Home decor Home Improvement

Easy Patterned Wallpaper Using Paint

Hello Friends,

In the past few years, wallpaper has made a roaring comeback. And today’s post (ORC Week 3) shares how to create an easy wallpaper pattern using paint.

Easy Patterned Wallpaper Using Paint

Truth be told, I added a pattern for the small space behind the refreshment center never thinking that it would be permanent. The basement just seemed to be getting a bit too serious and I thought a small pop of unexpected whimsy would be fun. So I started playing around with some shapes….you know…..just to see. Then, if I like a pattern, I could buy real wallpaper.

Patterned wallpaper is easy to create with paint | #ORC #oneroomchallenge #patternedwallpaper #wallpaper #diywallpaper #betterhomesandgardens #bhgorc | www.thechelseaproject.com

How to Create Patterned Wallpaper Using Paint

And now, I may leave the experimental “paper,” even though it’s quirky and far from perfect. If you’d like to give it a go in one of your spaces, here’s how to make it happen.

Step One: Wall Prep

  • To get the ball rolling, sand the wall. The sandpaper grit depends on how bumpy the wall is, but it really helps to get the wall as smooth as possible.

  • Then remove the dust using a tack cloth.

  • Tack cloths are a bit sticky and pick up this very fine dust better than a vacuum. These are usually found in the paint section at the home improvement store.

  • Tape off the area you wish to paint.

  • And then apply the basecoat of paint.

  • When the basecoat is thoroughly dry, you’re ready to add the pattern.

Good wall prep is key to creating successful patterned wallpaper using paint | #ORC #oneroomchallenge #patternedwallpaper #wallpaper #diywallpaper #betterhomesandgardens #bhgorc | www.thechelseaproject.com

Step Two: Choose a Pattern

  • Any item that will hold its shape while applying paint can be used, so let your imagination run wild.

  • I considered a good many things, like sponges and hand brooms, but settled on circles.

  • I think I was feeling all bubbly that day.

  • Anyhoo, the item of choice for this pattern is a solo cup.

Patterned wallpaper can be created using simple household items | #ORC #oneroomchallenge #patternedwallpaper #wallpaper #diywallpaper #betterhomesandgardens #bhgorc | www.thechelseaproject.com

Step Three: Dip the Top

  • Basically, all you do is pour some paint onto a flat surface, like a plastic paper plate, and then dip the rim of the cup into the paint.

  • It’s sort of like salting the top of a margarita glass.

  • Heavier paint will make thicker circles and add a bit of texture.

  • Less paint will do the opposite.

Patterned wallpaper is created using a simple paint and stamp technique | #ORC #oneroomchallenge #patternedwallpaper #wallpaper #diywallpaper #betterhomesandgardens #bhgorc | www.thechelseaproject.com

Step Four: Stick and Twist

  • To make the circle, touch the cup to the area, lightly press and then twist the cup in place to the right and left.

  • My basecoat and circle colors are both semigloss and the cup really wanted to slide. So heads up that flat latex paint might be easier to work with if you want a clean and crisp line.

Patterned wallpaper is created using a simple dip, stick and twist technique | #ORC #oneroomchallenge #patternedwallpaper #wallpaper #diywallpaper #betterhomesandgardens #bhgorc | www.thechelseaproject.com

Additional Tips:

  • So remember about the paint finish when deciding on colors. I will tell you that my wall has some amazing texture from the black semigloss. You might consider a test using a flat basecoat with semigloss for the pattern. The texture on my wall may not be readily visible in the photos, but adds good depth in real life.

  • I went over my wall once and then let it dry. Then I went over it again in areas that needed repair. It just takes some trial and error.

  • And also remember that no wall is perfectly plumb. If you want a precise pattern that looks more printed, you’ll have to set up a grid on the wall.

  • This is easily done by using a level and marking off lines or quadrants with a light pencil or tape.

  • Now that I have decided to keep the wall, I wish I had taken the time to create the quadrants. This pattern is a little floaty for my traditional taste, but will be ok in this particular area. ……at least for now.

Patterned wallpaper painted onto the wall is a good way to try out a pattern | #ORC #oneroomchallenge #patternedwallpaper #wallpaper #diywallpaper #betterhomesandgardens #bhgorc | www.thechelseaproject.com

The cabinet is an antique replica that I refinished to use as a bar or refreshment center. This is the natural color of the wood with only one eco-friendly product used to seal and protect. I’ll write a post about how to clean and seal wood such as this very soon. If you are keeping tabs, it’s the eleventh piece I’ve refinished for this challenge. 

