Well, I redid my vanity a few months back and then my walls looked bad. Give a mouse a cookie and all that. When we moved to our house 17 years ago, it was one of the first rooms I painted. I see all the flaws and the look was dated. I wanted the look of old, timeless plaster walls. I believe that I achieved the look.
I found a great tutorial on Color Washing here http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/skills-and-know-how/painting/decorative-paint-technique-colorwashing-a-wall I've pasted it below too.
china white base coat
I used flat paint and wow, that made it look AND FEEL like plaster. Another bonus is that it is a noise dampener.
First, I painted the entire bathroom in a flat Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec 500 Interior Flat in China White.
After it dried, I mixed up about 1 cup paint, 1 cup Benjamin Moore Acrylic Glaze and 1 cup water in a separate containers. I made up one batch of Stone Hearth and one batch in Smoky Ash in Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec 500 Interior flat. You will use both of these thinned out paint accent colors to make some definition on the wall.
You will use a damp lint free rag/cheesecloth and dampen the part of the wall you want to work with. This is important. Don't skip. Working quickly, put on a squiggle of each paint accent colors. Be sparse. Use your damp sheepskin and pat the wall all through the paint until it looks how you want it to look. More patting for a more subtle look. Less for a more defined look.
You will need to rewet your rag often, so have a bucket of water close by. You will need to rinse out your sheepskin every so often so that the paint doesn't build up on it. The glaze keeps everything really wet and it takes a long time to dry. After a minimum of 24 hours, I then took a dry brush and barely dipped it in my darkest accent color (the paint/glaze/water mixture. I went along the corners, around doorways, windows, baseboards, light switches and anywhere where dirt might build up to give it age. I love the look. It is ageless.
Finally, I hated the huge contractor mirror in our bathroom. Because of the placement of the light switches on the wall, placing two medium mirrors here was out of the question. The light switches encroached on the space needed to center the mirror on the right over the sink. The electrician said he couldn't move the switch because the studs were in the way. Ughhhh! I had to get super creative. I found two antique mirrors at a local antique store. I also found two curvy frameless mirrors at Target of all places. I arranged them so they fit like puzzle pieces and "ta da", I created a wall of mirrors. I love the look and I don't miss the huge, crappy mirror. We added two new light fixtures and we are suddenly looking great!
wall of different mirrors is a good replacement for a large contractor mirror
Check out the "water damage" look to the bottom of the wall to
add realism to the look of the aged wall.
The corners took on added dimension and age by dry-brushing
on the darker color "dirt" in just the corners. That part was so fun!
more corner work
- plastic containers
- paint tray
- bucket of water
- China bristle brush(es)
- latex glaze
- latex paint
Prep the Walls
Prepare the walls for painting; apply the base coat and let dry. In separate containers, mix one part of each top coat color with one part water and one part latex glaze.
Wet the Walls
To create this wet-on-wet technique (i.e. working on a wet surface), dampen a comfortable-sized area of the wall with the damp cheesecloth, and add a squiggle of the desired paint mixture. Use the damp (not wet) sheepskin and rounded movements to move the paint around, keeping the edges thinly fanned. This creates the soft look.
Step 1: Comments
Use a dry brush to gently disperse the paint in darker areas, working until you can't see any brush lines. Repeat until the entire project is done. Feel free to colorwash with more than one color, but keep them in the same tonality (the two featured colors work well together).
Step 2: Comments
Touch up and Diffuse Color
Make sure the wall is completely dry before tackling touchups. Lap lines happen when you work too closely to an already painted area. To fix them, dilute eight parts of the base coat paint with one part water. Lightly brush the mixture across the lap lines, and then diffuse the color throughout the area with a dry brush. Let dry.
Dab With More Color
Use the sheepskin to dab on either colored paint mixture in any areas that need more color. Fan the paint out using a dry brush.