DIY Painting & Finishing

12 Painted Walls That Look Like Wallpaper

The walls of your house should be sturdy, but they don’t have to be boring. Amp up the appeal of your interior walls with a little painter’s tape and some bright ideas.

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Pretty and Paper-Free

Transform bland walls into bold canvases—no wallpaper required. Instead, paint your way to an original wall treatment, inspired by these bloggers and serial DIYers who have tried out a bunch of techniques and found some real winners. Here we’ve collected 12 of their best ideas for adding personality and pizzazz to your walls at little cost.

Painted “Wallpaper”

With a geometric stencil and your favorite paint color, you can design your own customized “wallpaper.” Feel free to devise your own graphic pattern, or print the template provided by Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess. The result will be bold and unique, guaranteed to produce a gasp of admiration from friends and family.

Related: 10 Incredible Updates That are Totally Reversible

Bathroom Stripes

Painter’s tape and a little interior paint are all you need to create this subtle yet dramatic effect in your bathroom. Jessica, a DIY blogger at Four Generations Under One Roof, transformed blank cream walls by adding a warm gray horizontal stripe, bringing brightness and sophistication to a dark space.

DIY Art Deco

We love this angular Art Deco-inspired pattern from Mandi at A Beautiful Mess. She offers lots of helpful tips and tricks, including this sage advice: “Stenciling is not perfect…it’s better for your sanity’s sake if you just don’t go into the job expecting that.”

Related: 20 Unexpected Spots for Accent Colors

Paint Pen Accent Wall

Use a paint pen to add an artistic twist to a statement wall. Over the base color, layer on a geometric pattern with a cardboard stencil and a white paint pen. The bloggers at A Beautiful Mess tested the process and report that the entire wall required just a couple of hours to finish—and only $10 in supplies.

Herringbone Patchwork

If you don’t fear pattern, try your hand at a herringbone patchwork accent wall like this one created by Bethany at Reality Daydream. The woven effect looks hard to pull off, but the dedicated blogger will guide you through the whole process. The lively effect is particularly appropriate for a kid’s bedroom or playroom.

Shiny Swirls

Bethany Sy at Reality Daydream found the perfect way to bring pattern into her home without overdoing it. She opted for a vibrant emerald-toned flat paint, which she then revved up with a swirly, shiny design in high gloss to add life and dimension to her spacious kitchen.

Aged to Perfection

If your new home feels a little too new, bring texture and timeless elegance to your walls with an aging effect that’s reminiscent of a Spanish villa. The decorator used Dove, a warm gray from Behr, as well as actual bricks and mortar to reproduce a timeworn beauty—without the decay.

Striped Dining Room

Painted-on stripes are one of the easiest ways to add a wallpaper-like effect to your walls. For the ultimate in sophistication, choose two paint colors in the same tonal family. Christy at Confessions of a Serial DIYer alternated Behr’s Classic Taupe with Toasted Wheat stripes, for a formal yet welcoming dining room.

Related: The Cheapest Ways to Make Your Home Look Brand-New Again

Dynamic Brushstrokes

If patience is not your best virtue, has Amy of Delineate Your Dwelling got a project for you! Her “falling brushstroke” wall is nothing if not delightful, and it requires neither taping nor measuring. Just grab a brush, do a few practice strokes, and start painting.

Rainbow Raindrops

Sprinkle your child’s bedroom or nursery with a shower of multicolored raindrops. If your youngsters are old enough, let them pitch in by selecting colors they love (that also complement the decor). The finishing touch? Paint the door a bold shade of your kid’s favorite hue.

Feather Design

It’s hard to believe that this subtle, feathery design is not wallpaper. Young House Love proves that with the right colors, precise technique, a nature-inspired stencil, and careful attention to detail, you can transform your living space into an airy retreat.

No-Paint Diamonds

Update your bedroom with this no-paint diamond accent wall, courtesy of the Nesting Place. The magic ingredient is white craft-grade duct tape. To get the diamond pattern exact, be patient and measure with care.

Related: These 8 Home Makeovers Prove the Power of Paint

Wow-worthy Walls

Grab your painting supplies and transform an ordinary room into a stylish space.