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