If you’ve ever wondered how to paint a wall? This is the post for you. Here are 7 DIY painting techniques you can use to transform a room in a day.

I’m still not sure when I painted my first wall.

17? 18? 21? Somewhere around the time I discovered stirrup pants weren’t made for someone who is 5 feet tall.

I do remember my first DIY painting technique.

It was in our first house where we were living on love and ramen noodles. My decorating budget was so small you would have missed it if you blinked. I created a brick wall in a hallway with tiny painter’s tape and glaze and two colors of paint. It looked real. It looked like brick. It had depth and movement and motion. And the best part?

For $25 I COMPLETELY transformed the hallway.

I never looked back.

Over the years, I’ve painted hundreds of walls for myself and for clients.

(total aside: I used to co-own a faux finish business here in Texas.)

If you have a small budget and big decorating dreams? Painting a wall with a pattern or design or stripe? It’s the easiest way to transform a room.

And now?

Drumroll, please.

Here are my best tips on how to paint a wall and my favorite DIY painting techniques.


Q: What are the tools and materials that you’ll need?

It truly depends on the project. In my faux finish business we had tons of sponges and brushes and stencils and other painting tools, but if you are just painting a few walls in your home, here are some simple tools that you’ll need:

  • a GOOD basic paint brush (I stress good because you don’t want a brush where the bristles come out in the middle of your painting technique)
  • an angled paint brush (perfect for corners and hard to reach spots)
  • paint roller
  • paint roller extention
  • painter’s tape
  • drop cloths (I like the canvas ones that you can reuse instead of the plastic ones)
  • paint tray
  • wipes (I love to have wipes on hand to fix any mistakes I make when painting)

Q: How much paint do you need when painting a room?

You’ll need paint for the basic foundation color in the space. A really good way to estimate paint is to plan on 1 gallon of paint for every 400 feet. If you are doing a decorative paint treatment, you typically need a quart of each of the colors you’re using. It’s also important to take into account the colors you are using. For example, darker colors will require more coverage and therefore, more paint.

Q: How to prep a room for painting?

I go in-depth about this in this recent post. You will need to push the furniture into a corner of the room, take everything off the walls and dust the walls and corners before you paint. Next, patch any holes (where you’re not going to re-hang something) with spackle before you get started.

Next, tape off the wall you’re going to be working on with painter’s tape and lay down drop cloths.

Have them shake the paint at the store for you before you use it, or make sure it is well-stirred with a wooden stir stick or paint mixer before you start to paint.

Q: How much time do you need to paint a room?

It usually takes us about an hour per coat depending on the size of the room.

When planning out your project, remember that your time depends on how many coats you are painting in the space, the paint color you’ve chosen and the intricacy of the painting technique you are using.

Make sure to allow extra time for prep and clean-up, too.


I put this one first because it’s my favorite.

The only challenge?

It involves math.

And because I decided to add hexagon wood shelves to the middle of the wall, too.

But the room? The design? When you finish it? It’s absolutely amazing.

Here’s how to paint a wall with hexagons and step-by-step instructions.


This is a great place to start when learning how to paint a wall with decorative painting techniques.

It’s an easy way to make a small space like a hallway or entryway get noticed.

One quick tip: you don’t want your stripes to be even. When measuring out your stripes make one stripe slightly larger than the other stripe to make them look a little more custom.

See this and a zillion other stripe painting tips here.


This was one of the hardest walls that we’ve ever painted.

It’s a cube wall.

As in a wall full of cubes. It was a math situation. Good thing I have a math expert that lives at the house.

Here are all the step-by-step instructions and how to paint a wall with cubes.


This is a room I worked on for my mother.

We had a super limited budget and not a lot of time.

We added raised diamonds to the room and painted it this beautiful shade of coral.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for a raised diamond coral accent wall.


This is a simple wall treatment that you can create with just painter’s tape and a quart of paint.

I have the outline for the project on the post.

It’s really easy once you have a few tips.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to paint a wall with geometric squares.


I never met a herringbone that I didn’t like.

So I created a wall treatment around it.

I planned it with different shades of blue to create an ombre pattern, but I think it would also be so pretty if it were just two colors, too.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to paint a DIY herringbone wall.


This was my office in the gatehouse.

It was just a blank wall.

And then?

We transformed it with a little paint and some wood. You could also create the same look with frames.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to paint a raised panel wall.

See what I mean?

A painted wall is such an easy way to transform a space.

Just know I’m here if you have any questions about how to paint a wall or any of these wall treatments.

Or paint colors.

Or general conversation.

I’m just an e-mail away. 🙂

PS Here’s one more for the road.

This is a fun project I did long ago with a shutter wall that we painted different colors.

You can see it here.

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

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  1. Image for Marianne Marianne

    I love all of the walls but my favorite is the stripped gray wall. I have beaded board on a lot of my walls....probably about 4 foot up. I'm always afraid to use strips fearing that they would detract from each other because both are vertical and would be different widths.

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Marianne, I understand!  I think you are right! The beadboard stripes might fight with the stripes!  What about a stenciled accent wall? Just a thought! Happy day!karianne

  2. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    The diamond pattern and the squares from your office are my favorite! Love the simplicity and I know I could definitely do this myself! 😊.

  3. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    I am partial to the shutter wall, it is absolutely the cutest, thanks for all the ideas, you are really clever.

  4. Image for Jennifer Dynys Jennifer Dynys

    When we were doing the buffalo check wall in my dining room I thought of you and the hexagon wall...I had forgotten the cube one. So much math and tape!!🤪. Here’s to amazing husbands!!

  5. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    I'm just totally fascinated and blown away by all these wall treatments! I want to try a ship lap or even a faux ship lap wall in a half bath off my laundry room. Love everything you do, karianne!

  6. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    WOW! You are amazing as always! Did you do all the math to figure out the angles?! I am so impressed.

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Teresa, Ummm. Nope. Not even close. :). I have a math genius that lives here. :) Happy day friend! karianne

  7. Image for Michele M Michele M

    Those are amazing projects! WOW! What a fun and whimsical and modern and cool way to bring color into a space. Well done, KA.

  8. Image for ANN C ANN C

    In my last house I painted my bedroom a flat white and then taped off stripes and painted them high gloss white! It was almost too subtle. But I knew it was there. I painted a yellow and white plaid in my bath. I let it be very random with just a little repeat . That room I loved! I purchased a plaid stencil and want to stencil above my bead board in my bath in this house. Just too hesitant to try. Age has made me less daring. Maybe today’s tips will get me motivated. Thanks Kari

  9. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    I am in love with soooo many of these...especially the coral wall in that bedroom. Goodness! I need coral paint and that design somewhere in this house! Thanks for inspiring again, friend!

  10. Image for Amy Amy

    I love the hexagon wall! All of the rooms in my house have been painted except the office and laundry so maybe I’ll do something daring!

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