I found useful was to use a flower-patterned paint roller to make it look like a faded vintage mural. Take as little of the darker scumble glaze as possible and roll a few incomplete stamps to make it look aged.

Tips And Tricks For How To Age Walls With Paint 

  • A small paint roller makes it possible to add depth and detail more precisely than with a larger one. 
  • Adding water to scumble glaze is necessary so that it does not dry too quickly.
  • Water-based scumble glaze can be wiped off so any messes around the skirting board or hard floor are easy to clean.
  • When using a steam stripper don’t leave it on the wall too long as it will take some time to dry. 

Conclusion

Figuring out how to age walls with paint is a simple and appealing method of introducing a vintage style to a home. There are so many techniques detailing how to obtain certain effects, all of which promise glamorous results. The technique discussed here is quite a simple one, but it packs a punch. 

Aiming to recreate an effect of discolored house paint elevates the process to art form. What is even more compelling is just how experimental it is to make aged walls. Every small mistake with the paint is just a part of how to age walls with paint.