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To make the glaze used for these finishes, use equal parts water, latex paint, and Floetrol Latex Paint Conditioner, which helps the paint flow and makes it dry more slowly. Stir these together, wearing rubber gloves.
Paint the surface of a wooden room-divider screen with beige latex paint. The overlay color used here is blue.
The first method is a "positive technique" because paint is added to the surface. Scrunch a piece of bubble wrap into a ball about the size of a hand. Dip a sponge in the glaze, then dab the bubble wrap onto the sponge so there won't be too much paint on the bubble wrap. Press the bubble wrap onto the surface in a random pattern. While pressing, the bubble wrap delivers less paint and creates a soft look. Reload the bubble wrap by dabbing it onto the sponge. Use a swirling motion to soften the edges.
This "negative technique" removes paint from the surface with a tool. Peel away the smooth portion of a palm-sized square piece of corrugated cardboard, revealing the uneven center core portion. First, paint the glaze mixture on a small section of the surface. Now, using the edge of the cardboard square, remove some of the glaze by dragging the edge from top to bottom. Then go back over the same section and drag the edge from side to side. It will create a checked pattern.
This is a negative technique. Paint glaze on the surface. Use the bottom of an athletic or tennis shoe and press it over the surface. Lift it up and press again in a different spot. Some of the glaze will be removed, leaving a pattern. Occasionally blot the shoe.
This technique is also positive. Dip a paintbrush into the glaze and pounce it over the screen's surface in a random pattern. Reload the brush and continue pouncing. Go back between spaces with the brush to fill in when it has less paint on it. To soften the look, use a dry brush to go over the surface using long strokes from top to bottom.