Do-It-Yourself: Wall Finishes

Do-It-Yourself: Wall Finishes

By Kathleen Wilson

The most economical way to treat your walls is without question, paint. There are so many choices out there with faux finishes, rich colors, and choices in texture and quality that it can be hard to decide where to start! Here weve included some great ideas for dressing your walls and making great impact in your rooms for very little money! Feel free to mix and match designs, and import the colors of your own rooms to create designer walls, for no more than a can or two of paint!

Wall 1: This is a simple faux finish wall, that is simply sponged one color lighter over a base coat. Sponging is easy, and you dont have to buy an expensive sea sponge to do it! Just take a regular household sponge, and tear little bits away from the hard edges to give it a more natural and soft effect. Then simply dip your sponge into your paint, dab any excess off, and sponge over your base color! I dont recommend sponging over white unless you are looking for a cloud effect, you will get a much more subtle look from using two shades of the same color.

Wall 2: This treatment simulates expensive embossed wallpaper, and is great for a more formal room. Choose two shades of the same color, one lighter than the other. Paint the background the lighter color, and let dry thoroughly. Now use some painters tape to mask off vertical stripes similiar to a striped wallpaper, try making alternate stripes a different width. Lastly, brush a coat of clear polyurethane over every other stripe...when the light hits it, it will give the impression of elegantly textured wallcovering!

Wall 3: This technique requires some painters tape, and a stamp or a stencil to coordinate with your room. You can use many different combinations of stripes to simulate wallcovering, chair rails, and borders. Use the stamp to enhance the design by following a border, using it as another wallcovering for the upper half of a wall, or interspersed between the stripes..

Wall 4: This is a simple overall open pattern, most easily made with a stamp. One note about using stamps on walls, you only need a very small amount of paint, so be sure to blot it off, and do test prints. If you are working on a glossy surface and you make a mistake, you should be able to wipe it off quickly with a wet cloth. To guide you in placing your design straight down the wall, you can hang a string from a tack at ceiling line with a small weight attached to the free end, a bolt will do, or anything else you can tie to the end! I also recommend alternating the pattern each row. This idea works great over white walls to warm them up, you can use more than one color or stamp, but be sure they relate to each other and the room! For instance, a rose and a leaf might work well together in a garden room, but keep one stamp more dominant, either by using it more, or choosing a larger style than the other. This is also great for small rooms, especially on a white background because it gives the walls depth and helps them fade away a bit.

About the Author:

Kathleen Wilson is the author of "Quick Decorating Ideas Under $20: The Budget Decorator's Bible" and editor of The Budget Decorator. Visit this free ezine at for more great ideas, and for information on ordering her book.

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