How to create different paint effects on walls

Updated March 23, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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,

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.


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.

Things You'll Need

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

Angelique de la Morreaux began writing articles for various websites in 2010. Her focus is in the legal, small business, beauty, holiday, culture, food, drinks and automotive categories. Morreaux holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from San Diego State University.