The most creative DIY wall paint ideas can transform your home in a hurry, and without a big spend. It's no secret that a lick of paint works a treat on tired or dated walls, but there's more to decor than simply painting walls in one uniform color, from top to bottom. Using tape, a bit of string or even a steady hand and choosing the right color pairing is a great way to add interest to your living room, bedroom, hallway or other space in the house.
Most of these techniques can be achieved easily by beginners plus, you'll be able to upgrade your space in as little as a few hours or a weekend too...
What is the most creative way to paint a wall?
Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director of Dulux (opens in new tab) says, 'The most creative way to paint a wall is to use more than one colour. This could anything from horizontal split colours and blocks of colour to define different zones to a colour on the ceiling rather than the walls or a fully immersive hand painted mural.' And, it is so personal to you but that is the beauty of DIY. Whether you want to get messy and create a Pollock-style accent wall or use tape to add a pop of color in your home office, it's totally up to you.
- See all our living room paint ideas.
1. Paint a blue ombré wall in a bathroom
A DIY ombré wall is one of the most stunning yet truly achievable wall paint ideas out there. Beaut in a bathroom and sure to make an impact in a living room or bedroom too, whatever tone you go for. Simply pick up a few cans of your favorite paint colors, and your best paint brushes.
- Find the best bathroom paints in our buyer's guide.
2. Add structure with paint in a bedroom
A little masking tape really can help make an impact when you're getting creative with bedroom color ideas. Mark of a square section – off beat for more interest – and choose a contrasting color to make an impact. This bedroom was brought to life using Simply refresh feature paint in Golden Sands (opens in new tab) by Dulux and it's the perfect way to add a little structure to a soft, bohemian decor theme.
3. DIY a painted wall arch
A painted wall arch will add the pop of color needed to brighten up a neutral space. Great for a kids room or to better zone a workspace in a home office. Recreate this accent wall using tape, string and chalk – to get the perfect curve – and Ink well paint by Dulux (opens in new tab).
4. Paint a headboard pink and with flair
Geometric patterns and electric colors painted on a headboard bring vibrancy to this cool sleeping space. Nodding to other colorful elements in the room also.
5. Paint your ceiling in a contrasting color
We all have a tendency to play it safe when it comes to painting ceilings. Choosing various hues of greige (beige + gray) or simply letting that popcorn look do its own thing... However, opting for brights and matching, or totally contrasting, the color that is on your walls is a great way to DIY a new look with paint, just more imaginatively. Try Spiced Honey (opens in new tab)on the ceiling by Dulux.
6. Paint a dreamy mural by hand
A mural is your chance to go freestyle, we love the eggplant purple against the white in this rugged abstract painted wall. The simple lines and concept are really effective which proves that you can skip on detail, and simply work your wall like a canvas to create the best results.
- Find all our feature wall ideas in our edit.
7. Paint color duos that will match furniture
If you have a statement piece that you love in your room, you can replicate that color on the walls to help it stand out even more. Choose a color blocking technique to make it pop like created here with Annie Sloan (opens in new tab) paint.
8. Paint everything the same color – bar the ceiling
Painting the walls the same color as big pieces of furniture and even your floor boards may seem like a maximalist choice. And, it is a little. But, it's great way to enhance a small room or awkward space. Plus, you won't need to worry about any paint splashing on the floor as you're painting...
9. Paint over wall paneling in light hues
The perfect way to add interest to inherited wall paneling is to paint it yourself. Try color blocking with a couple of different overlapping colors that nod to the hues in your furnishings, to create uniform appeal. A good look for all scales and totally customizable too.
- Find our latest wall paneling ideas.
10. Paint a pink border to frame hanging artwork
Forget wallpaper borders when you can paint one yourself for more modern appeal. The pink works well in this hallway space filled with neutrals and some fine splashes of color, perfectly highlighting the artwork on the walls.
- Hallway paint ideas: The edit.
11. DIY wood paneling using dark paint
If you're dreaming of a budget-friendly way to add wall paneling in the bedroom or lounge, why not mimic the look of wood paneling with dark paint? One of the most affordable and adventurous wall paint ideas, simply paint a quarter of the way up your walls in a contrasting color, use tape to mimic the panel grooves if you want to go pro, and you're guaranteed very chic results.
12. Paint a kitchen splashback in unexpected colors
Want an expensive looking tiled kitchen splashback but don't have the budget? Creating a tiled look is one of the most brilliant wall painting ideas around that you can recreate really quickly with tester pots and masking tape. Simply mark up your design to scale on paper and transfer it on to the wall. If you go wrong, you can just repaint. Clever.
- Find the best paints for kitchens in our buyer's guide for a tough finish.
13. Add detail to dark walls
Another brilliant budget idea you can recreate by painting a wall. Again, you can use masking tape to create your design – either masking off the headboard pattern itself and painting it in, or using tape to create the headboard and painting the entire wall a different color to add detail – remove the tape when the paint's dried and you've got your design.
- See more DIY headboards in the edit.
14. Go boxy with white and blue paint
Dividing a wall in two horizontally has a number of positive benefits: it can create the look of a paneled wall, can give a boxy, modern room added character and a period feel, and it can, if the wall is painted a darker color below dado level than above, make the ceiling of the room seem higher.
If you aren't just using your current wall color as the base colour for your project, start by painting your whole wall in that first color for the best results.
- Find more easy DIY projects to try in a weekend.
15. Create the illusion of a headboard
Frame your bed with a faux headboard by simply masking off a rectangle and filling it in with paint. Note the chilled out vibes this light blue brings to the room.
16. Paint a view in a contrasting color
A pop of earthy pink in a hallway makes a fine view from a neutral living room.
17. Paint your floor up the wall
Azur blue from the ground up creates more fun and space in this eclectic dining room.
18. Add zigzag detail in your lounge
Many DIY wall painting ideas will add movement and flair to living spaces too. This color picks out hues from the furnishings for a rounded finish.
What can I use instead of painting the walls?
Shillingford suggests 'Use canvasses to add splashes of creative colour to walls and paint up bits of furniture to fill the space in between with your favourite shades. You can also make a feature with colour by painting old vases, picture frames and accessories too. '
- See our guide to hanging pictures to get your artwork up there.
Is sponge painting still in style?
'Just you wait, painting with everything from sponges to rags and plastic bags is about to make a comeback. Getting creative with paint is something we’ve fallen in love with again during lockdown and the fact that Changing Rooms will be back on our screens soon will reignite our love of all things paint effect - but with a truly modern take on the 90s vibe.' Says Shillingford, and we're totally on board with that, it's a great one to keep kids entertained after all...
Paint + tape = some very exciting looks.