Glitter wall paint creates an ethereal feel to a room, especially a child's room. Glitter painting has been used for many years, primarily on ceilings, as an additive to paint or sprayed onto a surface. There are many ways to achieve this look, some easier than others and require a bit more skill and patience. Consider doing just an accent wall with this technique if you're inexperienced or pressed for time. Otherwise, settle in for a multi-day project with eye-catching results.
Time: 8 to 12 hours
One technique is to blow dry glitter onto walls that are newly painted and still about 50 percent wet. The problem with this method is it's incredibly messy. You must also work quickly and smoothly or you can end up with clumps of glitter that are unevenly distributed.
Another technique is to apply a liquid spray to dry, painted walls. Like the other spraying method, this is messy and requires a bit of skill for smooth application. Also, this project requires lots of ventilation as the aerosol emits toxic fumes that are dangerous in closed spaces.
Tip: With the blown on technique, a particulate mask and eye protection should be worn. With the spray technique, proper ventilation is necessary and a respirator mask protection is advised. Additionally, this is for an alkyd or oil-finish. It will be the most difficult to remove or paint over in the future.
Paint additives can be added to any paint, glitter is one of them. However, you need to use only the glitter that is made for paint, not craft glitter as it will not stay on the surface and the paint will actually over-coat it.
When applying, keep your paint stirred at all times so the glitter will remain evenly distributed. First, allow the base coat to dry thoroughly—for at least six hours. Then, stir the specially formulated glitter into the paint and mix well. Apply the paint in small four by four-foot areas, cutting-in and rolling in sections. Always try to keep a wet edge to work back into and avoid overlapping.
Tip: A clear, faux finishing glaze is actually a great option for this technique. Sometimes glitter added to the base color doesn’t show up very well. The glaze will give a translucent medium for the glitter to sit in and allow it to be the first layer that the eye picks up. Kids grow up and out of glitter and eventually, this technique will need to be removed or painted over. If the glitter is just applied with glaze, it is more easily sanded, primed, and then painted over.
Special glitter paint is often the easiest way to go. This paint is formulated especially for glitter and is the correct density for good coverage. The glitter is actually ground up granite and will stay on the surface of the wall. It is available in many custom mixed colors and can be painted over when you tire of the look.
Pam Estabrooke, district manager of ProTect Painters, contributed to this article.