How to get creative with paint

Cassie Pryce

If you’re hoping to give your room a makeover and don’t know where to begin, look beyond simple block-coloured painting or traditional wallpaper and try your hand at creating an on-trend new look. What’s more, these designs can be easily re-painted as your tastes change or you fancy a new look, so there’s no need to worry about removing stubborn wallpaper.

Pattern hit


Stencilled wall using Tropical Ocean matt emulsion, from £14 for 2.5L; Scrumptious feature wall paint, from £13 for 1.25L; Fuchsia Fizz mid-sheen emulsion, from £14 for 1L; Plush Parlour emulsion, from £18 for 2.5L; Chartreuse Mix feature wall paint, from £13 for 1.25L, all Crown Paints

For instant impact, consider adding a bold design to your wall in the form of a stencil. You can buy pre-made stencils or make your own from stiff card or acetate and then apply the design to the wall using a roller or sponge to coat on the paint.

Keep the stencil evenly spaced for a uniform design, or overlap in places for a more eclectic look and mix in different coloured paints if you want to create more of an artistic finish. This particular technique works well as a feature wall idea as it can become overwhelming if applied on every wall, especially in smaller rooms that need a little breathing space.

For a different way to apply a pattern to your walls, consider investing in a patterned paint roller—this smart tool is embossed with a design which you then coat with paint and roll in strips on the wall to create what looks like a wallpapered effect.

Check out The Painted House for a wide range of designs.

 

Light to dark


Ombre effect wall using Pale Peony, Chic Lilac, Salsa Mix and Sunset Kiss matt emulsion paints, all £24.49 for 2.5L, Dulux

The ombre look is a hot trend in interiors this season, so if you’re feeling creative, why not try your hand at this statement effect? While it may be more time-consuming than some other techniques, this subtle-yet-striking finish makes a beautiful feature wall idea and can be done in any colour palette to suit your existing scheme.

Start by measuring and marking out a line at each area you want to paint in a different shade going up the wall—you’ll want a minimum of three shades to get a clear gradient. Paint the top section in the lightest shade but leave a few inches before the line.

Paint the second section in the next shade down, stopping a few inches before the line again. To create the blended area between the two shades, dip a wide brush half into one colour and half in the other and brush back and forwards to mix together on the wall. Do this quickly though as the paint dries fast and will become very difficult to blend if left too long!

Repeat these steps down the wall with the shades getting darker as you go and remember to use clean brushes at each level to avoid accidentally mixing colours.

 

Go geometric

go geometric
Little Greene image: Stripes painted in Jack Black 119; coloured squares in Tan 210, Mocha 211, Deep Space Blue 207, all absolute matt emulsion paints, £42 for 2.5L, The Little Greene Paint Company

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to create your own design using paint is to go for a linear pattern for a modern edge. Use painters tape (which can be bought in hardware shops such as B&Q or Homebase) to mask out a design and experiment with different patterns until you’re happy with the overall effect.

Consider doing a simple striped pattern either horizontally or vertically along a feature wall, or even trying a stylish chevron design. For something a little more abstract, apply tape in a fragmented design, overlapping in parts.

Once you’re set on your taped design, apply paint using a firm brush or roller to cover the wall. The parts beneath the tape will be left untouched and you will have created a series of neat, crisp lines.

Remember to peel off the tape quickly once you’ve finished painting, as removing it too late can cause parts of the paint to flake off with it.

 

Two tone


Wall painted in Pea Green 91; highlight strip in Leather 191; both £42 for 2.L, The Little Green Paint Company

If the thought of creating your own design is a little daunting, why not use existing architectural features in your room as a guideline? Dado or picture rails provide a natural division that you can use as the separating point between two wall colours—simply paint one colour on the top half and another colour beneath the rail for a stylish two-tone effect.

Choose coordinating shades from the same colour family for a classic look, or go bold and pick contrasting colours above and below the rail for a louder statement.

 

Read more tips from Cassie Pryce

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