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Decorative Paint Technique: Strie Painting

Use paint to dress up a room with the look of fine fabric.

More in Decorating

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  • Time


  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Prep and Prime

Prepare the walls for painting. Prime and once dry, apply the base coat. Let dry. Mix one part top coat with two parts water and one part glaze.

Note: Strie is also called dragging. Some tips to consider:

  • Walls should be in good condition for this technique.

  • This technique is straightforward, but you have to work fast.

  • Don't overwork the paint to avoid gumming up the streaking effect.

  • Thinning the paint with too much water causes drips and sagging in the finish.

Step 2: Make Vertical Strokes

Spray the paint pad with water, which will allow you to manipulate the mixture better before it dries. Dip the pad into the paint mixture (less is more with this technique, so don't overload it), and apply it to the wall using one long, continuous vertical stroke.

Almost as soon as that paint goes on, apply a fair amount of pressure to a dry bristle brush and drag it through the mixture (use the smaller brush in tight areas). Keep it dry by rubbing the brush with a rag between strokes. Overlap each stroke just a bit and if it looks like there's too much paint, wet the brush; wipe it off, and then lightly brush the area.

Note: Avoid overworking the paint. Too much water can muddy the streaking effect you're trying to create.

Continue in this fashion until the desired area is finished, and let it dry completely.

Step 3: Create Horizontal Streaks

Use the same steps to apply the effect horizontally. Apply the mixture with the damp paint pad and use a dry brush to take it off. Let dry.



  • latex glaze (Studio Finishes 405) from Benjamin Moore
    latex paint, eggshell sheen (base coat: Linen White); (top coat: Picante 006) from Benjamin Moore