Kate’s DIY Project: Valspar Brushed Pearl Paint

Sometimes it takes forever to complete a DIY project but in this case I completed faux finishing my guest bathroom in just two days. That’s the good news.

For me the even better news is the reason that it has taken me longer than expected to take some photos and share my result with you– I’ve been working with two new corporate clients but more on that later.

A close-up of the brushed pearl effect

I used Valspar’s Brushed Pearl paint and am very pleased with the results. Even my 17 year old was ‘wowed’ which is really saying something about how outstanding it looks because he doesn’t usually pay much attention to my decorating projects

These photos don’t do justice to the gorgeous brushed pearl effect

Here’s how the project went from start to finish–

My very first step was stopping at Lowe’s to buy the paint and sealer. I chose color BP1 ‘Simply Elegant’. While I was there I also picked up the 4″ brush and trowel they sell specifically for this purpose.

A scan of the color card just to give you an idea of the variety of colors; please look at an actual card for accurate color rendition

Next I had my painter put the base coat on the walls and ceiling so all I had to do was to apply the pearl layer. I did this as a time-saver not because it was difficult since the first coat is essentially the same as if you were simply painting any room.

After allowing ample time for the first coat to dry I applied painter’s tape around all four edges of two opposite walls. I don’t think that instructions say to do this but I know from experience that this makes all the difference in acheiving a flawless finish and is worth the little bit of extra time it takes.

I used painter’s tape at each point where two walls met

Having done faux finishes in the past I have learned that you get the best results if you do opposite walls and let them dry. Then reposition your tape onto the dried walls and paint the remaining two walls. If you don’t do it this way I find it very difficult to get a professional finish where the two walls meet.

After the first wall was dry I repositioned the tape and started on the adjacent wall.

Using the 4″ brush I began painting at the upper left corner of one wall and worked my across and down. Since I had taped I didn’t bother to cut in the edges ahead but rather did this as I went along.

I took extra care to pull the paint out so that it didn’t build up around the edges and I kept an eye on how dry it was getting so that it didn’t get too dry before I could use the trowel.

Troweling over the surface is the second step of applying this layer. I went at it at first with a very gentle and deliberate strokes but found that being looser and less measured produced a more pleasing surface appearance. Now that was my first clue that this product was different than most of the prepared faux finishes I have tried in the past.

With the first coat I got a feel for the product and how it handled. I found that I could work rather loosely and quickly which was especially good since I jumped right into painting after dinner on Friday night rather than wait until Saturday morning.

By the second wall I knew exactly how to get the look I was after and the process went even more quickly and I was cleaning my brush before the late night news was over.

I was successful in getting the effect with one coat but it did not look nearly as good as it did when I added a second layer

Of all the faux finishes I have used I found this one to be the most “forgiving”. As I painted I was able to go back over areas and they blended beautifully. After I used the trowel if there were areas I thought looked a bit too strong I was able to soften the effect by dry brushing very gently over the area using an X motion.

I painted not only the wall but also the ceiling because I wanted to make this small guest bathroom seem more spacious. I had originally painted the ceiling with the base coat and I had planned to leave it at that rather than struggle to faux finish it however this technique was so simple that I decided to complete the ceilings with the Brushed Pearl finish to match the walls.

After the paint was dry I had my painter put on the protective sealer and put up the fixtures and switchplates. Adding the sealer did not change the look and in fact may have actually added to the luster.

Antique nickel fixtures against the brushed pearl paint finish

Did I mention that I hadn’t even been considering doing a faux finish in this room? I am so over faux finishes at this point having helped just one too many of my friends fix their Ralph Lauren and other faux DIY projects. However, when I saw the Brushed Pearl finish I was so taken with the look that I quickly forgot all that and headed off to Lowe’s to pick up the paint.

I’m really glad I chose Valspar Brushed Pearl. The process was simple and the results beautiful. I think that even someone doing faux finish for the first time would have success with this technique. In fact I doubt I’ll receive any S.O.S. calls from my friends if they use this product.

My final words on this project–

“The room certainly looks ‘Simply Elegant’ just as the color name said it would!”


  • Valspar Brushed Pearl paint and tools are available at Lowe’s. Type in your zip code to find your local Lowe’s

**Please note: Due to individual computer monitor limitations, colors seen here may not accurately reflect the paint colors. Please refer to an actual sample of the paint for an accurate rendition of the color.

73 Responses to “Kate’s DIY Project: Valspar Brushed Pearl Paint”

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  1. Dave says:

    I tried to do the brushed pearl, and mine came out horrible. I asked the paint guy what I needed and he sold me a can of the pearl stuff but he did not mix any color in it, they were supposed to mix it with the same color as the base, right?

  2. Kimberly says:

    Yes… on the back of the color card, you have 2 colors. The first color is what you tint the Signature Colors Interior Satin with, The second color is what you tint the brushed pearl. I had a hell of a time trying to get the plastic trowel to work as I have a texture on my walls, which made the trowel pointless. I managed to do it using a dry fluff nap roller as a trowel.

  3. beverley says:

    I want to paint some secondhand furniture all the same colour i have dark furniture which i want to paint off whiteish colour or white whichever would look better. Then i want to finish with a pearl finish is this possible? any suggestions please

  4. gloria says:

    Just loved the look. You definitely need two coats to get the best effect. It is very elegant.

