HOW TO :: Stormy Distressed Wall

Okay, so.

First things first. If you're going to use this in your photography studio, CHANGE IT UP! Yup, use different colors, use it as a backdrop for a bedroom set, or maybe even use 2-3 or 4 colors! Make it unique and make it your own. Thinking out of the box with help make YOU look unique instead of trying to build a replica of my studio. You can do it.


I wanted to create an amazing new accent wall for my new boudoir studio. I searched high and low on Pinterest and found a photo of Ombré wallpaper. Cool right? Wrong. It didn’t exist anywhere anymore and then I fell down a Pinterest hole trying to find the original post and what shop might possibly have it.

I came across a post on how to ombré a wall with paint on Pinterest from 2007. This got me thinking. I’m pretty good with a paint brush so why not give it a shot. But, here is the problem. I didn’t want to use two or three colors to create an ombré. My studio is huge and already had a decent color gray on all the walls, but how could I ombré over a dry existing paint?

I decided to use my artistic background and pray. Here’s how I did it...

Step 1.

If you’re using an existing paint color, wash your wall and prep it for paint. If not, paint the wall and let it dry completely!

You’ll need a drop cloth, at least a 2” flat paint brush, spray bottle filled with cold water, paint color of choice for the dark/dripping, bowl of water, and a roller&tray.

Step 2.

Tape the wall to protect your molding and lay down your plastic. You’ll want to paint a rough line of where you want the ombré to start fading. Roll the paint under that line like you would any other room. You want it to be neatly lined and fully opaque to your desired room color. BEFORE IT GETS DRY, mist some water on the edge of the roller line and begin your long horizontal paint strokes upwards till the paint starts to naturally run out . This creates a super messy ombré. Keep misting to keep paint damp.

Step 3.

Now that we have gone through and started to soften the harsh roller line with our misting and horizontal paint brush strokes, you’ll want to get your bucket of water handy. Because we are using one paint color to ombré, you’ll want to dip your brush into water and then paint. This will help water down the color and make it easier to spread upwards! This will leave some darker spots where the paint is thicker, just spritz it and let it start to run down the wall.

Step 4.

Continue watering down the paint till your brush is mostly water. At this point you should be almost to the ceiling! It should be mostly your under paint color and drippy watered paint. You want it to slowly drip. So take your time and make sure you don’t make the wall too wet. You do NOT want this to get on your base molding and floor. Keep an eye on your drips and stop them before they get too low. If they’re making it to the floor, slow down and ease back on the water.

Step 5.

Now that our wall is mostly covered in sloppy dripping ombré, we should have a very watered down almost see through top fading/dripping into a dark bottom paint. I wanted to give my space a really distressed look at this point, so I dipped the tip of my brush in the paint bucket and brushed a very thin messy line along the top of the wall. As I painted it, I spritzed the water on it till droplets started to form. Do not over mist! This will make all the paint vanish, just get the drops formed and move on. If you need to fill in empty spots, just splatter with your super wet paint brush.

Last Step!

Decorate the $#!+ out of it! I added gold leaf to the drips, gold leaf flakes to the corners of the room, and placed a gold chandelier above. I hand painted a mantle and attached it to the wall. Soon it will be filled with candles and a

gorgeous gold mirror!

You're going to get frustrated at times, possibly even hate it... just keep going and keep it damp.

You’ve got this!!

To see my professional photos of this space check out my instagram @Hannah.Rachael.Photography!

This wall got so popular so quick I just had to share right away.

November 1st my beautiful new studio will reopen with a model call! So get ready to see this beautiful wall all over my Instagram!

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