How to create different paint effects on walls

Written by angelique de la morreaux
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How to create different paint effects on walls
Allow your child to assist in painting his room. (child brushing a wall with colourful paint image by Cherry-Merry from

Give a designer finish to your walls as you create different paint effects for them. Paint effects add interest to your walls as they create texture, convey a message or bring your design to the wall. Techniques may be mixed together for a unique appearance, such as a stipple and stamp design or stripes with a written message. Most effects may be completed within an afternoon, provided you start with a painted wall. Choose alternating colours for a more dramatic look or use different finishes of the paint for a monochromatic design.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paint
  • Roller
  • Brush
  • Stamp
  • Tape
  • Overhead projector
  • Paint pen
  • Paint comb
  • Pail
  • Paint tray

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  1. 1

    Create a stamped wall. Start with a painted wall. Choose the stamp you want to emphasise, such as a fleur-de-lis for a French bedroom, or a bumble bee for a child's room. Dip the stamp into the paint and press it on the wall. Vary the position to create a random design or measure in 3-inch intervals for a uniform design.

  2. 2

    Add a stipple effect to the wall. Paint the wall. Dab a clean paintbrush into the drying paint. Keep sticking the brush into the top layer of paint on the entire wall to create a stipple textured wall effect.

  3. 3

    Apply a sponge technique to the wall. Add a dark base paint to the wall, preferably in a matt finish. Dilute one part water to two parts paint for a monochromatic effect, or pick an opalescent or alternating paint colour. Dip the sponge into the paint and press the sponge against the wall to create your design.

  4. 4

    Add a written message to the wall. Tape off the area for the written message. Place the message in an overhead projector and angle the light toward the area. Use a paint colour pen to trace the message on the wall.

  5. 5

    Design stripes on the wall. Purchase the same paint colour in both an eggshell and a satin finish. Cover the wall in the eggshell finish using a roller and allow 24 hours for it to dry. Measure vertical lines every 2 feet in 2-inch widths. Roll the satin finish inside the lines. Remove the tape before the paint dries to prevent peeling,

  6. 6

    Add texture to the wall with a combing technique. Roller paint the wall, then press the comb at the bottom of the wall. Comb short, overlapping arcs to create a shell shape on the wall. Run the comb vertically or horizontally in a wavy line to simulate a wavy effect on the wall.

Tips and warnings

  • Apply a stencil to the wall for a written message if you do not have access to an overhead projector.
  • Run the comb vertically or horizontally in a wavy line to simulate a wavy effect on the wall.
  • Vary the colours of the paint for the stencil.
  • Sponge different colours on the wall.
  • Clean all supplies after use.

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