Interior Painting Techniques for Opal Glaze

by Rebecca Macken

Opal glazes offer an iridescent, light-reflective finish that can be used with a variety of painting techniques to achieve a unique effect in any room. They can be found in the Special Effects line of McCloskey products in shades of "golden opal" and "earth opal." These can be layered over base coats using a faux finish painting method to add a classic decorative touch to the walls.


Rag-rolling is a technique that adds texture. Using a base color of the same hue as the opal glaze, paint the wall with a rough-surfaced painting roller and leave it to dry overnight. Once the base is fully dry, dip a ragging cloth in water and wring it out. Dip it in the opal glaze and squeeze out the excess. Twist it into a cylindrical shape and roll it on the wall in alternating directions. Apply another coat of opal glaze of a different shade for added texture and dimension.


Providing for more control than rag-rolling, the sponging technique with opal glaze also adds texture to interior walls. One or two opal glazes can be used over a dry base coat. Clear coats to protect the finish can be used in higher traffic areas to ensure a lasting effect. Sponging can also be performed on ceilings to achieve a continuity of the textured appearance throughout the room.

Parchment Finish

Designed to resemble the distressed plaster look of old stone buildings in the Mediterranean area, a parchment finish adds a rustic edge to a room's décor. The neutral tones of golden and earth opal glazes complement the parchment-hued effect of this technique. Using one or both of the opal glaze colors, the glaze is applied by rubbing a cheese cloth dipped in glaze across the wall surface or by using cross-hatched brush strokes. A satin sheen or eggshell base coat in a neutral tone that complements the golden and earth opal shades will work best in achieving the "Old World" parchment look.


The color-washing technique creates a subtle finish. After applying and allowing the base coat to dry, use a color-washing brush to apply the glaze in random "X" patterns across the wall's surface. The X's should be applied quickly, overlapping the strokes. You can use a dry softening brush to further blend the lines. Use cheesecloth to remove any excess glaze when painting across or into corners.