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Painted Wall Patterns

This DIY Basic will provide tips on creating a painted wall pattern.

More in Painting

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

up to four colors of interior wall paint in flat, semi-gloss, and gloss finishes
high-gloss varnish
drop cloth
nail and string or drafting compass
hollowed out cans
various sized lids, bowls, and drinking glasses
edging brush
lint-free rags
painter’s tape
measuring tape
straightedge
fine sandpaper
chalk and chalk line
level
spackling paste

Step 3: Prep the Area

There are lots of creative ways to paint patterns on a wall — from diamonds and stripes to dots, stencils, and swirls — and they all use the same basic steps.

Clean wall and fill cracks or holes with spackling, then sand smooth.

Tape edges and baseboard and cover floor with drop cloth.

Step 4: Apply the Base Color

Paint wall with base color. Base color should be less glossy than patterns.

Tip: Use a dark basecoat with a lighter pattern or vice versa, or combine differing shades of base color.

Step 5: Mark the Pattern on the Wall

Measure wall and mark center with a chalk line. Mark the pattern on the wall.

For DIAMONDS, plan an even number across the wall; mark positions where points meet and outline diamond shapes with straightedge.

For STRIPES, divide height or width of wall by width of stripes and snap a chalk line where first stripe will go.

Use a level to make stripes plumb.

Outline diamonds or stripes with painter’s tape. Place a small painter’s tape X inside areas not to be painted.

For DOTS, trace around cans, lids, bowls, drinking glasses or outline them with nail and string or drafting compass.

Cut STENCILS from plastic sheeting or buy stencils. Practice painting pattern on inexpensive poster board.

Step 6: Paint Inside the Pattern

Outline and fill in pattern with a narrow, angled paintbrush. Keep as little paint as possible on brush to prevent drips.

Interiors of WIDE STRIPES can be painted with narrow roller.

SWIRLS and WAVES can be painted freehand.

As soon as paint becomes tacky, remove painter’s tape to prevent peeling of new paint.

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