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Chic walls on the cheap


Walls are usually the largest surface area in your room, so it only makes sense that when creating a fabulous room, you should start with fabulous walls! But that’s easier said than done when you are on a tight budget… so all the more reason to love these five painting ideas.

Here are five great treatments for walls that are easy to do — and even easier on your budget!

Decorative paint tricks


Sponging is perhaps the easiest faux painting technique to master. It takes very little paint, just a touch of practice, and looks great in nearly any style home! I prefer to sponge one color over another for a more subtle look, but you can sponge over white if you prefer. You don’t have to use those expensive sea sponges, either. Just rip and tear an ordinary kitchen sponge to create an irregular surface.

Dip your sponge of choice into the paint, dab off so that it is almost dry, and pat onto the wall. Vary the direction of the sponge as you go to create a more natural look. You may wish to practice a little on cardboard first to test your sponge painting technique.

Accent wall painting ideas >>


Striped paint is a classic favorite, and is a quick way to add interest to a room without worrying about it competing with pattern or being too busy. Use painter’s masking tape to tape off the stripes on the wall. Match the width of the stripe to the size of the room — for instance, a larger room should have wider stripes. You can even alternate wide and narrow stripes if you prefer. You can measure this out or do it by eye, then paint inside the tape. For a casually chic room, don’t use masking tape — and just roll the stripes right onto the wall!

How to paint stripes on a wall >>

Stamp or stencil

Stamps or stencils can be used to accent, border, or provide an overall design similar to wallpaper. They are very inexpensive, or simple ones can be made at home with lightweight cardboard (cereal boxes work great) and a craft knife.

Stamps can even be made the old fashioned way — with a potato! To stencil, simply tape the stencil in place, then put the paint over the stencil with a nearly-dry brush, rag or sponge. To stamp, brush a small amount of paint onto the stamp, dab off , then stamp onto the wall.

Do-it-yourself stamped wall art >>


Many of us don’t want to paint our entire rooms, but want to add some color and flair. Try painting a “frame” behind a group of photos. It can be a block of paint to hang the photos on, or just a border to enclose the group of wall hangings. This also saves on paint, but adds a lot of interest and brings a room together.

3 Easy ways to brighten your mood >>


Colorwashing is a lot of fun. It is a wonderful finish that creates a lot of depth and texture, and is a quite popular paint finish in luxury homes. It is simply a method where you add water to a paint or paint base, then rub over the walls with a rag. That simple! I have mixed my own paints for this, but it can be difficult to get the colors and ratios right.

If you want to try a product made specifically for colorwashing, give a try. I’ve used their products, and they go a long way with beautiful colors. A bonus with colorwash painting? You can use this technique for all of the ideas above!

Another technique to try: Faux Bois, or fake wood-graining >>

Paint: Easy but effective

Now that you know you don’t have to buy out the paint store in order to make a change, give one or two of these home painting ideas a try! Better yet, combine them — and in no time, you will have made a creative, low-cost improvement to your home.

More info & ideas

Painter’s tape tips & tricks
Best paints to use for bedrooms
Get more ideas! Live large, but spend small

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