6 ways to jazz up a focus wall

6 ways to jazz up a focus wall


A white wall

Lime whitewash is best because it gives a rough surface texture and transparency. We added a water-based adhesive (Fevicol) to improve its binding property. You can use any other paint (distemper, plastic emulsion, etc). The quantity of paint required depends on the size of the wall and the spread (sq. ft/lt of paint, as marked on the container).

Wet paint appears darker, so allow a sample patch to dry before painting the entire wall.

Paint stainers

Colour stainers are available in all primary and some secondary colours. These are inexpensive (approx. Rs20-30 per 50ml bottle, available at all good hardware stores) and suitable for all types of paints. You can create any shade of paint by altering the proportions. Get advice on how to mix primary colours (yellow+red=orange, blue+red=purple, yellow+blue= green).

Basic tools

Foam or sponge roller, cardboard cutter, sandpaper, Fevicol, cleaning cloth and brushes (width: 3" and 4").

Special tools for texture

Polyurethane foam or sponge (the kind used in upholstery), regular six-sided wooden pencils, plastic straws or dry cartridges of ordinary sketch (felt) pens and caps of the sketch pens.


• Sandpaper the surface lightly to remove all loose, existingpaint particles and dust from the surface. In case the base surface is very rough/uneven or there are cracks or loose chips, you will need to get the surface prepared again.

• Mix turpentine oil with the enamel paint to increase its viscosity and spread. Use a brush to mix the two. Wipe the brush lightly against the inner edge of the paint container before applying it to the wall to avoid drip marks. Apply on the wall with brushstrokes in one direction (up-down is good). Enamel paint gives the surface a dull shine, fills up microscopic holes and helps fix the surface coating better, while increasing the spread of subsequent applications. Allow the surface to dry for 24 hours before working on the top texture paint surface.

• Mix stainers in the base paint to get the right shade of colour. For this feature, we have used just two colours: yellowish green and orange, to keep the focus on the texture more than on the colour.


Approximate costs per sq. ft will be about Rs25 if you do it on your own, and about Rs45-50 if you engage the services of a professional company, though this could vary.

Straw bands

We used a dry cartridge from an old felt pen to create this pattern. It is much like a plastic straw, with the additional support of a cotton-filled inside. You could also use any plastic or PVC pipe to achieve the same effect. This technique allows you to create clean bands of varying width on a wet sponge-finished background. Simply place the straw or cartridge on wet paint and roll it in a vertical or horizontal direction using your fingers as the guiding tool. Maintaining a vertical band is slightly easier. Ensure that you work in panels (vertical or horizontal), before the paint dries. Wipe the straw frequently.

Ribbon strips

Vigorously rub the felt pen cap on a wet paint surface in close overlapping curvilinear (zigzag) bands. The hand-eye coordination has to be controlled, while increasing and reducing the downward hand pressure to get dark and light patches on the surface.

Bamboo groves

Take a small 0.75"- 1.5"-wide straw and create vertical bands on a wet sponge-finished background. Now take the same straw and dab it randomly on the (still) wet paint surface to create an impression of bamboo leaves. Speed is imperative here even if you intend doing the total design in thin long panels. Using paints that take longer to dry, gives you more time to create patterns.

Ribbed bands

The humble felt (sketch) pen cap is often not longer than an inch and is slightly conical in shape. Some have ribs on the surface. Rolling one on the wet surface results in curvilinear bands that you may not be able to achieve with any of the above techniques. This produces an attractive rib-like texture.


Now take the same empty cartridge (straw) and make circular patterns on the surface using its mouth. The closer the pattern, the better it looks. You can even try this technique in combination with any of the above textures.

Pencil effects

Take a full-sized pencil and roll it on the entire surface in wide overlapping horizontal bands. You needn’t worry about the start or the end as it all merges. Aqua green-blue colours create an effect of rain on the window pane. You will be amazed at how good this looks and how simple it is to execute.

(Caution: It is advisable to wear gloves while working with paints as some skin types may react adversely to the toxins in the paint. In case of any discomfort, wash thoroughly and consult your doctor.)

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