Why settle for boring walls when you can make them wow? Nowadays there are tons of exciting specialty painting and refinishing techniques to create very personal spaces in your home. What follows is a description of some of the trendiest.

Chalkboard – Turn your wall into a gigantic writing (or drawing!) pad with chalkboard paint. The specialty paint is easy to apply, and you’ll end up with a good-looking, convenient space for shopping lists, family messages, or just doodling.

Color washed – Lime wash is an eco-friendly mixture of limestone putty, water and natural pigments. Applied atop mineral-based primer by means of a dedicated color wash brush, it creates a soft, richly weathered look. HEALTH BENEFIT: Lime wash is hypoallergenic and reputed to improve indoor air quality.

Crackled – A wall or other surface freshly coated with latex is treated with a crackle medium. When the crackle glaze has dried, a second coat in a contrasting color is applied. The result is an intriguingly rough, crinkled texture, which reveals both paint hues.

Faux – The sky’s the limit when it comes to contemporary paint’s uncanny ability to mimic luxurious or earthy natural substances such as stone, silk, denim, leather, or wood. Roll on as is, or use in conjunction with joint compound for realistic texture.

Glitter – Glitter paint is designed to be used as a topcoat over a painted surface. Containing bits of glitter for sparkle and shine, this specialty paint adds a touch of magic to the wall of a child’s bedroom or a whimsical living room.

Layered – No special equipment is required to create a striking, yet subtle, decor effect with layering. It consists of simply painting three areas of a room (usually the lower wall, upper wall, and ceiling) three different shades of the same hue, similar to the color block method used for fashionable apparel.

Metallic – Jazz up a bit of trim, an accent wall, or an entire room with shimmering tones of silver, gold, bronze, or copper. Just brush on metallic paint or glaze to create the sheen of a regular or hammered metal finish.

Mottled -- To produce an artistically mottled surface, one or more layers of colored glaze are dabbed, rolled, swirled, or dragged irregularly over a base coat. A variety of tools, such as a two-part roller, a chip brush, or even a clean, absorbent rag can be used to vary the texture.

Pearlescent – Pearlescent paint is available that will give a lustrous sheen to your wall or trim, reflecting light in charming rainbow hues.

Sponged – Sponge painting has been fashionable for a while now … and no wonder. Dabbing paint with a sea sponge — or rolling it on with one of the handy new sponge rollers — gives your walls a unique elegance with ease.

Stenciled – Stenciled wall decor continues its enormous wave of popularity. Cutout patterns are painted over to produce an attractive design on walls, borders, even floors and ceilings — wherever you need some painting pizzazz.

Strie (aka “Dragged”) – From the French word for “streaked,” this is a special paint finish that gives a subtle impression of stripes or crosshatching similar to the weave of fabric. Paint is applied with a pad, then textured by dragging a dry bristle brush through the wet paint.

Venetian plaster – When you’re planning a decorative wall refinish, consider Venetian plaster, which is plaster blended with marble dust for polished 3-dimensional flair. It is applied with a drywall knife or trowel, following by burnishing to produce a smooth, attractive, durable surface.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com. This post originally appeared here: http://www.networx.com/article/specialty-painting-adds-wow-to-your-wall.