Add motion and interest to a space with patterned wallpaper easily created using paint | #ORC #oneroomchallenge #patternedwallpaper #wallpaper #diywallpaper #betterhomesandgardens #bhgorc | www.thechelseaproject.com

But for now, let’s celebrate patterned wallpaper on the cheap.

Keep it today….change it tomorrow.

Gotta love it.

To keep this idea for later or share with friends, please PIN the image below.

Patterned wallpaper is easy to create using paint and items around the house | This post explains tips and tricks for success | #ORC #oneroomchallenge #patternedwallpaper #wallpaper #diywallpaper #betterhomesandgardens #bhgorc | www.thechelseaproject.com

Previous Weeks

Our Hosts

And as always, we extend a special thanks to our gracious hosts, Calling It Home , One Room Challenge and Better Homes and Gardens. And invite you to enjoy over 200 more room renovations,  click One Room Challenge. #oneroomchallenge #ORC #betterhomesandgardens #bhgorc



  • Reply Nancy April 17, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I love it!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 17, 2019 at 8:54 pm

      Hi Nancy…thanks!

  • Reply Angie April 17, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Susie, this is such a cool project. You always have the best ideas. Can’t wait to see how the room comes together.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 17, 2019 at 10:47 pm

      Thanks Angie.. I hope it does. LOL.. gonna come down to the wire.

  • Reply Tee April 17, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    This is too clever, Susie! I love it and boy does it look like real wallpaper. I love this fun pattern!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 17, 2019 at 11:11 pm

      LOL…weeeellll….it does, but there are flaws…which I regret. If I get time, I’m going to redo it on a grid. I know! I must be going bonkers.

  • Reply Amanda - Life at Cloverhill April 17, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    I can’t believe you did this was a solo cup! It’s such a great graphic element to the space.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 17, 2019 at 11:13 pm

      Hi Amanda and thanks! Maybe I should do a few of these posts. I have piles of items that can be used as shape makers on wallpaper.

      • Reply Brenda Waluk September 23, 2020 at 2:06 pm

        What else have u used for shape makers? I love the circles but interested in others !

        • Reply theChelseaProject October 31, 2020 at 7:47 pm

          Hi Brenda, I haven’t really tried anything else, but suggest sponges, paint brushes, paint pads…. Basically anything could be used, just have paint around and a sample board handy to give items a try. Wishing you good luck with your experiments.. 🙂

  • Reply Megan Freeman April 17, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    What an awesome idea! I absolutely love this!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 17, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      Thanks Megan!

  • Reply Jewel April 18, 2019 at 6:49 am

    You are a stinking genius! I am obsessed with this idea!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2019 at 7:57 am

      LOL…IDK about genius, I think a genius would have set the grid…LOL. But thanks so much!

  • Reply Rebecca | R&R at home April 18, 2019 at 8:11 am

    This is such a great idea!!! I love how it turned out!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2019 at 11:08 am

      Hey Rebecca and thanks so much!

  • Reply Emy April 18, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Susie, this is the coolest!! I love how your walls turned out. And I’m loving the direction of your room with all that warm wood. <3

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2019 at 11:08 am

      Awww Emy! You make my heart sing. Thanks girl.

  • Reply alifeunfoldingblog April 18, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Susie, you are always sooo creative. Love the pattern here and it really does pop!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2019 at 11:09 am

      Thanks a million, Libbie!

  • Reply Mary K Hunnicutt April 18, 2019 at 9:45 am

    I am pinning this for later! I just can’t do wall paper after removing it in my past 2 houses…but paint, I can do! Who knew a solo cup could make such cute patterns.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2019 at 11:12 am

      I’m with you, Mary. That’s the reason I was painting instead of wallpapering. And remember anything round and plastic will work. Want larger circles?? Go cottage cheese containers.. tag me when you get a wall done! I’ll be excited to see.

  • Reply Joannie April 18, 2019 at 11:03 am

    I love it! The irregular lines but with a consistent circle makes it look sooooo good!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2019 at 11:13 am

      Thanks Joannie! I kinda like it that way, too.

