How to Paint A Trellis Wall

How To Paint a Trellis Wall
How To Paint a Trellis Wall

To add the relaxing feeling of a garden to an indoor room, try painting a trellis with wisteria vines (or any other kind of vine that you like) to one wall of the room.  I added this design to the end wall of my office and I feel like I’m in the garden (which is where I would rather be most of the time) every time I’m up there.  It is a little time consuming to make this happen, but really isn’t that hard, and the results are worth it!  Here is how to paint a trellis wall…

Trellis Wall
Trellis Wall

If you are looking for a little more glam, check out our post for how to paint a Chinoiserie wall.

What You Need To Paint The Trellis

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  • White or ivory paint for the trellis
  • Paint for the background color (I chose periwinkle blue)


How To Paint The Trellis

1.  Paint the wall with the white or ivory paint (you may need 2 coats to cover if there was a dark color on the wall before).

2.  Wait for the paint to dry at least 24 hours.

Fit the square into the corner of the wall
Fit the square into the corner of the wall

3.  Fit the construction square into one corner of the wall so that it meets the floor on the bottom and the side wall on one side.

Draw the diagonal line
Draw the diagonal line

4.  Use the pencil to draw a line along the length of the construction square to make a 45 degree angle on the soon-to-be trellis wall

Tape along the line
Tape along the line

5.  Use the frog tape to tape along the line that you just drew, making sure that it is straight.

6. Cut short pieces of the frog tape to use as spacers.

Tape the spacer pieces along the edge of the first piece of tape
Tape the spacer pieces along the edge of the first piece of tape

7.  Tape the spacers on to the wall so that they meet the edge of the first piece of tape.  This will make sure that the next stripe will be the right distance apart.

Continue creating diagonal lines across the wall
Continue creating diagonal lines across the wall

8.  Use the frog tape to tape another diagonal line that meets the edges of the spacer pieces.  You can use the square to make sure the bottom is at the correct angle if you want.

9.  Continue steps 7 and 8 until you have angled lines going in one direction all the way across the wall.

10.  Remove all of the spacers between the lines

The tape creates a trellis pattern
The tape creates a trellis pattern

11.  Repeat steps 3 – 10 going in the other direction (fit the square into the opposite corner of the wall).  You will end up with a diagonal grid pattern on the wall.

12.  Paint over the entire wall with your background color (you may need 2 coats to completely cover the white paint).

13.  Remove the frog tape.

Draw pencil lines going in one direction
Draw pencil lines going in one direction

14.  To simulate the trellis boards in one direction overlapping the boards in the other direction, pick one direction that will be the “front-facing” boards.  Use the pencil and square to draw straight lines across the white lines going in the other direction.

What You Need To Paint The Vines

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  • A picture of the vine you want to paint (I used a real wisteria picture)


 By Dcrjsr (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


  • Wisteria Stencil* – I actually used Plaid Decorator Blocks in a wisteria pattern but they seem to be hard to come by these days. A stencil will work, too.
  • Stencil Paint* – Choose the color that you want the vines to be. I used brown for the stems, 2 shades of green for the leaves, and 2 shades of purple for the flowers
  • Stencil paint 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

How To Paint The Vines

How To Paint A Trellis Wall
How To Paint A Trellis Wall

1.  Draw the stems first with pencil.  I usually create one that goes up to the top of the wall, one that goes across slightly above the middle, and one that goes across slightly below the middle.  The last one may not be necessary if you have furniture that will be placed across the bottom half of the wall.  In real life, vines will grow with some of the stem in front of the trellis and some behind.  To mimic this, stop the stem at a white line and continue it at the other side of the white.

2.  Stand back and make sure you like the pattern you have drawn.  If not erase it and try again.

3.  Once you are happy with the main stems, use the stem paint to add color to your pencil drawings.

4.  Let the stem paint dry.

5.  Paint the flowers next.  They don’t have to be beside the main stems since you will draw some secondary stems later to connect them.

To use a stencil – Tape it to the wall using frog tape.  Use different colors of paint to fill in parts of the flowers to give it a more dimensional look (I usually try to follow what they’ve done in the stencil picture).  When you are happy with how it looks, move the stencil to the next location (being careful not to mess up the flower with wet paint that you just finished).  To vary the look of your wisteria flowers, you don’t have to paint all of the flowers in the stencil every time.

To use stamps (if you can find them) – I like to use a stencil brush to put the paint on the stamp to prevent getting it too saturated with paint.  The Wisteria stamps come in individual florets of different sizes and shapes.  Use the larger stamps first to create the center part of the hanging flower, then add the smaller ones around the outside and at the bottom to create the look of a long, hanging flower.  Use different shades of the same color to add extra interest.  If you don’t like the look of one of your flowers, you can usually wash them off with a wet cloth if you don’t wait too long.

6.  Free-hand draw the secondary stems with your pencil.  These should connect your flowers to the main stem, as well as have some stems that don’t have any flowers.  Again, they should wind behind and in front of the trellis you have painted.

7.  Once you are happy with the look of your secondary stems, paint them in with the stem color.

8.  Wait for the stem paint to dry.

9.  Add leaves.  These can be on the main stem or on secondary stems.  Again, using different colors and shapes of leaves to add interest.  Make any corrections with a wet cloth.  Similar to the flowers, you can use stamps or just the leaf part of the stencil to add leaves at various points along the stems.

10.  Go back and fill in any areas that look like they need a little something.  You can add flowers, leaves and extra stems until your vine looks complete to you.

Add some candles and enjoy your garden room!

Have comments or questions about How To Paint A Trellis Wall?  Tell us in the section below.

This post was originally published on May 11, 2015 but was updated with new content on September 5, 2021.

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  1. Beautiful! I love wisteria and also planted against my brother’s advice 20 years ago. I have been battling it ever since. Keeps popping back up!

    I have green and white stripped wallpaper that I may try adding the wisteria to!

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      I am still battling the wisteria in my garden, too! It’s really hard to get rid of 🙁 But I think you’re idea of adding some to your green and white wallpaper is genius 🙂

  2. love this, i did it years ago in my small bedroom, light green was painted “behind” the lattice and then I hand drew vines weaving in and out and used a stencil for the flowers

    1. Thanks, Mary! With the green behind the lattice, yours sounds really pretty, too!