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The Home Depot

Tips and Tricks to Fading Paint

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Painting > Tips and Tricks to Fading Paint
Tips and Tricks to Fading Paint

Up for something different when you paint a wall? Try adding texture and depth by fading your paint colors into each other. We’re describing a technique that gives the surface paint a gradient effect. Picture a wall that as you pan down from the ceiling to the floor, the colors go from a light yellow at the top to deep orange at the bottom.


Not only will you get this fading-paint look, the way the light is treated when it reflects off the wall will be quite different. You can go hog-wild, creating more depth, by fading upwards of six-to-seven shades of the same color. Or you can paint a fade with just a couple of shades.


Before hitting the wall with your paint do some test runs on a piece of plywood. This will not only give you an idea of which colors you’d like to use, it will also let you have some practice-time perfecting the fading process.

  1. 1.Tools and Materials

    We’re going to start with a simple 3-color fade. For this project, here’s the stuff you’ll need to assemble beforehand:


      • 3-shades of satin interior paint

      • A sea sponge

      • Paint brushes

      • Paint rollers

      • Painter's tape

      • Plastic tarp

      • Buckets

      • Paint pan

      • Spray bottle

      • Water

  2. 2.Step-By-Step

    Protect the floor first by laying down a plastic or canvas tarp. To make sure that the tape doesn’t follow you when you walk around, adhere it to the baseboards with painter’s tape. Place the tape where the baseboard joins the wall.


    While you’re still messing with the tape, if there’s anything else you’d like to keep from getting splattered, like windows and electrical outlets, stick some tape around them, too.

    Up for something different when you paint a wall? Try adding texture and depth by fading your paint colors into each other.

    Now you’re ready use a clean paint roller. Pour the paint that you plan to apply in the middle into your paint pan. Cover the middle-third of your wall with the medium-tone using the paint roller. You’ll need to move fast, as you don’t want this coat to dry as you apply the next two shades.


    Move on to the next-darker color. With a clean roller, do the bottom-third the same way you did the first band.


    Lastly, hit the top the like you did with the other two; clean roller and the lightest color of all.


    Spray a mist of water where the light paint meets the medium paint. Take either your sea sponge or paint brush and moisten it with water. Make sure it’s not too wet.


    Time to start creating that fade effect. You’re going to want blur the bottom of the lightest one to the top of the medium color. Finished with that layer? Give the sponge or brush a total rinse and do the same to the bottom of the medium one to the top of the darkest paint.


    If you want to use more than just three different colors, the same principal applies. Always start in the middle, then move to the bottom of that band. Once that part is covered, shift to the top of the middle band.


    Repeat the fading technique on those three initial strips. Continue with the next two colors, bottom-to-top.


    This is a great method to use if you’re tired of drab, flat paint covering your walls. It can not only be used to liven-up the décor of your home, it also works if you plan to paint a wall mural and you’re looking for a way to let that cowboy ride off into the sunset. Or sunrise, for that matter.

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