  • Reply Marie April 18, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Not being a fan of wallpaper, I am loving this idea! It really does look like the real thing and I love the playfulness of the circles.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2019 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks Marie. And you could do this inside furniture, too. Save your paper towel and tp rolls for small circles inside a hutch would be cute. XOXO

  • Reply Jen @ Jenron Designs April 18, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Susie this is brillant I absolutely love the pattern it is perfect! Such a great technique and a super simple application too plus I love the variations of the the circle thickness with the paint it is all perfection!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2019 at 3:36 pm

      Thanks so much sweet Jen… Perfectly imperfect. Sounds good to me. XO

  • Reply Angela April 18, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Brilliant! Now I’m trying to figure out where I should do this… 🙂

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2019 at 3:37 pm

      YAY!! And thanks so much. I love it when one of my posts provides inspiration. Give me a tag when you get your space done. I’d love to see…

  • Reply Susanne April 18, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    That is just amazing!! You have the best ideas my friend. I showed to Rick and get a look on his face like…oh dear, where is that going in our house, LOL!! Maybe the laundry room, it is so boring in there. YOU ROCK!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 18, 2019 at 6:52 pm

      LOL….Susanne!!! That’s hilarious. But the good news is that it’s on the cheap. So Rick can celebrate that.. Thanks hun…XOXO

  • Reply Laura April 18, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    I love this! Such a great way to transform a space!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 19, 2019 at 8:50 am

      Thanks Laura! It surely gave this boring little corner a boost.

  • Reply jackiecan April 18, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    I just love this idea. Even temporary wall paper can get a bit expensive, and this is really affordable. Looking forward to seeing your room complete

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 19, 2019 at 8:53 am

      I totally agree, Jackie. I returned $336.00 of wallpaper….for one wall. It was for a different wall, but still….

  • Reply Christin | My Homier Home April 20, 2019 at 10:43 am

    This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing this tutorial! This totally got my creative juices flowing. Finding inexpensive, perfert for the job wallpaper has been so hard for me… I’m thinkin’ paint in where I’m headed! I can’t wait to see your reveal!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 20, 2019 at 6:25 pm

      Thanks so much, Christin. I can’t wait to see your painted wallpaper. 🙂

  • Reply Mary-The Boondocks Blog April 21, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Such a cool and fun idea Suzy! And the budget for it is the best. I really am looking forward to seeing the progress of this room!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 22, 2019 at 7:40 am

      Thanks Mary! You encourage me to keep going! Week 4, here we come.

  • Reply Kristen April 22, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    Ooooh neat! It is quirky but works so well! I like how all of the lines aren’t complete black, but a bit “distressed”. Nice!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 24, 2019 at 8:59 pm

      Thanks so much Kristen. That quirky little corner is totally growing on me.

  • Reply Toni | Girl Just DIY April 24, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    Ok, this is absolutely amazing and it makes me want to do this on the small wall at the end of my hallway. So cute, and I really like that they aren’t perfect, or in a perfect line. It really adds an unexpected and fun wall behind that cabinet. Love it!! Pinned

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 24, 2019 at 10:01 pm

      Thanks Toni…Please send a pic when you get your space painted. I just know it will be super!

  • Reply Ila April 25, 2019 at 1:05 am

    This is indeed epic! I’m certain that we are related now. Lololol!! I LOVE this idea. And pinned it too.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 25, 2019 at 6:29 am

      LOL…Thanks Ola. Sometimes I just have to let my true self show. This quirky wallpaper pretty much says it all….

  • Reply Cristina April 25, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    What a cool and good looking idea!! Loooove it!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 26, 2019 at 7:42 am

      Hi Cristina. Thanks so much.

  • Reply Diane Rath May 8, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    Now this is a genius idea!! Love a good ol’ inventive diy project. And you’re not kidding about wallpaper making a comeback!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 8, 2019 at 10:41 pm

      Thanks Diane! I need to get hooked up with your Tempaper….they have such amazing patterns and colors. Then I can throw my solo cup away. LOL….

  • Reply Kari April 19, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Love this and planning to do my small guest bathroom this week. Did you start your circles from a top or bottom corner or did you work from the center out?

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 19, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      Hi Kari,
      I started in the center and worked up and worked down. One thing I wish I would have done is create a level line from left to right and top to bottom. It would be easier to keep the lines straight. Good luck!!

  • Reply Aimee June 9, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    I love this so much! I am doing it as an accent wall in my bathroom this week. Fingers crossed that it turns out as good as yours!

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 11, 2020 at 10:40 am

      Good luck! I’m sure it will be great!!

  • Reply Jessica Sanders July 25, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    I love this!! Would you mind telling me what colors of paint you used? Thank you!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject August 4, 2020 at 7:10 pm

      Hi Jessica, I used Behr Arcade White on the wall and Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black for the circles. Both are in semi-gloss finish.

  • Reply Elizabeth August 11, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Hi! Where did that Atlanta print come from? Thanks!

    • Reply theChelseaProject August 11, 2020 at 5:55 pm

      My favorite shop. LOL…

  • Reply Michelle April 24, 2021 at 8:56 am

    I’m working on this project right now! Deep teal wall, white circles, all the other walls are gray. So excited! Thanks for posting this awesome idea!!

  • Thanks so much for your comment!

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.