Decorative Paint Techniques for Bedroom Walls

Some of the Most Popular Specialty Paints and Techniques

Sure, you can paint your walls with a simple, solid coat of paint, and you’ll end up with a very nice looking bedroom. But sometimes, you want to go beyond “nice.” If you’re ready to do something really special with your bedroom décor, why not consider using a specialty or faux paint technique? You’re sure to find some inspiration in the 18 decorative paint ideas shown here.

Updated by Michelle Ullman

  • 01 of 18
    Trellis stencil for bedroom walls.
    There's a stencil for just about any pattern you can imagine. Photo via

    If you want to create a repeated pattern, or even an entire mural, on your walls, but you don’t trust your freehand artistic abilities, let a stencil come to your rescue. With nearly endless patterns to choose from, you’re sure to find a design you love. Use a stencil to create a sophisticated design -- like the Moroccan trellis shown here -- in the master bedroom, or have fun stenciling a barnyard scene or other flight of fancy in a child’s bedroom.

  • 02 of 18


    Nursery with Harlequin Patterned Wall.
    A harlequin design is cute in a baby's nursery. Photo by Strevell via

    Harlequin is a diamond pattern that is easy to create with the right tools. It’s a fun pattern for a child’s bedroom or a nursery, but if you use colors with only slight contrast, it can be a surprisingly sophisticated look in the master bedroom. To create the harlequin pattern, you’ll need to measure and apply painter's tape in diagonal strips across your wall. Paint over the entire wall, and then remove the tape once the paint is dry.

  • 03 of 18


    A checkerboard pattern on a bedroom wall.
    Checkerboard designs add fun flair to a bedroom. Photo by Ceneri via

    Less whimsical than harlequin, a checkerboard pattern works well in a contemporary or industrial-influenced bedroom. It’s not a difficult technique, but for the best results, you need to measure carefully. Use painter’s tape to create the checkerboard pattern, paint over the tape, and then remove once the paint is dry. Choose high-contrast colors for drama or subtle hues if you want a more sophisticated vibe.

  • 04 of 18

    Wall Graphics

    Wall graphics make it easy to create elaborate designs.
    Wall graphics make it easy to create elaborate designs. Photo courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

    Wall graphics are similar to stencils, but instead of placing a guide right on the wall, you project the design you want to copy onto the wall with an overhead projector. The beauty of wall graphics is that you aren’t limited to the stencil designs available in stores – you can project and copy just about anything you desire. This means it’s a great technique for designing wall murals in children’s bedrooms. Get further directions on this technique from Sherwin-Williams.

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  • 05 of 18
    Metallic paint adds lots of drama in the bedroom.
    A soft metallic accent wall is truly glamorous. Photo via

    Looking to create a truly glamorous or dramatic look in your bedroom? You’ll achieve just that when you use a soft metallic paint on an accent wall – or, if you really want to go all the way, on all the walls. If an entire metallic wall is too much, use the paint as an accent with a stencil or freehand painted design.

  • 06 of 18


    Striped wall in child's bedroom.
    Stripes are easy and fun in a child's bedroom. Andreas von Einsiedel/Getty Images

    Whether you go vertically or horizontally, stripes are an easy way to add lots of fun in a child's room or create a touch of drama in the master bedroom. The wider the stripes, the more dramatic the effect, but don't go skinny... that will be too stimulating in a bedroom. To create the design, first paint the entire wall in the lighter color, then use painter's tape to lay out stripes in your desired width. Paint those stripes in the darker color before removing the tape.

  • 07 of 18
    Cute gold polka dot wall stickers in child's bedroom.
    Liven up a child's bedroom with polka dots on the walls. Photo via

    Polka dots are a ton of fun in a child's bedroom (or even in the master bedroom if you have a sense of whimsy), and what could be easier than dressing up the walls with easily-applied, easily-removed vinyl stickers? Spread them out evenly, let your child position the dots randomly, or create the feel of sprinkling starlight as in the cute bedroom shown here... it's up to you.

  • 08 of 18

    Brushed Pearl

    Brushed pearl paint from Valspar.
    Brushed pearl paint gives a soft glow. Photo courtesy of Valspar Paint

    The brushed pearl paint technique is a wonderful way to add a gorgeous accent wall in a traditional, Mediterranean or country-style bedroom. To create the softly glowing look, begin by painting your wall with a satin base paint color. Once dry you’ll apply a Valspar Signature Colors Brushed Pearl color and press it down with a plastic float trowel. Valspar gives further instructions on their website.

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  • 09 of 18

    Brushed Suede

    Brushed suede paint from Valspar
    A brushed suede finish adds texture and depth to your walls. Photo courtesy of Valspar Paint.

    Valspar’s Brushed Suede paint adds a soft touch of texture to your walls, giving it the feel of old-world elegance. It’s a great choice for a Tuscan or Mediterranean-influenced room or any bedroom with a glamorous or elegant style. You’ll first paint your wall with a base coat, and then apply the Brushed Suede paint in an “X” pattern for textured style.