  5. Teri says:

    Hi Kate,

    What kind, if any, texture do you walls have? I have a medium to heavy knock down on mine. Plus, I live in the desert. Maybe I should do tiny sections at a time? Between the a/c and the dry climate I think my paint is going to dry too fast if I attempt a 4 x 8 section.

    What are your thoughts?

    .-= Teri´s last blog ..Master Bathroom Metallic Paint Craze Continues =-.

  6. jennifer says:

    I tried the brushed pearl project and it was awful. The Eclipse color came out orange, it was so ugly. It did not work on textured walls at all. What a waste of a lot of money on base coat, top coat and the trowel and the paint I used to repaint over the horrible result.

  7. That is a very stunning effect indeed. I don’t blame your 17 yr old for being wowed. I’m still trying to muster up the courage to take on repainting job in my home. One day when I think I’m ready, the overalls are gonna come out from the storage :)
    Michael Firstman@ Best Mig Welder´s last blog post ..Ingersoll Rand 80 – 120 Gallon Rotary Screw Air Compressor

  8. Debra Schrock says:

    Tried the pearl, terrible,terrible,terrible. I am now in the process of painting over it. I tried following the steps given by Lowes and I ended up with a big mess. I am sorry that there is a no return policy on paint at Lowes because I would be returning this right now.

  9. helene says:

    Just finished my bathroom. Make sure you read all the tips you can before you start! I gave it two coats and the second coat gave me almost the look I want (I probably should have gone a little heavier on the brush strokes) I do recommend doing very small areas. Mine dried very fast. I wound up painting a 2 x 4 section and immediately using the trowel. If you keep at it, eventually the paint starts to dry and thicken. I do not recommend using the brush they tell you to buy. I also had hairs all over my walls. Invest in a good brush. Think I’m going to love it when it’s dry. Then decide about the top coat.

  10. April says:

    I use the brushed pearl with no color added ..over light grey in my bathroom and over black paint on my livingroom ..it looks great!

  11. April says:

    Oh I also sponged it on …

  12. Lauren says:

    The Lowes in my area no longer has any color cards of the green brushed pearl I wanted, and I lost mine. It looks like it’s the one in the bottom row, left corner. Do you happen to still have the color card and can tell me what the bottom left corner is called? Thanks!

  13. skwirl says:

    April, can you tell me to what degree using the pearl coating without tint altered the color of your base coat? Did it just make it pearly or did it lighten or change the shade at all? I’ve been thinking of doing this myself but if the color changes it will clash with adjacent wall. BTW, I did my bedroom using this technique and I found it easy and three years later I still love it. My walls are imperfect and it helps to camouflage the issues.

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  15. bonnie says:

    just read all of the comments and watched the video. don’t know whether to be deterred or excited, the reviews were so mixed! going to paint a purple countertop. have a large piece to practice on. it only has to hold up for a year. will let you know of success or failure!

  16. Sherry says:

    I am getting ready to start this, having done the base coat
    yesterday. But I’m getting more & more confused. The Lowes
    employees don’t know! Each one gives a different answer,
    & reads the label to me, which I already read. I thought the
    Pearl product was used as is out of the bucket, allowing the
    1st coat to show through. Now I don’t know! It’s too expensive
    to waste by using improperly :-(

  17. Monique says:

    I tried the brushed pearl B16…horrible horrible horrible!!! The problem may be the knockdown drywall. The trowel is USELESS on such a surface. I tried sponging it…still horrible. What a superfluous use of time and money. The base coat is really nice though. Maybe I’ll just keep the base coat and forget about the faux.

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  19. Kim says:

    I tried this on foam board and it turned out great! Unfortunately, it did not work on my walls because they are already texturized, which makes using the trowel impossible. I am so disappointed because I LOVE the look and can actually do the technique. I wish Valspar would make it clear, though, that it simply won’t work on texturized walls. It would have saved me $100+ and a lot of time and effort.

  20. mary says:

    I wanted to try this on one accent wall in my tiny WC. Unfortunately,our local Lowes only sells this in gallon size. If I special order a smaller container, I must purchase at least 4 which is still a gallon and more expensive with no return. Is it possible to get a simular effect without this very special product?

  21. Ekaterina Reier says:

    I love the effect, but I want a different color from the ones offered. Is it possible to use Brushed Pearl on top of any other Valspar colors?

  22. Doc says:

    Thanks for the review/details! I went to Lowe’s yesterday and the gent first told me that “the pearl base has to be tinted or else the pearls won’t show up,” followed by the sagacity that “you can use this over any paint at all and it will make it glow, you can even use it by itself and it will glow.”
    So I can paint it over plain white primer? “yes, but you’ve gotta add these crystals. They’re special crystals.” Oh, I saw that package of glitter. Pretty. “It’s not glitter, it’s special crystals!” Hey, calm down, man… I love glitter! “Good, because you’ll need at least three packages to make the pearl base pop enough to really see the pearls on your plain white primer. You need to get the pearl base and YOU NEED THE SPECIAL CRYSTALS!!”

  23. Marcia says:

    I used the brushed pearl paint combo in my Sandy Damaged den. Came out great. Looking to do it on my other rooms.

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