20 Wall Painting Ideas to Spruce Up Your Home

Caroline Gilbert
Written by Caroline Gilbert
Updated December 2, 2021
mom and two kids painting wall
Photo: Maria Korneeva / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Paint a standout accent wall with one of these creative techniques

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Could your living room use a little more color? Perhaps you want to add more personality to your bedroom. Maybe you’re simply itching to break out the paintbrush and try something new. 

You don’t need an excuse to add more pizazz to your interior, and re-painting your walls can be the perfect way to refresh a room that needs a little update. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of wall painting ideas with colors, techniques, and designs to help you pick a look that’s just right for your interior design style.

Trendy Wall Painting Color Ideas

If you’re interested in a single color for your accent wall, look at the hottest trends. Below, we’ll go through examples of great color choices.

living room with Aegean Teal wall color
Photo: FollowTheFlow / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

1. Aegean Teal

Aegean Teal is a soft blue-green and gray mid-tone. This soothing, subdued blue makes the perfect choice for an accent wall in a room designed for wellness and relaxation, like a bedroom, spa room, or yoga space.

living room with couch and TV and big open windows
Photo: Woning Media / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

2. Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow are thematically perfect. These colors represent hope and positivity for the times ahead, and an accent wall that incorporates the two will surely lift your spirits.

mustard yellow chair in front of emerald green wall in living room
Photo: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock

3. Jewel Tones

Jewel tones have been a huge home staple. Walls of rich emerald green, mustard yellow, and sapphire blue give your space a feeling of luxury, while also coordinating beautifully with earthy palettes and gold accents.

Wall Painting Design Ideas

When adding visual weight to your space, there’s no need to crowd a room with excessive decor. To create an interesting focal point, consider one of the designs, patterns, or interesting wall textures below.

living room with couch and bookshelf
Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock / Getty Images

4. Color Wash

Color washing is a technique that helps add rustic texture and a homey look to a wall. Also known as glaze painting, the effect is achieved by first applying a base coat. Next, you apply two coats of paint mixed with glaze with a brush or sponge in a random fashion.

blue ombre painted wall in bedroom
Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock / Getty Images

5. Ombre

An ombre wall displays a gradient of color with a mesmerizing, fog-like effect. To achieve it, mark off several sections of the wall (at least three) and fill in those sections with varying cohesive shades of paint. Then, by mixing the shades, work to blend each section together as naturally as possible.

pink arch wall mural above bed
Photo: Artjafara / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

6. Arch Mural

Arch murals are simple yet visually stunning additions to a room. To create a perfect arch, tie a piece of string to a pencil. Tape the other end of the string to the wall in the center of where you want your arch. Then, by stretching out the string and using it as a guide, use the pencil to mark an arch shape across the wall. You now have a ready-to-paint template for your arch mural.

pink polka dot wall mural in kid's room
Photo: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock

7. Polka Dots

Polka dots add lightheartedness and fun to any room. Freehand the dots if you desire a hand-painted look or use a sponge cut into the shape of a circle to stamp neat dots on the wall. Larger dots are more playful, while dozens of smaller dots give more of a sophisticated, cohesive feel.

faux concrete wall painting in living room
Photo: Dariusz Jarzabek / Shutterstock

8. Faux Concrete

Use a wet cloth in between coats of gray paint to wipe a concrete texture onto the wall. This rustic look gives off an industrial feel and complements metal furniture, exposed-bulb light fixtures, and other industrial decor.

blue striped painted walls in bedroom
Photo: JZhuk / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

9. Stripes

You can easily achieve stripes on your wall by putting up painter’s tape and painting carefully between the lines. Stripes have the unique ability to make a room look modern and bigger. Vertical lines will create the illusion of added height, while horizontal stripes can make the room appear wider.

