Fresco Harmony Step by Step

Step 1 – Project Planning and Overview

Budget the time & materials for your project.

Determining what you need and how much time you have.

A typical Fresco Harmony project consists of the following steps:

– Materials & Prep

– Applying the base coat

– Applying the 2nd coat

– Apply top coat sealer

1) Tools Needed

                – 5 Gal. Bucket with lid for mixing

                – 5 Gal. Bucket for water

                – Power drill with Mixing Blade

                – Hawk

                – Trowel / Pool

                – 6″ Dry wall Joint Knife

                – Sanding screen or polyurethane sponge

                – Scrub Brush


2) Materials

Prepare ahead of time so that you don’t run out of supplies during the project.

– Be sure to have more than enough Color Packs and joint compound for the job

– One (1) Color Pack per one (1) 3.5 Gal. box of joint compound based on sq. footage

– Drop Cloth / Plastic Sheet

– 1″ & 1.5″ rolls of Trim Painters (Masking) Tape

3) Surface Preparation & Masking

– Dusting, washing or priming are NOT REQUIRED

– Remove outlet covers, vent covers, window treatments, etc.

– Mask ceiling, walls, or window trim with tape, leaving a slight gap for build out


4) Pre- Mixing Joint Compound

– transfer joint compound to 5 Gal. mixing bucket

– add 1 qt. clean water

– use drill and mixing blade to mix joint compound to smooth consistency

5) Mixing Color Pack

– Shake Color Pack bottle vigorously for about a minute before opening

– open and pour Color pack into the mixing bucket



– fill Color Pack bottle about half way with clean water,

shake vigorously and empty into mixing bucket

– ensure all color has been completely rinsed out of the bottle


6) Base Coat Application

*Practice on sample accent wall if necessary

* pre-determine the amount of “movement” you want to create

– Start in upper left corner of the wall, top to bottom, left to right. (opposite if left handed)

– Use 6″ knife to cut in corners, one scoop should be sufficient

– Work the wall in three (3) foot, abstract sections

– Using pool trowel, leave a consistent layer covering existing substrate (texture)

– use 6″ knife as a referring tool


7) Base Coat Application

– Try not to spill or create large messes

– Treat “bullnose” or rounded corners as one surface

– Keep back of trowel blade clean for sharp angles

– Allow to dry completely before applying the 2nd Coat

– Allow to dry completely before applying the 2nd Coat



8) 2nd Coat Mixing & Application

– When mixing the joint compound for the 2nd Coat, mix to a thin, almost “runny” consistency

– As the base coat, work in three (3) foot sections

– it is normal to take most of the joint compound back off the wall as it’s applied

– the 2nd coat is thinner than base coat

– The 2nd coat will dry faster than the first

9) 2nd Coat Application

– Keep adding joint compound to the hawk to keep a soft consistency

– apply as abstract, “puzzle piece” like sections to achieve desired movement

– A properly 2nd Coat finish should take on a “map-like” appearance (image)

– Your break lines become part of the design of the “movement”

– Allow to dry completely before applying the Sealer Coat

– use a high grit soft sand sponge to sculpt edges


10) Sealer Coat

– Fresco Harmony recommends a high viscosity, clear acrylic.

– For large projects it is recommended to use a separate knife, hawk & trowel for applying the Sealer Coat.  It’s hard on tools. 



– Sealer Coat should go on fast and smooth

– Just like the 2nd Coat, keep the break lines abstract and random

– move quickly, putting on & taking off the sealer

– Keep trowel stroke moving in different directions

– This abstract application also adds to the overall sheen of the final appearence.


11) Painting trim & other accents

–  paint trim, outlet covers, vents, and other accents with match paint for that professional touch.

12) Tips and Tricks

– If you have to store Fresco Harmony, simply seal mix bucket with lid.  Do not add water.

– keep Color Pack at room temperature

– practice applying for desired finish before attempting your project.  Always make a sample first. Above all, have fun!

Let’s Get to work