Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2009
It may shine like raw silk, but this soft-blue wall with subtle stripes is produced by a pad of steel wool drawn through an iridescent glaze. Unraveling extra-coarse (No. 4) steel wool loosens its filaments, which make ultrafine stripes when pulled through a glaze.
Other Colors to Try
1. Base Coat: Benjamin Moore 2008-20 Claret Rose
Glaze Tint: Benjamin Moore 2080-10 Ravishing Red
2. Base Coat: Benjamin Moore 023 Heirloom
Glaze Tint: Benjamin Moore 2007-50 Supple Pink
3. Base Coat: Benjamin Moore China White
Glaze Tint: Benjamin Moore 1018 Shabby Chic
4. Base Coat: Benjamin Moore 2053-70 Morning Sky Blue
Glaze Tint: Benjamin Moore 620 Key Largo Green
Base Coat: Benjamin Moore 2067-70 White Satin
Glaze Tint: Benjamin Moore Pearlescent White mixed with phthalo blue tint to approximate Benjamin Moore 801 Blue Bayou
Unraveling extra-coarse (No. 4) steel wool
China bristle brush
Using a 9-inch paint roller with a 1/4-inch nap, paint the surface in desired color using latex paint. Let dry thoroughly.
Mix 1 part latex paint (pearl finish or satin finish) with 1 part latex or acrylic glazing liquid and 2 parts water. (If using oil paint, mix 1 part oil paint with 1 part oil glazing liquid and 1 part mineral spirits.) Apply a thin layer of tinted glaze to dried base coat, using a China bristle brush.
Tip: Smooth irregularities as you work (they can catch the glaze and obscure its effect).
Unravel an extra-coarse (No. 4) piece of steel wool, then roll it back up in the opposite direction. Drag steel wool through the tinted glaze, beginning at the top edge of the surface and ending at the bottom edge.
Work across the surface with steel wool, overlapping each previous pass slightly.