DIY wall painting ideas infographic
Photos: Pretty on Fridays; Followtheflow / Shutterstock; KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images; The Snuggly Co. (from top to bottom)
color blocking wall painting in living room
Photo: Aleksandra Zlatkovic / E+ / Getty Images

10. Color Blocking

If you want a modern focal wall that still ties the room together, color blocking is a great way to have some fun with subdued accents that appear elsewhere in the space. Use painter’s tape to create whatever geometric shapes you want and fill them in with your desired shades.

black plus signs patterned wall in bedroom
Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

11. Patterns

You can create most patterns, from herringbone to repeated shapes, with a little painter’s tape and patience. Use patterns sparingly in a small space to avoid overwhelming the room.

green two-toned painted wall
Photo: JZhuk / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

12. Two-Toned

If you can’t decide between two color choices, why not go with both? Divide a wall down the middle with painter’s tape and create an interesting two-toned wall. Make sure the hues are either complementary colors, analogous colors that are near each other on the color wheel, or colors that simply pair well together.

teal watercolor wall painting above bed and side table
Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock / Getty Images

13. Watercolor

Watercolor adds a beautiful, translucent look to a room. To paint a watercolor mural, mix paint with glaze (around one part paint to four parts glaze) and begin painting the wall. Periodically use a spray bottle to dampen the paint and rub it into the wall with a wet rag. Step back often to see where you want to blend and add more water.

wall painted with sponge technique above table in home walkway
Photo: Followtheflow / Shutterstock

14. Sponge Painting

Using a sponge or soft paint roller to apply your paint will add a cloud-like texture to the wall. To execute this simple technique, take a large, dampened sea sponge, dip it into a paint and glaze mixture, and dab it repeatedly on the wall.

painted ceiling in primary bedroom
Photo: hikesterson / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

15. Painted Ceiling

Perfect for nurseries or bedrooms, painted ceilings can add an unexpected and unique feature to a room. In a kid’s room, dot the ceiling with stars and constellations to create an entertaining scene. In an adult’s bedroom, use a darker accent color that pairs well with your walls.

patterned wall painting ideas infographic
Photos: Yurii Usenko / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images; jessicawellinginteriors.com; Yuri-U / Shutterstock; KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images (from top to bottom)
green rag rolling painting technique on wall above table of plants
Photo: Followtheflow / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

16. Rag Rolling

A rag is another item you can use to create texture on your walls. After applying your base coat and glaze, use a damp, bunched-up rag and either roll it up and down the wall or blot it repeatedly on the wall, depending on your desired effect.

blue strié wall painting in living room
Photo: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock

17. Strié

Strié, or streaking, creates a lined texture that looks similar to linen. This cozy yet sophisticated texture can be done horizontally or vertically to add just a little more detail to a single-colored wall.

chalkboard wall in home office
Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock / Getty Images

18. Chalkboard Wall

Paint your wall in chalkboard paint to create a space for the kids to draw on the wall without lasting consequences. Alternatively, create a small chalkboard wall in the kitchen to write down recipes or to-do lists.

living room with couch and chair with textured wall
Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock / Getty Images

19. Textured Wall

While popcorn walls are largely out of date, decorative paneling or wainscotting provides an interesting texture to your space. These textured elements can stand out even more when you paint the entire wall in a rich hue.

paint strokes painted on wall in bathroom
Photo: Image Flow / Shutterstock

20. Paint Strokes

A fun look to create, paint strokes are brilliant in their simplicity. Simply find a brush size that you like, dip it in your paint color of choice, and freehand short lines all over your wall. This cute and hand-painted look is perfect for a children’s playroom or bedroom.

kid friendly wall painting ideas infographic
Photos: Germarie; Mostovyi Sergii Igorevich / Shutterstock; Jokic / E+ / Getty Images; Maria Korneeva / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images (from top to bottom)

With these painting ideas, you’ll have plenty of ways to upgrade your interior with fresh and colorful designs. To get started, consider hiring a local wall painting pro to help you execute these techniques to perfection.

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