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Need cheap/fast way to distress walls

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I am needing a faux painting techniques to accomplish 2 things. First, I need some sort of shadow effect on the chair rail to make it pop and look more 3-D. Second, I need the walls to be grimy. Both of these need to be done on the cheap and fast - I have 3 large rooms and a hallway to do by the end of the week! I've googled tutorials and ideas but NOTHING has come up. My first thought has been to get some brown chalk and go under the white line and smudge downwards, and then use a few shades of brown/black/grey chalk to smudge on the rest of the walls. But I'm not sure if this will give the effect I want or if it will look like smudged chalk. :/ Ideas?


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Hmm... well, to be honest, it sounds to me like it would be less work to cut some strips of cardboard or foamboard (from Dollar Tree) to about 1/3rd the size of your white wall stripe, spray paint the cardboard white, then hot glue it to the center of the white stripe. Then it would create a real 3D effect.

As far as making the walls grimy, I'd add some sand to some modpodge and slather it on. Mix it up in a large bucket, maybe add a bit of water to thin it out a bit, and a bit of brown paint too. Then messily paint the walls. For extra depth, make another bowl of different colored watered down paint - black or olive green maybe, or a darker brown. Then sponge that onto the upper parts of the wall & let it drip down. The first coat doesn't have to be dry to do this - you want it to get all muddied up. I do this kind of technique - random, textured colors & layers - when I age things for Halloween & it works out just fine.
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