Brushed Metal Glaze Wall Painting Technique

Julie Hampton

Transform drywall to mimic a metal wall by adding metallic paint and glaze. Metallic paints come in a variety of shades, from traditional bronze and copper to modern jewel tones such as blue turquoise and ruby red. Metallic paint is made from small pieces of mica.

For the most reflective qualities to be seen on the wall, there must be adequate light. Both natural and artificial light allow the newly painted metallic wall to glow.

Wall Preparation

To prepare the wall to be painted, wash it with a large sponge and warm water if a large amount of dirt is visible on the surface. A clean wall allows paint to adhere better. Vacuum spider webs from the ceiling line and corners of the room to avoid them mixing with the paint during the project. Apply 2-inch painter's tape to all surfaces where paint should be avoided, and press the tape firmly onto baseboards, door frames and ceiling lines so paint does not seep underneath. Lay all drop cloths evenly on the floor, making the drop cloths smooth and free of wrinkles.

Base Coat

Use dark brown or black latex paint to apply a dark base coat. The dark base color is necessary because any shade of metallic paint from pearl white to dark bronze is extremely translucent. The base coat should cover the wall surface entirely and evenly. The base coat is commonly applied using a roller. Apply pressure evenly and steadily. Be prepared to apply more than one coat.

Metallic Paint

Always apply metallic paint in a random, organic direction instead of in vertical or horizontal rolls. Roll on the paint and overlap sections when applying. Do not trim out the edges of the wall because a visible brushed-on look will be seen around the perimeter. Instead, use the roller and go directly to the edge of the wall. Roll on coats of metallic paint until a solid metallic wall results.


For the glaze, mix together metallic paint and clear glaze in a 1-2 ratio. Use a paintbrush to apply the glaze to the wall for a brushed technique. Experiment with different brushed-on looks using a piece of cardboard or scrap wood. Other tools such as sponges, newspaper and plastic bags also can be used. Cover the area only one time with glaze, and do not go back into an area to fix mistakes if the glaze has set for more than one minute.

Finishing Project

Always allow glaze to dry for 24 hours prior to moving items back in a room. Keep traffic to a minimum while glaze dries to avoid accidental touches. Add additional lighting in the room by using accent and interior lights for the metallic wall to shine.