Ombre decorative technique - When walls come to life in a playful flow of colours

You might think that the sophisticated effect of paint flowing across a wall can be achieved only by an expert, artist or with usually quite expensive wallpaper. In actual fact, bringing walls to life with the ombre decorative technique does not require any special skills. All you need is a little bit of creativity and perseverance.

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The ombre painting technique, which is characterized by the slow transition from a darker to a lighter shade, has long been popular beyond the hair salon. This trend is also present in interior design. It is used on curtains, furniture, tiles, and larger wall surfaces. Paints can be mixed to create different effects, from a very soft and subtle transition, to an impressionistic style with rough brush strokes and strong colour contrasts. You can adapt the final look to your wishes and space. This decorative flowing effect will no doubt create a charismatic and unique look in your room.


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Choosing the colour palette

It is very popular to combine pale and darker versions of the same colour, as well as neutral colours combined with white. Of course, the possibilities when designing a colour palette are virtually limitless. Nature is an excellent source of inspiration. Take colours flowing across the evening sky, or mountain ranges that are gradually obscured by mists and clouds.

When combining paints from different colour groups, it is worth considering whether you will also like the shade that will be created during their transition. For example, mixing red and green - which are at opposite ends of the colour wheel - creates a brown or dirty grey, which may be an unwelcome surprise! In this case, it is better to choose a transition from red to white on one side and white to green on the other.

You can use the HGMIX INTERIOR COLOUR COLLECTION colour card when designing the colour palette, which allows you to choose between 1194 colour shades.


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How to do ombre?

Using a roller, apply the paint onto the wall in several strips, leaving some empty space in between. The strips can be of different widths or distances from each other, depending on the desired final look. A tip to make the strips the same height across the entire width of the wall is to use masking tape or make pencil marks.

For softer, more fluid transitions, paint narrower strips that are further apart. Another tip is to mix two adjacent colours in the same ratio before applying them on the wall, to create a new colour that fits the existing spectrum perfectly. If continuing the process, you can create an almost unlimited number of new shades by mixing colours, which will facilitate creating an even gradient. You will need enough trays for all the mixing.

While the paint is still fresh, use a dry or slightly moistened clean brush, and with cross-strokes blur the transitions between the strips. Try to work with the paint that is already on the wall. Only apply additional paint with a brush to the wall when necessary, depending on the width of the empty space left between the strips. You can also use a very wide brush, where you dip either side in one of two adjacent colours, and then create a smooth transition with horizontal strokes.


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When painting in the summer, the paint usually dries faster due to the higher temperatures, so you will need to lightly wet the brush with water several times. To avoid damaging the existing paint application, never spray water directly on the wall. If you are working on a larger area, we recommend keeping to a smaller part of the wall up to two meters wide, and progressing gradually to prevent the paint from drying out too quickly.

A great feature of the ombre technique is also that it allows room for error. If needed, you can always go back, repair transitions, create a little more depth with additional application, or even add new shades. You just need a little perseverance and enough clean brushes!