  • 10 of 18

    Color Washing

    Color washing paint technique.
    Use color washing to give your bedroom Mediterranean flair. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore Paint

    Color washing is another wonderful paint technique that adds lots of texture and depth to bedroom walls. It's especially good in a Tuscan or Mediterranean bedroom, but also works very well with country or rustic style. To create color washing, you'll start with your desired color of satin base coat, and then paint over it with a large brush in a "X" pattern with a glaze paint mixture. You can get further details about the technique from the Benjamin Moore website.

  • 11 of 18

    Old World Fresco Color Washing or Mottling

    Old world fresco paint technique
    Use the old world fresco technique for extra texture. Photo courtesy of Valspar Paint.

    Old world fresco color washing or mottling technique is similar to color washing, but an additional layer of textured lime wash over the top of the paint adds further texture to the finish. It’s a wonderful way to add character to a wall or accent wall in an old-world or country bedroom.

  • 12 of 18
    Crackle medium paint technique
    Crackle medium causes paint to dry with "cracks" for an aged effect. Photo via

    Crackle medium causes overlaying wet paint to “crack” into fissures and lines as it’s applied. The resulting distressed, aged appearance is a hallmark of shabby chic, cottage, and rustic styles. This isn’t a paint technique for walls, however, it’s used on furniture. The technique is simple: first, apply your base color and let dry. Then, brush on a coat of crackle medium. If you want thick cracks, apply a thick coat of crackle medium. Finally, paint on your top coat. Take care not to brush...MORE across the same area twice, or you will disrupt the cracking effect.

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  • 13 of 18

    Strié, Dragging and Linen Weave

    Drag Linen Weave Paint Technique.
    How to do the dragging and linen weave paint technique from Valspar Paint. Photo courtesy of Valspar Paint.

    The dragging (or strié) and linen weave paint techniques can be a great way to add texture to a modern, contemporary, or eclectic bedroom wall. To create the strié or dragging technique, mix a satin base coat color and glaze, apply the mixture on the wall in sections, then drag your wallpaper brush over the wet glaze vertically or horizontally. To create the look of a linen weave, as pictured in this example from Valspar Paint, drag your wallpaper brush over the wet glaze both vertically and...MORE horizontally.

  • 14 of 18

    Metals and Patinas

    Metal and patina painting technique.
    Create contemporary or sophisticated looks with metal patina. Photo courtesy of Valspar Paint.

    The metal and patina paint techniques are often used in modern, contemporary or dramatic bedrooms as an overall wall color, or to create an accent wall. To create the metal or patina look, as pictured in the example from Valspar Paint, first paint your wall with a base coat color. After it’s completely dry, apply a metal or patina paint glaze with a sponge.

  • 15 of 18

    Rag Rolling

    Rag rolling paint technique
    Rag rolling looks great in the nursery. Photo courtesy of Valspar Paint.

    Rag rolling is another painting technique often found in country style, old world or traditional bedrooms. It's also a great look for a nursery. Use the technique on an accent wall, or go bold on all four walls. To create the rag rolling look, as pictured in this example from Valspar Paint, first paint your walls with an overall base color. Once it's dry, use a crumpled rag to apply a darker or lighter glaze color mixture, rolling it over the wall in random directions.

  • 16 of 18


    Sandstone Paint from Valspar.
    The rough look of sandstone paint covers up imperfections on the walls. Photo courtesy of Valspar Paint.

    Sandstone paint dries to a rough, "sandy" looking texture. It's an interesting effect, but because it's a rough texture, it isn't easy to clean, so you'll do best using it in a master bedroom or guest room, not a child's bedroom.To create the look, you’ll need sandstone paint, like Valspar's Signature Colors Sandstone, applied to your wall with a paint roller in a “W” pattern.

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  • 17 of 18


    Natural sponges give great texture to walls.
    Sponging is an easy way to liven up walls. Photo courtesy of Valspar Paint.

    Sponging, like rag rolling, is another textured wall paint technique that works well with many decorating styles. It's easy to do: just paint your walls with your desired base coat. Once dry, use a natural sea sponge or sponge roller to dab on your desired top color in random, slightly overlapping patterns.

  • 18 of 18

    Textured Stone

    Textured Stone Paint Technique.
    Textured stone is a more dramatic version of stencils or wallpaper borders. Photo courtesy of Valspar Paint.

    The textured stone paint technique is another way to add unique decor to your bedroom walls. This is a great way to replace wallpaper borders or stencils in any style of bedroom. To create a textured stone paint technique, like this stamped stone example from Valspar Paint, you'll use Valspar Signature Colors Faux Textured Stone as your basecoat. Once dry, top it with with a thick glaze, then use a foam stamp to press your desired design into the glaze. You can also use the basecoat to...MORE create an aged stucco effect.