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How to Create a Soft Light Effect with Paint

Give your room a lighter and softer look with shimmering pale shades of paint that reflect light.

More in Painting

create soft Light effect with paint Watch Video

Step 1: Prime the Wall and Paint the Ceiling

Before painting the clouds, paint the walls with a coat of light blue semigloss latex paint. Next, paint the ceiling with a paler shade of blue semigloss latex paint. Using pale shades of semigloss latex paint will reflect light and give the room a shimmering, cheerful look.

prime wall and paint ceiling

Step 2: Paint a Cloud-like Shape on the Ceiling

Now let's get creative, and paint the cloud pattern on the ceiling.

Dip the tip of the angled brush into white eggshell latex and apply to the ceiling as follows: paint a line onto the ceiling, moving the brush slightly back and forth as you paint, and sweep upward at the end (image 1). Keep going back to the original line and pulling the paint upward in wispy strokes to suggest a cloudlike effect (image 2).

Step 3: Create the Top of the Clouds

Create the top of the clouds by dipping the brush back in the paint (if necessary), applying it to the top of the area and sweeping it up and over in a semicircle. Repeat the semicircles several times, until the cloud has a puffy-looking top.

Step 4: Fill in the Cloud

Fill in the cloud by continuing the sweeping motions of the brush. If the paint is pooling at the bottom of the design, hold the brush at the bottom of the cloud and pull it across and up into the cloud to blend it in.

Step 5: View the Cloud from a Distance

After each cloud is finished, step down from the ladder and look at the overall effect to get an idea of proportions and perspective.
After all the clouds have been painted, you are ready to tackle the floor. Remember to use chalk to mark your floors -- it's much easier to remove later than pencil marks.

Step 6: Create the Diamond Pattern for the Floor

Measure the floor's width and depth. If the room has an irregular outline, measure from the edge of the irregularity. If each measurement is an odd number, determine the size of the area you wish to feature diamonds, then use that number to help determine the size of the diamonds. For example: for a room that is 152" by 190", use a measurement of about 150" by 150" for the diamonds. This will accommodate 30" diamonds. For this size room a 9" border would be best. For larger rooms, measure out an 11" border.

create diamond pattern for floor

Step 7: Apply Primer and Paint

After deciding on the size fo the diamonds, measure for the border.

Wipe the floor down, then prime it, let dry completely.

Apply two coats of satin latex paint and let dry.

apply primer and paint

Step 8: Paint the Border

Tape off the border around the room.

Apply two coats of paint to the entire border with a 6" roller, letting them dry in between coats.

Carefully remove all the tape from the border.

With a straightedge or a measuring tape, measure around the perimeter of the room, marking off the dimensions of each diamond.

paint the border

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