DIY Painted Wallpaper

September 21, 2013

After posting photos of our home tour last weekend, I’ve been extra excited to share the details of the projects we’ve done so far – especially our painted wallpaper in dining room.  I love that we were able to get the same effect as wallpaper by avoiding it altogether (there is nothing fun about putting that stuff up!)  I also love that the design we chose isn’t permanent, and can be easily reversed with some white paint.  For homeowners and apartment dwellers alike, it’s a great solution if you’re looking to add a special touch to any room.  Best of all?  It cost less than $38 bucks.

Now onto the fun stuff.

This is what the dining room looked like pre-painted wallpaper:

Accent Wall - BeforeIt was a perfect wall for some added visual interest, right?  It was just a matter of what.  To get the creative juices flowing, I started searching my two favorite sources for design inspiration:  Pinterest and Houzz.  I came across this photo and got excited because our dining room area has a very similar setup (side note: LOVE everything about this room!)


I kept looking, and came across this awesome tutorial on how to paint your own stenciled wall, sans the stencil. Then I found this blog post about a wall that was done using a high gloss/flat paint combo.


In taking all of these wonderful photos into consideration, we knew exactly what we wanted to do and got started by purchasing these items:

1 Qt. of Allen + Roth Marble Tile – Flat – $15
1 Qt. of Allen + Roth Vail (one shade lighter than Marble Tile) – High Gloss – $15
2 paint brushes from a local art store – $7
Painter’s tape – $0 (had it)
Drop clothes – $0 (had it)
Pencil – $0 (had it)
Scissors – $0 (had it)
Pattern – $.50 (see below for details)

Total Cost: $37.50

We downloaded a free pattern from Jones Design Company, the same woman who posted the tutorial I mentioned above (scroll to the bottom of the post for the link to the free pattern).  I had it printed at a local print shop on their thickest card stock, and requested that they enlarge the image so the pattern would be a bit bigger.  After some back and forth, the final size ended up being 10.5” tall x 8″ wide.

I used a regular pair of scissors to cut out the pattern.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough.

Stencil PatternAfter painting the wall in our flat background shade, Allen + Roth Marble Tile, the tracing began.  I started in the middle of the wall and worked my way up and out.  Honestly, I didn’t have any particular method other than trying to keep the pattern straight!  I kept going until the whole wall was covered.

Next up was painting over the traced lines with our high-gloss shade, Allen + Roth Vail.  It took a steady hand and lots of patience because it did take a long time.  Like, 10+ hours long.  BUT… it was totally worth it because it came out great!

Here’s what it looks like now:

Dining Room 1  IMG_2049 photo(6)Stencil Wall Before AfterIf you end up trying this project, here are some pointers:

1.  Get two real paint brushes (skip the dollar store!) – one that will give you the thickness you want, and a small one for touch ups.  Just to give you a point of reference, our large brush is about 1/2″ wide, which translated to 1″ lines on the wall.

Brushes2.  If you mess up, don’t freak out!  When I was up close painting each line, I messed up a bunch of times and was sure I would need to start over.  But when I stepped back and looked at the entire thing, it was hard to find my mistakes.  It’s amazing what some distance can do for the naked eye.

3.  I know I said this earlier, but this project requires a ton of patience and will take a long time.  It may help to do an hour or two at a time so your focus levels stay up.  We spread our project over several days.

That’s it!  What do you think?

iPhone Photos - 3.23.13 135 Dining Room 1

More about Catherine

    1. Amazeballs! totally love it! I’m thinking the same for a big wall in my loungeroom. I definitely think the flat/high gloss combo is the way to go. you’ve completely changed the whole feel of that space. Kudos!

    1. Beautiful…My home is slowly being transformed in shades of grey. I have a stencil I am in love with and am thinking this may be just what my dining room needs!

      1. It really does add so much to the room, and even though it took awhile, I think it’s much better than working w/ wallpaper 🙂 Good luck!

        1. I agree. I am not a wallpaper fan. They are beautiful, but I change things a lot so paint is much easier to work with.

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