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Archive for the ‘Rag rolling’ Category

Painting Projects: “Let’s Do It” and “Let-Me-Think-About-It”

Every project features certain elements and parameters that must be considered before it’s taken on by the painter/decorator.


Every project requires certain resources for the painter/decorator to achieve satisfactory results.

Ten “LET’S DO IT” Projects.*


* Projects classified by crew size needed to do job.

* Projects require definite deadline; doing projects around other things unfeasible.


“Let’s Do It” Projects – Crew size: 1  (Basic stuff, piece of cake!)

1. Refinish picture frames.

2. Caulk cracks in ceiling edges, and wall corners.

3. Paint an accent wall.

4. Apply wallpaper border.

5. Wood-grain a metal door.

6. Do a simple faux-finish to wall, using sponging or rag rolling technique.

7. Paint ceiling in large office.

8. Paint metal door frames.

9. Hang wallpaper in room, or office.

10. Refinish pieces of wood furniture.


“Let’s Do It” Projects – Crew size: 2 or 3 minimum (Need to do project safely!)

1. Paint exterior of home or office building.

2. Install commercial wallcovering in offices.

3. Paint concrete floors vs. floor.

4. Refinish large number of wood doors.

5. Paint interior walls of office/business complex.

6. Repaint acoustic ceilings.

7. Apply texture to interior walls of housing development, or business complex.

8. Apply faux finish to walls in 8 or more large offices, or multi-housing complex.

9. Hand-paint large wall mural.

10. Repaint residential development exteriors.


I’ve worked on each of the above projects, start-to-finish, on my own, also as part of a crew. Upon completion, every project received an “excellent” rating.



  1. Always begin a project with all of the necessary products, supplies, tools, and paint equipment readily available to you.
  2. Avoid need to leave the job multiple times. It can distract you, and slow production.



Five “LET ME THINK ABOUT IT” Projects.*  


* Projects classified by crew size needed to do job.

* Most projects require definite deadline; doing project around other things unfeasible.


“Let Me Think About It” ProjectsCrew size: 1 (Take a closer look, some red flags! )


1. Refinish antique furniture in faux finish application.

2. Apply stencil design to bathroom.

3. Clean and paint driveway surface.

4. Apply faux plaster finish to interior  walls in very large, older residence.

5. Texture ceilings, presently with smooth surface.


“Let Me Think About It” Projects – Crew size: 2 or 3 minimum (Check out closely. Might not be a good idea to take on!)

1. Paint exterior of multi-floor building.

2. Remove ceiling tiles, and paint ceiling metal grid.

3. Repaint moldings and doors in multi-housing complex.

4. Repair, prep and repaint all walls in residential or business complex.

5. Paint accent colors on walls throughout entire office or business complex.



I’ve worked on each of the above projects, start-to-finish – on my own, or as part of a small crew. Every project, upon completion, received an “excellent” rating. So, it can be done. Still, especially if you have a choice. . .


Food for thought: If any painter/decorator’s “Let-Me-Think-About-It” list is longer than five, he or she might want to consider specializing – whether he or she works for someone else, by the project, or for himself or herself. Or, re-think this career choice.


A painter and decorator needs to manage and operate his or her “project career” (my term), according to a basic set of rules and limits. One that works for that person. That includes working on projects with elements, parameters and requirements that coincide with the painter/decorator’s rules and limits. And, his or her innate value system.


This modus operandi, especially in the long-term, benefits everyone concerned. The guest/ visitor/ customer. The client/property owner/stakeholder. The employer or contractor. The staff or employee group. The paint team/crew. The painter and decorator.

Decorative Finishing: Adding Life to Your Space: “Malachite.” *

In the first course, we explored a finish application known as “Rag Rolling.”

SECOND INSTALLMENT: Decorative “Malachite.”

“Malachite” is a unique finish. It produces a simulation of an emerald green translucent mineral composed of circular radiating veins. It resembles the rippling effect produced when you drop a pebble into water. You get the picture.

You can, of course, choose colors other than green. Red looks fantastic, as well. However, an authentic “Malachite” is done in a traditional green.

What is your project? An ideal choice is the top of a lamp table. It’s small and reasonably easy to complete in a short time. All right, let’s get started.

1. Our piece to be finished: A small table top. Main color: Emerald green.
2. Preparation is important.

A. Thoroughly sand the surface to a dulled smoothness.

B. Prime the table top with a latex or oil based primer. Using a spray can primer is very suitable.

C. Once the primer has dried sufficiently, sand the surface smooth, with #320 wet or dry sandpaper.


3. Next apply a basecoat in a pastel or light green tone. The basecoat can either be water or oil based. When dry, lightly sand with #320 or #400 sandpaper.


4. The layout of the pattern is as follows:

A. Use a rubber, metal or cardboard comb. TIP: Cardboard is preferred because you can cut your own pattern.

B. Along the straight edge of the object, make small grooves 2-3mm apart. Vary the distance between the grooves.

5. Next, apply the dark glaze evenly to the surface.


6. You can now create the “Malachite” pattern.

A. With grooved tool in hand, glide the edge of the tool through the glaze. This will reveal a fan-like pattern – “relief” – where the basecoat reflects through from the groves in your tool.

B. Turn the tool from left to right, or in reverse, to expose the simulated mineral pattern.

C. As the procedure is applied, overlap each fan shape at the corners.

D. In a roofing shingle formation overlap each row, one after another, where the points meet

The effect is “successfully completed” when the “Malachite” shapes vary in grain pattern.

TIP: If errors are made, you can remove the pattern simply by washing off the glaze or rewetting it with another application.


8. Once the design is dry, a top finishing coat can be applied for protection. A water based varnish or a standard polyurethane are your best choices.


The finished “Malachite” will be an instant focal point in any room. It will be a consistent reminder of your creative imagination.

You never know! It may serve to inspire your relatives and friends to develop an artistic expression of their own.


* WATCH FOR: Images of “Marbelite” finish.


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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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