Sometimes your walls cry out for something more than the ordinary. Simple accents and texture-producing techniques can go a long way to answer that call. These straightforward tips will provide you with a fun and inexpensive way to take your walls to another level.
1. Stunning Stencils
Stencils are available in a variety of designs. You can use them to create the look of hand-painted borders around your room, but you can also use them to create wall designs in more random patterns that are all your own.
- A stencil of your choice
- A paint brush designed for stencil painting (or two-see below)
- Paint for stencils
- Painter's tape
- Place the stencil as desired, and tape to the wall.
- Apply paint to the brush and blot or offload excess onto paper towels until it look like there's no paint left on the brush. (Too much paint will leave brush strokes, so be sure to blot excess paint).
- Fill in the stencil cutouts by applying paint in a light circular motion with your wrist. Work from the outside of the stencil inward. It may look like you're not applying any paint, but you are. Paint applied with this technique creates a subtle effect that is more artistic and adds depth. And the thin layers will make the final effect look more hand done.
- For the ivy pictured, use a first layer of an earthy brown color, then a second layer of an earthy green color. If you're using more than one layer, it's helpful to have two brushes.
- To further enhance the hand-painted look, paint the veins and stems with the same earth brown color. You can also added some tendrils.
- Remove stencil, wash between uses, and apply to the next section of the wall. Repeat process as often as desired.
2. Flashlight Fun
To make a truly bold statement, follow the "bigger is better" design philosophy. Here, projecting a simple design onto a wall with a flashlight makes it easy to achieve a clean, proportionate, larger than life design.
- Flashlight (with removable lens)
- Washable marker
- Unscrew the top of your flashlight to remove the lens.
- Using a washable marker, draw your design of choice onto the lens. You can use a stencil, print an image off your computer or work freehand if you're comfortable. Remember that once enlarged, simple designs with strong lines and definite shapes work best.
- Once your design is ready, screw the flashlight lens back in place. Dim the lights in your space and shine the design onto the wall. Try propping the flashlight on a chair or stack of books to achieve your desired height.
- Trace the design onto the wall with a pencil, then turn on the lights and paint.
3. Lovely Lace
This technique takes advantage of the intricate designs of lace to add beautiful patterns to existing decorative pieces or walls. Use it on vases, lamps, frames and other décor pieces to add a special touch to any room.
- Spray paint
- Position piece of lace onto object and spray paint over surface.
- Let the paint dry and remove the lace.
4. Tissue Texture
Tissue paper technique is an easy way to add texture to your walls; however, it is rather permanent. Of course, you can always paint over it, but the texture will remain.
- Satin finish paint-we recommend off-white paint
- Tissue paper (Determine how much you'll need by the size of the tissue listed on the package and your room size. You can also buy a bunch and return what you don't use.)
- Glazing Liquid-available in paint stores
- Paint to add to glaze-color of your choice
- Cotton rag
- Painter's tape
- Sharp blade
- Mask off ceiling and baseboards with painter's tape.
- Paint wall with satin finish paint in desired color.
- Crumple tissue in a ball and then flatten out. This doesn't have to be perfect. The crumbling simply adds texture. You can tear the tissue or use a whole block piece to achieve whatever effect you wish.
- While paint is still wet, apply tissue to the wall and pat down with your hands, leaving a 1/8-inch gap between ceiling and tissue and between baseboard and tissue.
- Roll over tissue with same paint to seal tissue, making sure to cover all wrinkles. When applying more tissue, overlap tissue 1/4 to 1/2 inch to make the finished wall look seamless.
- Make glaze by following directions on the glaze container. The glaze will specify what proportion of paint can be added to it. Add desired paint to tint the glaze. Darker colors will catch in wrinkles of the tissue or a lighter glaze will mute the wall. Note: Glaze looks milky but dries clear-or dries as whatever color tint you add to the glaze.
- Glaze with desired color. Apply glaze with cotton rag and rub onto tissue. Use pretty firm pressure to apply. Don't be too delicate.
- If the glaze doesn't give the desired effect, simply add more tint and continue going over the wall with the glaze. Spreading the glaze thin in places will allow more of the white to show through. This is called spreading the glaze "to infinity." You want different depths to create this effect, so don't be concerned about subtle variations.
- Apply stencils if desired. If you decide to use stencils, you can also glaze over the stencils to add an aged appearance and depth.
- Use a sharp blade to cut line between tape and wall before pulling the tape off.