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Habitat plus - paint effects

Welcome — A freshly painted wall looks beautiful but what if you’re after something just a little different. Or you’d like to upcycle some furniture and a straight paint finish might look a little plain?

Paint effects allow you the freedom to capture a mood, create an ambience and transform the mundane into something special. Some techniques also have the practical benefit of disguising less-than-perfect surfaces. In fact, imperfections in the surface can add to the overall impact of the effect.

This booklet contains a taste of the paint effects techniques commonly used, from French wash to crackle, woodgrain to marbling. There are a wide variety of other paint effects techniques that you can use to achieve highly professional results... more

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Paint effects

Sit back, relax and enjoy all the articles from Habitat plus booklet - simply click on the story below of interest and read the full article or use the search function for a particular topic.

The right products / tips and tricks

The right products... tips and tricks to get you started

There are a number of specialty Resene products to help you create useful and beautiful surfaces - metallics, washes, textures, crackle effects, shimmery sparkles, chalkboards, magnetic surfaces and more. Also, helpful tips and tricks to get you started... more

Colour washes / paint washes


Learn about colourwashing, limewash or French wash, water colour walls, white and grey wash, plus how to use Resene Paint Effects Medium... more

Woodgrain paint effects


Woodgraining looks best where wood might normally have been used. In the majority of cases, it is best to use tones of the same colour... more



There are as many techniques for marbling as there are varieties of natural marble, often using a combination of ragging, dry-brushing and ‘painting’ with a feather... more

Brushed metallic and crackle finishes

Brushed metallic/Crackle finishes

Brushed metallic finishes gives a similar effect to a wash, but takes full advantage of the properties of metallic paints from the Resene Special Effects and Metallics range. Another great aged effect is a crackle finish. And with Resene FX Crackle, it takes very little effort... more

Dry-brush gilding and spattering and stippling

Dry-brush 'gilding'/Spattering and stippling

Dry-brushing is an easy way to achieve a bronze metallic look with a verdigris finish. Spattering is showering a fine spray of paint onto a surface by running your finger across a paint-loaded brush. Stippling can give a similar look or a much denser finish, depending on how much paint you apply... more

Sponging and ragging

Sponging and ragging

These effects are similar in regards to technique but give different looks. These can look as bold or as subtle as you like depending on the variation in colour between the basecoat and the topcoat.... more



Ombre effects have become popular for their soft melting effect. As a gradual transition of colour from dark to light, an ombre feature will add whimsy to a room... more


Four quick tricks to age furniture.... more



Stencils are a hugely flexible and diverse way of adding pattern to virtually anything. You can do entire walls, portions of furniture, pots, the edges of floors, frames, or whatever takes your fancy... more



Paint can be used for printing using a variety of techniques, from the humble potato print to more ambitious methods. Printing is the reverse of stencilling... more



As many homeowners have found out over the years, chalkboards are an extremely handy way to create a noticeboard, and are also a great way to give your home a changing canvas of artworks from whoever in the family is feeling creative at the time... more

Masked effects

Simple masked effects

Masking tape is not only a decorator’s friend, but also a creative person’s helpmate. Simple and effective, colour-blocking can transform a wall, or piece of furniture like a bookcase... more

Colour blocking

Colour blocking

Simple and effective, colour-blocking can transform a wall, or piece of furniture like a bookcase. You can use sections of a wall, use your blocks of colour in a random way or apply a repeating pattern based on simple shapes like triangles, rectangles or squares. Or you can create more dramatic walls like the 3D geometric effect in this bedroom at left... more

Using stripes / get creative

Stripes/Get creative

As far as geometrics go, stripes are one of the most classic, and handiest, shapes to use to transform a wall, a tray, a floor and even a ceiling. With the wide range of Resene paints and colours, and your imagination, it’s possible to create a truly unique effect on your walls, floor, ceiling, furniture or virtually anything else... more

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Habitat plus are not mailed directly. They are available free from Resene ColorShops and resellers while stocks last and available for viewing online.


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.