Whether you want to create an accent wall, or you’re looking to spice up a whole room, paint is an easy and inexpensive way to go. These creative wall painting ideas will give you lots of inspiration for painting techniques you might want to try.
Walls take up a lot of the visual space in most rooms.
So why not do something more interesting with them than painting them all one color?
Whether you want to create a focal point with an accent wall or you’re looking for some all over interest, there are lots of creative ways to add color and pattern to your room using paint and some tape or a stencil.
And because it’s only paint…if you mess up or really don’t like what you’ve done, you can always paint over your mistake!
Keep reading to find get some inspiration from these DIY creative wall painting ideas.
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Whether we’re talking about fashion or decorating, stripes are a classic design element.
And to create the basic pattern, you won’t need any fancy tools…some paint and painter’s tape will get the job done!
Which is why putting stripes on your walls is the first one of our creative wall painting ideas.
1 | Vertical stripes
Vertical stripes are one of the easiest ways to add a pattern to your walls.
They’re a great way to make a low ceiling look taller.
Or as an accent wall that adds some pizzazz to a small room
2 | Horizontal stripes
Horizontal stripes are another easy wall painting option.
They can make a narrow room feel wider.
3 | Bold stripes
Make a statement with bold colors and wide stripes.
4 | Subtle stripes
Create a more subtle stripe by using a stencil to paint dotted lines on your wall.
5 | Watercolor effect ombre stripes
A watercolor ombre effect is another painting technique that is similar to horizontal stripes.
It uses darker to lighter shades of glaze that are somewhat overlapping to create stripes with softer edges.
If you want to try something a little bolder than stripes, then geometric patterns may be the perfect wall painting design for you.
6 | Chevrons
If you want a more geometric take on stripes, try painting chevrons on your wall.
In this bonus room, they used the chevrons as an accent wall that helps to distract you from the angled ceiling.
7 | Plaid
As Kati from Houseful of Handmade can tell you, painting a plaid wall takes some time and patience, especially when you stencil it with tiny lines like she did.
But the results are stunning, and definitely worth it!
My mother took it one step further and painted her living room ceiling plaid!
However, this would also be a very cool wall painting design.
8 | Diamonds
This nursery has an accent wall made from painted-on diamonds with a fleur-de-lis stenciled in the corners.
The yellow accents really pop against the black and white color scheme.
9 | Hand painted lines
If you’ve always wanted to draw on your walls, this modern free-hand design by Jessica from Jessica Welling Interiors might be for you.
She painted lines in different shades of gray and black to create a cool look for her wall.
Circles and curves
Maybe you prefer circles over squares?
In that case, painting one of these curvy patterns on your walls may be more your style.
10 | Polka dots
Polka dots are another classic design element that are often used in fashion.
But can look pretty good as part of your room design, too!
11 | Big round circles
For a larger pattern that really makes a statement, large joining circles are another option.
Shoshana from Love Your Room made these with a pattern cut out of a pizza box!
12 | Damask
Damask is another traditional fabric pattern that looks great on the wall.
Cindy from DIY Beauty gave her master bedroom a classic look by stenciling a large damask pattern all over one of the walls.
13 | Quatrefoil pattern
Using an all-over stencil in a quatrefoil design can also be very dramatic.
Jennifer from Dimples and Tangles used gold metallic paint over a blue background to stencil this beautiful wall panel.
If you prefer a more subtle approach, use clear glaze over a matte paint color instead of using a different color of paint.
This creates a sophisticated look that won’t overpower your room.
Another creative wall painting idea is to use paint to create the look of a more expensive material, like stone, wood or tile.
These techniques can take a little practice to get right, but produce stunning results when you’re done.
14 | Faux tiles
Kati from Houseful of Handmade made her wall look like beautiful handmade blue and white tile.
Even close up, it’s hard to tell it’s only paint.
15 | Faux marble
Using real marble to cover your bathroom walls is an expensive way to upgrade your space.
Which is why Zoe from Crafted By The Hunts decided to paint a marble look instead. And it really looks like marble!
16 | Faux concrete
While concrete might not be as expensive as marble, trying to install a wall of the real stuff would be a heavy job.
Fortunately, you can re-create the look with paint like Marianne from Songbird Blog did. A much easier way to get the same vibe!
17 | The lace look
The walls in this small bathroom really stand out because of the lace pattern stenciled on the walls.
Because of the contrasting paint colors, the delicate pattern is easy to see.
You can find this stencil HERE.
18 | Faux wood
You can even make paint look like wood grain by using one of these Faux Wood Graining Tools*.
Which would make a great accent wall for a rustic room.
Wallpaper is a beautiful way to add a pattern to your walls. But it can be pretty expensive.
Painting the pattern is an inexpensive alternative.
19 | Chinoiserie
I have always loved the look of metallic Chinoiserie wallpaper. But it’s priced way outside my budget.
So I recreated a similar scene in my hallway by stenciling cherry branches over some silver paint in my hallway and I love it!
The painted version has the added bonus that you can use whatever colors go with your decor.
20 | Stenciled botanical print
Botanical prints are big these days.
Rather than buying wallpaper, Jessica from Jessica Welling Interiors used a large stencil to paint one wall in her bathroom. Which is an inexpensive way to get in on the trend.
21 | Hand drawn botanical print
I did something similar in the original version of my guest bathroom.
Except I painted everything freehand and used glaze mixed with my paint colors to get the watercolor effect.
The rectangular print with floral motifs was copied from my shower curtain!
22 | Scalamandre-inspired zebras
When I renovated my master bathroom, I really wanted to use the Scalamandre zebra wallpaper on the walls.
But I couldn’t justify the cost.
So I created my own custom stencil, and still got the zebra look I was going for.
23 | The writing’s on the wall
Another creative wall painting idea with a wallpaper look is to stencil writing on your walls.
This bedroom is using an old-style script to add to the Paris theme of the room.
Painted wall murals
Our last group of creative wall painting ideas is murals.
Painting a large scene like one of these on your wall is like having a huge piece of artwork in your room.
24 | Bring the garden in
In the original version of my bonus room, I painted the end wall to look like a trellis with wisteria growing on it.
It almost makes you feel like you’re sitting in the garden all year round!
25 | DIY mountain wall mural
Bringing the outside in is a common theme among wall murals.
Zoe from Crafted By The Hunts chose a blue and gray mountain scene for her wall mural. It makes the space feel very serene.
26 | DIY botannical wall mural
For a more modern take on the botanical print, Jessica from Jessica Welling Interiors hand painted a large floral wall mural.
With its bold colors and large-sized plants, this wall painting makes sure her bathroom is nor ordinary.
27 | Hand painted hills
Cassie from Cassie Bustamente created a statement in her hallway by hand-painting graphic hills on the walls.
Even if you’re artistically challenged, drawing lines like these shouldn’t be too daunting. And they definitely add some zing to a long blank wall.
Now that you have some ideas for interesting ways to paint your walls, it’s time to get out the brushes and rollers! Pick your favorite and go with it.
Other Wall Decor Ideas You Might Like
- Wall paint design ideas with tape
- How to hang wallpaper the easy way
- 7 steps to choosing the right paint colors
Or browse all of our DIY wall decor ideas.
Have comments or questions on our creative wall painting ideas? Tell us in the section below.
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This post was originally published on May 28, 2020 but was updated with new content on September 22, 2022.