How To Paint A Water Effect on the Wall

December 13, 2008 at 9:09 am Leave a comment

Thanks to Debra Conrad for this technique.
Check out her website,  ‘That Painter Lady’  jam-packed with mural tips, tricks and ideas

My favorite way to paint the water portion of an Underwater Mural is also the best way to paint a sky background.

If you can master this technique… Ocean Style Murals and Cloudy Sky Style Murals will be quick and easy to accomplish.

Step 1 : Paint the entire wall blue.
Step 2: Glaze the entire wall with blue.

In a nutshell, that’s it!

So… now I will give you the essential tricks of the trade to achieve these results.


  • Latex Paint – Eggshell or satin – Baby or Powder Blue (Purchase enough to actually paint the walls.)
  • Glazing Medium – Big jug or can from the big box store
  • Thalo Blue Paint Tinting Liquid from the big box hardware store
  • Chip Brush – From the big box hardware store- Cheap and disposable
  • Water/Rags/Drop cloth/Tape etc.
  • Woolie Pad – From Home Depot or order online here:
    Woolie #100607 Lambwool Faux Appl Tool

The Technique:

The entire wall must be painted in the baby or powder blue color.
This base coat color must not be skipped. This technique looks terrible over a white background.

The chip brush is used for two reasons.

  1. You just can’t get close to the ceiling or baseboards with a Woolie Pad so I use a chip brush to cut into these areas… blending very carefully.
  2. I need a tool to get the blue glaze applied to the Woolie because if you just dip the pad into the glaze, it will soak up to much liquid.

The Woolie Pad is used because the technique requires long horizontal strokes that can’t be accomplished with just a brush. Also, the Woolie Pad makes painting sky or water murals easier on textured walls.

The ratio of glazing liquid to blue tint is not an exact science.
I will give you a formula so you know it must be mixed very strong.This is to get the desired intensity… as the glazing liquid is transparent. (… and no, this technique will not work with just dark blue paint… so don’t try it!)
The formula for the glaze is – 6 parts glaze to 1 part blue tint.

The paint is “glided” on in horizontal (left to right) strokes. More glaze (intensity) is applied as you work your way down the wall.

I keep a dish of clear glaze and a spray bottle of water nearby. I can work the horizontal striations (what looks like brush strokes) out of the painting as I go.

Remember to work with a damp Woolie Pad.

Always spritz the pad with water and work it into the wool before you start painting. And… keep that pad damp. If you have to walk away from the work area, slip the pad into a plastic bag.  The tips of the wool pad can dry and then all the softy goodness is gone.


Entry filed under: How to create a children's mural. Tags: , , , .

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