How to paint like an Italian

written by Tiana Kai

There is no sign of Home Depot around here. But, there is Obi. It is amazing – everything you could want to get your palms all sweaty and ready for a good DIY-er. As you saw in the post on textured paint, that was the effect I was after. It is a type of paint hard to find in the States, but it is a commonality here. Lucky me! The pic above is of Nicco with our final color selections: etereo grey for our bedroom and papaya for our soggiorno (living room).


  • white paint, which is used as a base that mixes with the color you chose
  • colored paint
  • wide brush for each color
  • bucket to mix the colors
  • something to mix the color and white paint together – I used a large old spoon
  • ladder
  • painters tape
  • plastic to cover furniture and floor – may not be necessary
  • damp wash rags – to wipe up spilled paint
  • crappy clothes and sneakers – to wear
  • a great music playlist
  • 3-4 hours of undivided attention

10 steps to paint like an Italian

1. dig deep and find your best Italian accent – if difficult, just say ‘pizza, mamma mia, Pavarotti‘ three times in a row to help you get started – and don’t forget to move your hands around a lot

2. tape the edges, base boards and crown molding

3. figure out the dimension of the wall and pour the appropriate amount of white paint needed into a bucket – the ‘paint guy’ at the store can tell you how much you need per wall

4. slowly pour a small amount of color into the white paint and mix – the left bucket was the white paint with my old kitchen spoon

5. dip less than half of the brush into the paint

6. test a small section of the wall to see if the color is strong enough

7. if you like what you see, paint, if not, slowly add more color until you get the correct color

8. there’s no rhyme or reason, so just paint in every direction to create that natural effect

9. peel the tape off after 1-2 hours

10. go out to dinner and pop open a red, don’t forget your accent and hand gestures

What do you think of my skills – would you use this effect in your own house?

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Anonymous August 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm

You look very tall in one of your images. You either grew since July or its just the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory efect : ) looks great.

Tiana Kai September 1, 2012 at 11:10 am

Thanks, it was fun painting to good music! No chocolate though, I am on a diet of steak, tomatoes and good wine.

Lundy Wilder October 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm

I think you did a wonderful job and I know your arm is tired after all those strokes.

Tiana Kai October 15, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Haha, yes my arm had quite a workout!


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