Examples of Ragging
Faux Finish Techniques

Ragging faux finish techniques produce a wide range of effects - from subtle and understated, to bold and dramatic. See which paint finish is your favorite from the examples below...

NOTE: looking for specific faux painting instructions? Then start at "How to Faux Paint With Rags".

The look of positive and negative rag painting varies a lot. The final result of this faux finish technique depends on the material chosen for the rags, the way the rag is scrunched when applying or removing glaze, and the color combination selected for this faux painted finish.

Additive Ragging Faux Finish Techniques

blended rag faux finish techniques

The positive ragging technique (in the photo on the left) enriches a bedroom with earthy, muted tones. The density of the ragging finish imparts a more formal look to the setting and a handsome palette for the framed mirrors.

This blended look is a result of using cotton, loosely bunched cloths and closely related colors.

ragging faux finish techniques with reversed color values

Here, a somewhat chalky finish was achieved by applying a lighter glaze over a darker colored base coat.

This light-weight color combination creates an excellent backdrop for casually elegant interiors and furnishings. It looks very good with traditional dark wood and tapestries, but it will contrast equally well with bold and graphic contemporary decors.

subtle rag faux finish techniques

In this bedroom, a ragging faux treatment was given only to the accent wall.

The top coat color - deep burgundy - was sufficiently diluted (3:1 glaze to paint ratio) to make the overlay coat look very subtle and transparent - like a black sheer voile draped over the rich red wall.

The effect is very sensual - a perfect technique for a romantic bedroom!

distinct ragged faux finish techniques

This example of ragging looks almost like the effect produced by sponge painting - with distinct specks of color.

To get a similar look for your own rag painting project, you need to choose a rag made of heavy-weight cotton (old T-shirts work best for this purpose).

dense ragging faux finish techniques

See how dramatically different the glaze looks in this photo?

The method of application is exactly the same as in the previous example; it's the choice of cloth that made the difference in the final effect (they used an old, worn out, soft bed sheet as rag material).

structured rag faux finish techniques

And here the finish resembles wallpaper - because the pattern is structured, with distinct individual rag imprints.

You need to make a tightly bunched, rose-shaped rag ball in your hand, and press it firmly to the surface, trying not to overlap previous strokes.

rag rolling faux finish techniques

If you prefer light, airy, ethereal color combinations and subtle faux finish techniques, you can use 2 or 3 pastel colors for rag painting.

The finish you see on the left consists of a cream color base coat, a light beige top coat glaze, and a diluted soft rose glaze, layered on top of each other.

Subtractive Ragging Faux Finish Techniques

dramatic ragging faux finish techniques

Applying (and then removing) a darker, contrasting top coat of glaze to a light or medium-colored base coat of paint creates a richly textured appearance, without the application of new plaster or drywall compound.

The added texture effect here comes from using a ribbed/terry cloth.

rag rolling faux finish techniques

This last example is a variation of rag painting - it is called rag rolling. The concept is the same - you use a rag of your choice to apply or remove glaze, but the technique is a little different.

Instead of dabbing the rag on the surface, you shape it into a long roll, and roll it (usually vertically) on the wall, top to bottom.

Paint Color Cheat Sheets
Paint Color Cheat Sheets

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Rag Painting Projects from Our Visitors:

Here are some cool ragging faux painting projects submitted by visitors to this page. Enjoy, get inspired and don't forget to leave a comment!

Ragging On the Gold Metallic Paint 
Well, this is a picture of our bedroom. We like the look of wallpaper and we have wallpaper in many rooms in our house. But for this one, we decided to …

Faux Painting Technique "Multi-Color Ragging" 
This technique of dabbing/ragging was accidentally found. I wanted a textured finish but not a symmetrical one - something that would look un-structured …

Faux Painting Finish "Ragging With Paper Towels" 
This is the finish on the upper walls of my main bathroom. It was a happy mistake! This bathroom originally had wallpaper on it when we moved in. I’m …

Faux Painting Technique "Ragging" 
I decided to redo my bedroom, but I knew that it's always best to pick your bedding before your wall color (easier to match that way). And I honestly had …

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