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Also known as 'Cellophane'

A decorative paint-effect created by dabbing wet glaze with a bag or piece of cellophane.

Learn how to do it with this free, step-by-step, illustrated tutorial,
containing pictures of the 2 easy steps required to create the bagging effect.


  Like all paint-effects, bagging can be a little messy, so wear old clothing or overalls.
  Also: remove or cover all carpets, furniture and other valuables from the room.

  Prepare the surface that is to be painted, apply at least 2 coats of mid-sheen paint in your chosen colour and allow to dry thoroughly.

  Water-based paint dries quickly so start on your smallest walls first; your speed will improve with experience.

  Have a bucket or bowl of clean water and some rags close at hand for cleaning purposes.


  In this technique the topcoat, or glaze, is patterned by dabbing a crumpled bag over the surface.
  Where the bag makes contact, the glaze is lifted revealing the base coat.

  It is advisable to get someone else to paint the wall with the mixed glaze ahead of you, so that you can concentrate on creating the effect
  If you must work alone, paint small sections, 3ft (1 metre) at a time, & stop the bagging process 6 inches (150mm) short of the leading edge.
  Apply the mixed glaze evenly with a brush or roller.

  Take a polythene bag; turn it inside out to remove any contents and to avoid the possibility of print being transferred to the wall surface.
  Crumple the bag up, and then allow it to open out a little, making sure there are lots of creases and folds.
  Dab the crumpled bag onto the surface of the glaze and lift it back off.
  Twist your hand about 450, then dab again next to, & overlapping, the first dab.

  The challenge of bagging is to move the bag evenly over the surface without twisting or sliding it in the glaze.
  Occasionally open out, and re-bunch the bag, or replace it, to keep a regular appearance to the pattern.

  Repeat the process over the area to be decorated, lapping-in on wet edges.
  Allow the first wall to dry before starting another to prevent spoiling the finished effect.

  Allow the paint to dry before protecting with a coat of clear glaze or varnish     (optional).

Click to enlarge
Apply glaze.
Click to enlarge
Dab with bag.

  !!! With oil-based method, used bags should be saturated with soapy water before discarding to prevent the risk of fire !!!


Other tutorials in this series include:
Clouding   Colourwash   Dragging   Frottage   Mottling
Rag-rolling   Sponging   Stippling   Verdigris   Wiping Back

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