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How To Paint Your Own DIY Chinoiserie Wall

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Instead of paying for expensive wallpaper, learn how to make your own with these easy step-by-step instructions on how to paint DIY Chinoiserie wallpaper.

How to paint your own Chinoiserie wall

I have always wanted to have a dining room with walls covered in a beautiful nature-inspired Chinoiserie wallpaper with a metallic background (like the one below).

Chinoiserie wallpaper as shown by Beacon Hill and Corey Damen Jenkins at Dining By Design, New York, 2015
Chinoiserie wallpaper as shown by Beacon Hill and Corey Damen Jenkins at Dining By Design, New York, 2015

Since I don’t have a dining room in my current house, and I definitely don’t have the budget for real Chinoiserie, I knew I would have to come up with another plan.

Enter paint, a stencil, some time, and the following instructions on recreating a DIY Chinoiserie wallpaper on a budget.

The Background

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Hallway with painted DIY Chinoiserie

I decided to add my version of Chinoiserie to the long hallway that leads to the guest bath and bedroom. The perfect place to add some interest to the wall!

It was already painted a light periwinkle color which was fine with me as the base coat.  (If I was doing a dining room, I would probably pick a darker color to add a little more depth to the finished product).

Next, I painted on a layer of silver paint.

Then I used a large Japanese Cherry Tree stencil with different colors of stencil paint for the flowers, leaves, and trunk.

Finally, I stenciled a couple of birds and butterflies into the scene.  Adding silver and crystal sconces were the final touch for creating the glamorous look.

One big advantage of painting the scene instead of using wallpaper is that you can choose whatever colors go with your decor, and you have complete control over how much or how little pattern you want.

What You Need To Paint A Chinoiserie Wall

Metallic Paint* (Silver in my case)

Stencil Paint* in the colors that you want to use. I used brown for the branches, two colors of pink for the flowers, and blue for the Birds and Butterflies

Stencil brushes* – it’s easiest if you have one brush for each color you plan on using

Frog Tape* (I find this delicate surface frog tape works best when you are taping over new paint)

Other Stencils You May Like:

Birds and Roses Chinoiserie Stencil* – This one is the closest to a traditional Chinoiserie pattern

How To Paint a Chinoiserie Wall

1.  Wash, rinse and dry the wall you are going to be painting. I like to use TSP* to make sure it is really clean.

2.  Paint the silver paint* over the entire wall using a sponge brush*.  The sponge brush helps prevent brush marks but don’t be too worried about being perfect…differences in the coverage will add to the effect.

3.  Wait until the paint is completely dry, at least 24 hours.

4.  Decide on the pattern that you want to create with the stencil.  In my case, I used the Japanese Cherry branch stencil twice…one with the end of the branch close to the ceiling, and one slightly lower and to the right (but overlapping).

5.  Use the painter’s tape* to attach the stencil to the wall in the first location, by taping all sides of the stencil to the wall.

6.  Use another sponge brush to paint the branches in the stencil.  Do not put too much paint on the brush to prevent it from bleeding under the stencil.  You can blot excess paint from the brush on a paper towel before painting the wall.

7.  Use one of the stencil brushes* to paint the flowers with the darker pink color.  Again, make sure not to use too much paint.  To get the two-tone flower effect, only paint the top half of some flowers.  Paint some of the smaller flowers or buds completely with this darker color.  Leave some of the larger ones empty so that they can be painted with the light pink color.

8.  Use another of the stencil brushes to paint the rest of the flowers with the lighter pink color.  Fill in the rest of the half-painted flowers from the step above, as well as any of the flowers that you have not yet painted with this color.

9.  Let the stencil paint dry.

10.  Move the stencil to the next position and repeat the same paint steps.

11. If you are adding birds and/or butterflies, use the same steps to position those stencils and paint with the blue paint (or whatever color you want to use).

Pin It So You Don’t Forget It!

Painted pink cherry blossom Chinoiserie on a silver background

how paint chinoiserie wall

Have comments or question on how to create DIY Chinoiserie wallpaper on a budget?  Tell us in the section below.

This post was originally published on May 5, 2017 but was updated with new content on August 19, 2023.

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  1. I did my bathroom chinoiserie freehand by using metallic color shift paints but never though about doing a silver wash coat on my wall! I have redone this mural twice now after watching a few Chinese brush painting tutorials and think now I’ve got it! Thanks for the idea! Best of luck

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      Hi Robert…your bathroom chinoiserie sounds awesome! You must be a pretty good artist to do it all freehand 🙂

  2. This is fabulous! How innovative and how beautiful. Thank you for the tutorial. I’m moving soon. Hope i have a large wall to stencil.

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      Thanks, Edith! It’s still my favorite wall in my house 🙂

  3. Suzanne J Strub says:

    I am so excited about finding this. One wall in my dining room is mirrored. The opposite wall has a Chinoiserie Mirror hung there.
    There is a crystal chandelier over the table that is reflected in the mirrors. The mirrors appear to go on forever. Could I paint the cherry tree limbs, etc. on the mirrored wall using the same paints or do I need to switch to “glass” paints?

    1. Hi Suzanne…that sounds like a beautiful spot to put this stencil! I haven’t tried using stencil paint on glass so I’m not sure how well it would work. I suspect it would not be as durable as glass paint (ie. it might start to come off the mirror when you wash it). To be on the safe side, I would switch over to the glass paint. Good luck with it!

  4. Jean Rose says:

    Thank you so very much. You know the time you saved me I’m sure and your kindness is appreciated greatly.

  5. Jean Rose says:

    Where do you get the Japanese Cherry Blossom stencil? What kind of paint do you use and where do you get it? I’M SO HAPPY I FOUND YOU ONLINE.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Jean…I got the stencil from cuttingedgestencils.com. For the paint, I used Rustoleum Metallic Accents as the silver background and then acrylic stencil paint for the tree limbs and flowers (there’s links to all of these in the “What You Need” section about half way down the page). Good luck with your painting!