Looking to create faux wallpaper on your walls? All you need is a stencil and a little paint to create this look.

How to Create Faux Wallpaper With a Stencil

Don’t you love it when a challenge to a room becomes your favorite part of it?

It’s kind of like my nose.

Have you seen it?

It’s kind of an embarrassing nose.

Please don’t tell the person next to you, but I have triangular nostrils. Yep. Triangles. Right there on either side of my nose. And the worst part? When I get excited or laugh or chortle? The triangles in my nose flare out.


The only thing worse than triangular nostrils are triangular nostrils that go all isosceles.

But one day my husband flipped the script on my nose. He told me it was endearing. And sweet. And cute. And full of personality.

Turning a challenge into something you love.

Just like this wall.

Here’s how to transform a blank wall with faux wallpaper using a stencil.

Here’s the rest of the room.

You can see the entire room and the before and after here.

You can see all the sources in the room here.

You can see how I made the butterfly wall here.

It has the original shiplap on the walls from when the house was built. This was actually my room when I was younger. When I lived here it had old vintage wallpaper nailed with cheesecloth over the shiplap. Someone somewhere had painted over that wallpaper and then someone else painted it until there were layers and layers of paint over wallpaper over cheesecloth over this shiplap. We actually thought it was drywall until it started peeling off in the corner.

But the corner of the room?

How to Create Faux Wallpaper With a Stencil after

It’s different.

It’s actually dry walled.

When they added the closet in the corner, they framed it in with wood and added drywall. There’s shiplap inside the closet, but on the outside? It’s a flat surface.

It doesn’t match the rest of the shiplap room.

See what I mean?

It’s a challenge.

Just like those triangle nostrils.

The solution? To make it stand out. To make it special. To make it so different from the rest of the room that everyone would fall in love with it.

(total aside: if stenciling is too much? Here are 21 easier ideas to decorate your home.

I thought about wallpaper, but I’ve removed so much wallpaper in my time and what if I changed my mind and didn’t like the wallpaper after a bit and had to take it down again. Yikes. So instead, I came up with the idea of creating a wall that looks like wallpaper.

But it’s not.

It’s just a stencil.

And here’s how I did it.

How to stencil to create faux wallpaper

How to Create Faux Wallpaper With a Stencil

1. Choose your stencil

I found this stencil on Amazon. I knew it as soon as I saw it that it would be perfect.

You can see it here.

I was going for a garden theme with animals and flowers and nature and the colors of nature and this stencil fit exactly what I was looking for.

When looking for a stencil to create faux wallpaper, it’s important to determine if you want a smaller pattern or a larger overall pattern. In my case, I wanted a smaller pattern with tons of intricate details.

There are bunnies and flowers and larger flowers and floral stems and butterflies and squirrels and a fox or two.

Yes, please.

2 Stencil the wall

Stenciling a wall is a little more challenging than stenciling a pillow, but the concept is the same. We started with a blank canvas. The closet doors and that area of the wall are painted Shoji White SW 7042. Then we stenciled the entire area with this amazing woodland creature stencil and stenciled the entire base in Sandbar SW 7547.

And now?

I hear you on other side of this screen with all the questions. How? How did you actually use the stencil and the brush and the tape to create faux wallpaper?

Here are my best stenciling tips:

  1. Do the larger flat surfaces first.
  2. Start with one stencil. You can tape it or use adhesive spray to keep it flat.
  3. Completely stencil that first stenciled area with one paint color like Sandbar SW 7547.
  4. There are dots on the sides of the stencil that you can line up the next stencil in the pattern. Use those dots to line up your next section and then stencil that area, too.
  5. Sometimes you can bend the stencil or have it hanging off (like on the left hand side of the doors) But when you get to areas that the flat stencil won’t fit, cut the stencil to fit. For example, we did all of the flat areas first and then? See that little narrow strip next to the window? We cut the stencil into a narrow strip and stenciled it, lining up the dots along the way.
  6. Remove your stencil as soon as you are finished painting a section.
  7. Lift it directly up so any excess paint drips down.
  8. Have a flat surface (like a temporary table) covered with brown paper or a drop cloth to put the stencil down between stencilings.
  9. Do NOT overthink. Your stencil will not be perfect. Don’t even worry. The pattern is so busy no one will notice. It’s so much more amazing than you think.

