Wall painting ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

Colours and paint techniques have transformed interior walls in recent years. Walls are no longer simply white, taupe or beige. Hundreds of colours are available to be custom tinted at local paint shops. Decorative wall treatments add dimension to a wall or ceiling and are popular in residential homes. Here are five wall painting ideas to change the look of your home.


Horizontal or vertical stripes on walls add pattern to a room. Running vertically, the stripes can elongate a short wall. Horizontal stripes can be painted in varying widths to make a room feel longer and larger. Stripes can be painted using different shades of colour, or the same colour and different levels of sheen. For example, stripes can be painted alternating with flat and glossy paint.


Diamond patterns add geometrical designs to a wall. Commonly referred to as a harlequin diamond design, the pattern is similar to painting stripes. Embellish the diamonds by adding upholstery tacks to the tips of each diamond. The tacks can be inserted directly into the wall. Diamonds can be painted in solid colours or use a variety of faux finish techniques for added dimension.

Colour Wash

Mixing glaze with paint will create a translucent medium used to colour wash a wall. One gallon glaze is mixed to one quart of paint. The glaze mixture is then applied to the wall using a variety of tools from sponges, newspapers and plastic bags. The wall surface has an aged and antique look when finished, similar to watercolour.

Tissue Paper

Tissue paper is applied to the wall using a clear sealer. The paper is first torn in random organic shapes, ridding the paper of all straight edges. The paper is crumpled up, and then flattened back out. Using a roller, the tissue is glued to the wall with sealer --- wrinkles will naturally occur when applying the tissue to the wall. Once dry, the wall is painted a solid colour. The wall mimics the look of aged leather or is often referred to as "elephant skin" by professional faux finishers.

Linen Weave

Create a linen look on walls using a wallpaper smoothing brush. A base coat of paint is applied in sections measuring approximately 2 feet wide. Angle the wallpaper brush and comb down through the paint. The technique will mimic the look of fabric on a wall --- similar to linen.

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About the Author

Julie Hampton has worked as a professional freelance writer since 1999 for various newspapers and websites including "The Florida Sun" and "Pensacola News Journal." She served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and nurse for over six years and recently worked as the Community Relations Director for a health center. Hampton studied journalism and communications at the University of West Florida.