how to - make textured paint with sand

Silica sand to latex paint effect - Inspire Me Heather blog
{our bathroom vanity was a laminate dining room hutch}

Texturizing your paint is a great idea if you want to add interest or if you want to hide imperfections. It's a great application for furniture, walls and ceilings or on stairs and walkways to help prevent slipping.

Here's how to make textured paint with sand

First, give your desired area a good cleaning, some paint won't stick to oily or glossy surfaces;
Prime with a good primer (look for one that will stick to glossy surfaces if need be) and let it dry;
Pick and underneath colour if you want this look - this colour will come though when you scuff your paint;
Use a latex paint, it can support sand much better than any other paint and pick a lower sheen;
Half fill your paint tray with the paint and add silica sand to it, mix it well and mix it often when painting;
Paint away using a brush and keep mixing your sand into the paint;
Allow your painted area time to dry;
Paint on your top colour (with no sand added) and go right over everything;
When that is dry, give your masterpiece and good scuff and sanding with a palm sander;
Sand to the desired amount of "shabby" to peek though; and then for furniture,
Seal it all with a good polyurethane!

Silica sand is sold in different particle sizes and can be found in most hardware stores. You can control the grain size and the degree of texture by the amount of sand you add to the paint - play around with your mixture first! Don't use regular play sand, it can be very heavy and beach sand isn't uniform as it has other things in it like shells and such.

Silica sand texture painting - Inspire Me Heather blog
{close up of the silica sand textured paint}
Do you have any tips for making textured paint with sand? I love hearing from you so please share your questions or tips in the comments section below!


  1. Thanks for this. We have to paint our front steps this summer and I was thinking of putting sand in the paint to make in non-slip.

  2. Hi Heather, we used this tip on an old paneled wall in my brother's home a few years ago. I covered it with wallpaper liner, and then he painted over it, adding sand to the paint to mimic the plaster finish on the rest of the walls. It turned out perfectly, and now you'd never know it wasn't like that to begin with.



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