How to Make Fresco Walls with Terra Cotta Paint

What You'll Need
Painters tape
Drop cloth
3 compound troughs
Joint compound
Latex paint, base color
Latex paint, shade color
Latex paint, second shade color
Plaster blade
3 mixing sticks

Terra Cotta is a type of clay that is used to create pots, shingles and other items. It is ruddy brown color and is very popular. A fresco, or colorful picture, is painted using tinted plaster on Terra Cotta to enhance the look of the clay. For example, the Sistine Chapel is the most famous fresco painting in the world. When you create a Terra Cotta fresco wall in your home, you are creating a look that is blotchy and textured. It is not difficult to create a fresco, this article will show you how to create a Terra Cotta fresco painting on your walls.

Step 1 – Choose the Paint

The paint you choose is the most important aspect of the project. Since Terra Cotta clay is a muddy brown color, that is what you should choose for your base coat. You want this color to show through the rest of the paint the most. Next, you will need two other paint colors that are different shades, but are still within the color spectrum of the base coat. Once you choose the base coat, you can have the paint store help you match the color to one or two darker and lighter. These colors will be used for shading.

Step 2 – Room Preparation

Terra Cotta fresco wall painting is not executed like other typical painting styles. You are essentially creating a texture in the wall using a combination of paint and joint compound. There are no brushes involved with this type of painting. Make sure you lay the drop cloth down on the floor and use tape around the windows and trim. Be sure to tape the floor and ceiling.

Step 3 – Mix the Paint

In order to get the Terra Cotta fresco look you are after, the paint is mixed with the joint compound. Start with the base color first. Put the joint compound in a trough and then add your base Terra Cotta color to it in small amounts until the compound is correctly tinted. Do not over mix the color because you want some of the white compound to continue to show through. Repeat the process with the two shading colors.

Step 4 – Application

It is important to work in small areas in order to achieve the blending required to create a proper Terra Cotta fresco look. Apply the base coat of joint compound to the center of the compound blade. Add it to the wall in the area you wish to color first, and then spread the compound out until it is a thin layer and blended to the wall. Complete this process until the wall is covered in the base paint. Apply the first shade to the wall where you first started in the same manner as the base. Do not blend the colors too much. When you are finished, apply the second shade.