Sign up for Hirshfield's
e-mail Newsletter and stay up to date on the latest in home decorating fashions.

Decorating Ideas

Faux Finishing


In dragging, a dry brush (or other tool) is pulled through a wet glaze, producing fine, blurry stripes of the base coat color showing through the glaze. On walls, dragging creates a striae effect of soft graduated lines. Dragging lends (but never limits) itself to tone-on-tone color combinations. Try dragging on furniture in more contrasty colors for a truly fashionable finish.

1. Apply base coat.
Use a quality latex eggshell enamel such as Hirshfield's Platinum Ceramic Eggshell, Pratt & Lambert's Accolade Interior Velvet or Benjamin Moore's Regal Aqua Velvet. Two coats may be necessary on some colors.

2. Formula for glaze.
Use Platinum Ceramic Eggshell, Accolade or Regal Aqua Velvet for color. Thin as described below. The dilution ratio is affected by heat and humidity. Experiment to find what works best for you. Start with:

1 part latex paint
3 parts Blend & Glaze
(latex formula)
(Note: 1 quart of latex paint thinned to these directions should make enough glaze for a 12' x 14' room.)

3. Prepare for glazing.
Use 4" Easy Mark masking tape at ceiling and baseboard. Glazes are runny and a bit messy. Take extra time to be certain that surfaces not to be painted are taped off and well protected. Do not leave masking tape on overnight. Cover all heat registers to prevent glaze from drying too quickly.

4. Applying the glaze.
Dragging is best done with 2 people– one to apply the glaze and one to drag it off. While one applies a thin but uniform strip of glaze about 18" wide from ceiling to floor, the other follows behind doing the dragging, working at a quick, measured pace as latex glazes dry quickly. If your glaze loses its wet edge before the next strip of glaze is applied, blot it with a damp sponge.

5. Dragging.
Using a 4" nylon/polyester brush, steel wool, wallpaper brush or brush of your choice (experiment for desired effect), drag through the wet glaze beginning at the ceiling, drawing continuously with even, relaxed pressure all the way to the floor. Wipe brush on a damp rag after each drag. (Practice this dragging motion first with a dry brush on a dry wall, especially if ceiling height necessitates trips up and down a step ladder.) If a continuous trip from ceiling to floor proves too difficult, try one stroke from ceiling to 1/2 to 2/3 down the wall, finishing from the floor up (watch for build up of glaze where the two strokes meet). Be sure to wipe the brush on a rag after each stroke. Have patience: Once you start a wall be prepared to finish that wall.

6. Practice first.
Remember to use sample boards (mounted vertically if possible) painted your base coat color to practice your dragging technique.

7. Experiment.
Try using your dragging skills on furniture pieces – stools, tables, even an armoire. On heavily used pieces, a clear finish is recommended to protect your dragged finish.

Latex paint for base coat
Latex paint for glaze
Blend & Glaze Latex Formula
4" Easy Mask Tape
Brush, roller & tray for base coat
4" Nylon/polyester brush, wallpaper brush, or dragging tool of your choice.

Previous Page