(total aside: This explanation is a little challenging because stencil is a noun and a verb. Let me know any of questions you have or if I can clarify anything in the comments.)

3. Add additional paint to sections of the wall

This was my favorite part.


I went back and hand-painted in the butterflies with Haute Pink SW 6570 and the leaves with the Color of the Year, Evergreen Fog SW 9130.


Just two colors because you already have the base color of the stencil.

I just used a small paintbrush and randomly painted sections of the pattern two different colors. I painted the butterflies pink and the tops of the flowers and a few random dots.

If you want,  you could add additional colors to make the pattern even more intricate.

Then let your paint dry.

That’s it.

That’s all it took.

To go from this.

faux wallpaper project

faux wallpaper diy


This challenge wall?

It’s my new favorite.

It makes me so happy every time I walk past it on my way downstairs.

Challenges are like that.

Joy creators.

Just like those isosceles nostrils. 🙂

PS If you like this?

You might like this stenciled dresser project, too.

And these four simple DIY’s you can finish in a weekend.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love this! Was just talking with my husband about the same thing-the area that we struggle with the most usually becomes our favorite. Requires creative solutions that are not always obvious. Beautiful stencil solution!

    1. Image for Wanda Wanda

      I was a professional stenciler and faux finish artist for over 30 years and found that the neatest stenciling is done with dry flat-bottomed speciality stencil brushes (easily available now) which come in many sizes. Use cheap paper plates as palettes to hold small dabs of paint. Dab your dry brush in a little paint, then pounce it on the plate several times to flatten and remove excess paint. Then pounce the openings in the stencil, which you have adhered to the wall with spray glue or pieces of masking tape. Smallish brushes, depending on the size of openings in the stencil, give you greater control over the thickness of the paint, the shading and the neatness. Never wet your stencil brushes with water while working. If paint builds up too much on the brush, use a fresh brush — or wash and dry VERY thoroughly with a hair dryer before using again. I design and cut my own stencils on clear acetate, with each color on a separate sheet of acetate, which allows me to use unlimited colors. Very large stencils can be done with very small paint rollers, again taking care to use minimum paint and no water. My business name was “Move Over, Moses” because Moses Eaton was a famous itinerant stenciler in New England in the 1800s. Is it OK to offer free help with questions anyone might have about stenciling? (Wwils3@aol.com) In 30 years, I probably had every problem imaginable, so lots of experience.

  2. Image for Rosita Rosita

    I love it! Love how you repurposed & made it unique! I also love the 3 pictures above the bed that goes with the stencil on the wall! Blessings to you! Mrs.Karianne, YOU are perfect just like God made you!

  3. Image for Carrie Carrie

    This room is such sweet garden waiting on your sweet twin to return home from campus- I love the addition of pink and green to the stencil! Bravo!

  4. Image for Judy Judy

    Your stenciling with your added touch is perfect. I don't remember if you mentioned the word PATIENTS, but when I see stenciling, patients comes to mind. I love seeing beautifully stenciled walls, but give me wallpaper any old time. I love your great handiwork and I have admired some really detailed large rooms, where they have used multi stencils for the pattern and think...in no way do I have that kind of patients.

  5. Image for Waldorf Kim Waldorf Kim

    I love what you did with the stencil. It is the perfect addition to your room. I know I have said it before, but I will say it again…I LOVE that pink rug! Gorgeous transformation, friend!!

  6. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    This small space makes such a big statement in this room, I love your stencil, those bunnies are so cute.

  7. Image for Celeste Celeste

    I loved your butterfly wall so much that I bought them in silver and put them around a corner and silver mirror in my guest bathroom. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Image for Kris Kris

    Triangle nostrils??? You are way too critical of yourself. Hooray for Mr. Brown Eyes and his better evaluation of you! Anyway, I'm not sure if I would have enough of a steady hand to add color after the stencil is gone but I absolutely love your wall now. And what a generous offer for Wanda to give free advice! Maybe some of her work could be featured on Thistlekeeping ...

  9. Image for Loryl Loryl

    I thought this was amazing the first time I saw it and even like it better after I knew how it was done. It just makes the room POP!! You are so creative. And you have a cute nose that is perfect for you!!😉

  10. Image for PJ PJ

    KariAnne, I love this and would like to save it to Pinterest. Can you please make these pictures pinnable? (Is that even a word?) Thank you so much, and please have an amazing day!

Comments are closed.