Faux Finish: Ragrolling

Rag rolling technique is as straight forward as its name implies – you just roll paint on or off a prepared surface by rolling a rag across the wall. 

Tools and Materials:

  • One or two glazes in complimentary colors 
  • Bucket of clean water 
  • Painter\’s tape and a drop cloth 
  • Rag or ragging roller cover 
  • Newspaper for dapping off excess paint 
  • Practice board or cardboard to try a ragging test run before starting on the wall 

Ragging On Directions:

  1. Dip (but do not saturate) your rag into the glaze. 
  2. Carefully twist the rag into a long roll. 
  3. Beginning at the edge of the ceiling, roll the rag on the wall moving in various directions and beginning each roll at a different angle. 
  4.  Apply the same amount of pressure as you roll the rag across the wall for a consistent appearance. 
  5.  Continue for the whole work area
  6. Let the glaze dry, then apply another colour if desired. Remember that the last color applied with be the most prominent color. 
  7. Once all colors are ragged on, a coat of varnish can be applied, if desired. 


Ragging Off Directions:

  1. Basically involves painting a base coat and rolling the paint off with a rag. This works best when there are two people working, one painting the base, the other ragging off. Mark off ceiling, woodwork, corners, and floor with painter\’s tape. 
  2. Continue ragging off at various angles and in different directions for a more random appearance. 
  3. To achieve a parchment look, use plastic bags instead of rags. Heavily textured rags or lace can add more ‘contrasting’ look 
  4.  Follow up with a varnish or clear glaze, if desired.