How to do the Water Wash Paint Technique on a Wall
How to do the Water Wash Paint Technique on a Wall

How to do the Water Wash Paint Technique on a Wall

Ok, we have a big and beautiful project for you today, Pop Stars! Sarah Sjodin of Sweet Soul Salvage & Boutique is showing us how to do the water wash paint technique on a wall. Watching Sarah work her magic is mesmerizing. And envisioning this technique in our own art is very exciting! 

We all know that wonderful feeling that comes when an artist is greeted by a new canvas that is ready to be transformed. The creative possibilities are endless! And while this can sometimes fill a stumped artist with dread, usually it is a beautiful moment of excitement as we throw ourselves into the beginnings of a new creation!

Sarah shows us how to do the water wash paint technique on a wall. And the thought of a blank canvas that size make this artist’s knees wobble with excitement! Now we are looking all around and wondering what wall we can use this gorgeous technique on! Sarah walks us through the whole process in the videos below. So we can become paint blending pros in no time! So grab your brushes and your favorite Pop of Color Shock Paints and let’s have some fun!

How to do the Water Wash Paint Technique on a Wall

How to do the Water Wash Paint Technique on a Wall

So first thing’s first, let’s talk about the water in this water wash paint technique. Because we are going to use a lot of it! The water sprayed from our continuous mister plays a key role in this process. And Sarah used at least 3 full bottles while working on her wall. So the first thing you will want to do is protect your flooring.

The closer you get to the base of your wall, the more quickly and more thoroughly the water will gather. Just keep an eye on things and be mindful of how much water is gathering. You want to be more diligent if you have carpeting but you can absolutely use this technique with any flooring. You just need a little protection.

How to do the Water Wash Paint Technique on a Wall

Lay down a tarp and/or beach towels at the base of your wall. The towels will absorb the dripping water and protect your floor. Then, when you are done, you can toss your towels right into the washer. Any paint that mixed with your water will wash right out since our paints are water based.

Using a Continuous Water Mister for Blending Paint

The great thing about using our continuous water mister is that you have so much control. With a traditional spray bottle, each squeeze gives you a varied amount and splash pattern. With the mister, you can control how much water you are using. Where it goes. And at which rate. That allows you to work with much more consistency.

Plus it saves your hands from allllll that squeezing. Let’s be honest, that can get painful after awhile. Especially on a big project like this one. One of the things that Sarah loves is the paint drips that form naturally from the water mister. They form beautiful veins of color throughout the whole project. If the drips aren’t your thing though, no worries! Just use your brush to blend them in. You will still have those beautiful blended shades!

How to do the Water Wash Paint Technique on a Wall How to do the Water Wash Paint Technique on a Wall

How to Start Painting a Wall

How much prep you do before painting your wall depends a lot on how much experience you have with room painting. Some people can cut in the lines at the corners beautifully by hand. Some of us, however, are not so great at that. If you are in the later group (like me) you may want to use painter’s tape in your corners to protect the wall next to it. It will also give you those nice clean lines at the wall edges that our eyes so want to see.

Other than that, as Sarah says, sometimes best to go in without any plan and just color play! Grab your favorite color and just dive in. The wall will take on it’s own life as you continue through the process. Just trust your gut and your artist eye! And, if at any point you aren’t loving what you see, you can always fix it!

A little sanding can sometimes give you a whole new look you love. Sometimes the first layers you do, you love. Other times you may totally hate it or just want to change some parts. That is when layering is perfect solution. Add more color, add more water, and keep blending. You will end up with something beautiful that you love!

How to do the Water Wash Paint Technique on a Wall

Tips and Tricks

Since every wall is different, your technique will differ too. Keep in mind that a more textured wall will need more pressure with your brush to get into all the nooks and crannies. A very smooth wall will need a lighter hand.

Another thing to keep in mind is that our Shock Paints are highly pigmented. Even when diluted with the water. And that’s great news because it means a little bit goes a long way. That’s the case for every project but especially when you are using a lot of water like with this water wash technique.

You may also want to seal your wall with Pop Coat when you are done. Sarah’s wall is in her shop and will be blocked by furniture. So she won’t need to seal her wall. But if you are doing this technique at home or in another high traffic area, a good coat of sealant will protect your beautiful work.

The great thing about Pop Coat is that you know it is compatible with our Shock Paints. The ingredients are made for each other. You can be confident that our paints won’t yellow with Pop Coat like can sometimes happen with random polyurethanes. Seriously, these guys are best buds! You will be able to seal your gorgeous creations with confidence.



How to do the Water Wash Paint Technique on a Wall

Watch Part 1 of the Video Tutorial Here!

How to do the Water Wash Paint Technique on a Wall

Watch Part 2 of the Video Tutorial Here!

How to do the Water Wash Paint Technique on a Wall

Learn how to transform a wall into a work of art with the water wash paint technique!


  • Start by pouring some of the Red Red into your large paint tray. Then use the large chip brush to add some of the paint to the top portion of the wall and pull it down. Next spray water onto the paint and use the brush to blend the color down the wall.
  • Then use the flat brush and add some Purple to the top of a portion of the wall. Then spray it with water and blend it down like you did with the red.
  • Next blend the colors together. Then add some Golden Yellow to the wall, close to your red. Blend that in, adding water as needed. Repeat the process with the Orange Slice, blending it up into the purple and over into the red and yellow.
  • Then repeat the painting, spraying, and blending process on your next section of wall. Add in the colors where you want them and blend them with your water and brushes.

The Finishing Touches

And that’s it, Pop Stars! Whether you go in with a plan or just start out playing with color, this water wash technique is so much fun! It lets us experiment with blending and layering while simply admiring the beauty of the colors themselves. And we know that not everyone will be able to attack a whole wall in their home like Sarah got to. And that’s ok! You can still use this technique on ANYTHING. From furniture to an actual canvas, you can water wash to your heart’s content!

If you loved learning from Sarah and want to see more of her beautiful work, you can follow her on Facebook and Instagram. You can also see her doing other fabulous tutorials on our Pop of Color Artist Support Page on Facebook. We always love when Sarah comes to hang out!

Pop of Color Shock Paints are one of a kind chalk paints and sold exclusively at Counter Culture DIY. So now you have even more reasons to stop by!

You can find more awesome video tutorials like this one on our YouTube channel!

Be sure to follow us on Pinterest so you can stay on top of everything that’s new and never miss a blog post!

If you want more inspiration and information we have a Facebook group for that. Join us in Counter Culture DIY Artist Support where we, and other artists, offer ideas, answer questions, and support each other!

Do you have an art project using any of our products that you want to share? Send it to us at [email protected], and we can feature them here!

How to do the Water Wash Paint Technique on a Wall

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