Tag Archives: paint tricks

faking damask wallpaper

wall detail bst

I recently repainted my living room, it had been the same for 10 years and was starting to look a little grubby and rough around the edges, especially the wall going up the stairs (with 10 years of two kids grubby encrusted hands sliding up the wall). So I chose a some bright colors for the main walls, a greeny yellow called New Grass for the main walls, a really bright red called Tulip for an accent wall and a deep brown for the stair wall (to hide future grubby hand prints). What I really wanted though was wallpaper somewhere but the paint had already cost me $150 and 1 week of my life living in paint fumes with furniture piled in the middle of the room and stacks of art and framed photos everywhere, so wall paper was out, I needed to do this quick and cheap. The tulip accent wall was great in the day but at night it was a tad garish and bright so I decided to paint my own damask style wallpaper on it to tone it down and class it up. It cost me time (about 6 hours start to finish and $10 of Polycrylic paint that I probably had a can of in the basement but was unwilling to dig through the spiderwebs to save myself $10).

This is a technique I’ve used in the past and I just love the play of light across the surface. You can do patterns, stripes, any kind of design and when you want to change no need to scrape wallpaper, just sand and repaint.

step one… grid

grid wall

I wanted my pattern to be slightly loose and not tight and stencil like so I choose to do a loose grid with obviously different shapes but you can tighten as you like. I grid with chalk so you can wipe it off as you go with no worry of tape pulling paint off or pencil marks screwing up your wall.

step two… finalize and neaten your grid

clean grid

step three… choose your design

(I sketched mine on scrap paper and then totally changed it once I started). You can look at patterns you like online (after I was finished I realized I should have incorporated something funky like an octopus or something) you can even use a stencil if you wish but I like the clean strokes of a paintbrush a little better. I did one row…

start painting

I choose to use another design in the other rows…

finished wall

step four… wait until dry and wipe off chalk marks and bask in the glory of your new space!

It really looks awesome and changes through the day, if you just walked by it you would think it’s wallpaper but when you stop to really look you can see all the variations in the patterns and that part I think is the best!