Paint a base coat of matt or silk emulsion. Allow to dry. Using the same colour, or a slightly different tone, mix a wash of emulsion and water in equal parts. Then gradually increase the water to make a thin colour which will not fall in heavy droplets down the wall but which allows the base colour to show through when it is applied to the wall. Test the wash, then apply it using a wide brush, with long, sweeping strokes. Further coats can be applied in toning colours.

For a more durable finish, try using a subtly tinted, thinned glaze as a wash over the surface.

Apply a base coat of oil-based eggshell in a medium to pale tone. Leave until completely dry. Prepare a large batch of tinted and thinned glaze in a darker colour. Have several white lint-free cloths ready to work with. Cut them from the same piece of fabric, making each one about 40 ern (15 in) square so they are easy to handle. Ragging may also be worked in emulsion using the same base coat and top coat as for sponging.

Scrunch up a piece of cloth. Dip the cloth in the paint and remove excess paint by padding it on a piece of paper or the ribbed part of a roller tray if you are using that as a paint kettle. Then dab the rag over the surface of the wall, applying even pressure and re-charging the rag when necessary. If the rag becomes clogged with paint, either re-fold and use a cleaner part of the rag, or use a clean rag.
You can experiment with substitutes for the rag, such as screwed up lining paper or even a plastic bag. Make sure that you can achieve the same effect all over the surface: if the paper becomes clogged with paint, you must have more of the same quality to continue over the surface.


Apply a base coat of matt, gloss or eggshell oil- based paint and allow to dry. Mix a batch of glaze in a deeper tone, or in a similar or contrasting shade. Prepare some squares of lint-free rag and moisten the first with white spirit. Don't soak all the rags at once - the white spirit evaporates quickly, and they are a fire risk.

Apply the glaze quickly, ensuring you work it into the recesses of the surface you arc painting. Cover an area a couple of metres (yards) square, or a length of skirting or architrave a couple of metres (yards) long. Wipe the glaze off the raised part of the surface with the moistened cloth. Leave to dry. For a graded effect, repeat the process, using a darker batch of glaze and wiping off slightly more to reveal the first colour beneath.