12 Unique Ways to Decorate Your Walls With Paint

Green painted study with color-blocking around the bookcase

From using light hues to brighten up a windowless room to adding a unique geometric design element, paint has the power to transform any area in your home—and it's much more affordable than a full renovation.

Enhancing your space with dark colored paint or simply using it to cover an existing brick wall offers an instant refresh. If you're not a fan of a one-coat wall, an ombré effect is an easy way to create depth in any room. Or add elegance to your bedroom with a raw-silk wall, which mimics the look of fabric by using two simple tools and your favorite shade.

No matter your aesthetic, there are a variety of easy and gorgeous paint techniques that will give your walls a completely new look—explore all of our favorites, ahead.

01 of 12

Paint a Headboard

Sherwin-Williams painted wall, geometric shape
Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

Opt for a painted headboard in lieu of a real one—it serves as a unique design element in a nursery (why not give a crib a grown-up visual upgrade?) or children's bedroom. "Don't play it safe with this idea—explore and embrace it," says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. "I recommend taking a risk with color while still leaning into natural hues."

02 of 12

Use Geometric Shapes

children's room painted with Behr paint, geometric shapes on wall
Courtesy of Behr

Use geometric patterns, like color blocking squares, arches, and circles to make your space feel more playful. "There are several ways to achieve this depending on the look and size of the design," says Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr. After applying a base coat, use painters tape to mask out the design you wish to create; apply your color of choice and then peel off the masking tape once the paint dries.

03 of 12

Explore Natural Accents

Sherwin-Williams green and natural wall art
Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

Turn to motifs from nature when adding paint to your walls. "For a look that's a little more natural than a stencil, try painting free-forming organic shapes on a wall," Wadden says. "When you paint something like a beautiful botanical print by free hand in classic colors paired with a vibrant color, the result will instantly bring creative balance and energy to a space."

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Try the Peak-a-Boo Effect

Sherwin-Williams peak-a-boo effect in pairing wall paint colors
Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

If you want to embrace color in your home, try the peak-a-boo effect, which creates visual depth thanks to a mix of hues spread across connecting rooms. This technique allows you to incorporate your favorite shades in unexpected ways. "From a design standpoint, the peek-a-boo effect also allows you to explore new color pairings," Wadden says.

05 of 12

Add a Pop of Color

Sherwin-Williams Paint
Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

Infusing your space with surprising moments of color—by painting a door a bold yellow, for example—is an easy way to brighten your abode without making it feel overwhelming. "This approach is a great way to bring in color and explore with paint creatively and easily without having to commit to using that hue in an entire space," Wadden says.

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Create a Focal Point

Bold Behr Green painted wall on side of stairs
Courtesy of Behr

Another way to play with vibrant color when you're not ready to commit? Test your pick on a small sliver of wall first. It's well worth it: "Bolder colors on walls create an instant focal point and change the mood in a room," Woelfel says.

07 of 12

Add Black

Behr black kitchen
Courtesy of Behr

Black can create a dramatic effect in rooms that receive a lot of natural light—especially if it is offset with a balancing neutral, like white. Other mediating shades work, too: "Accenting a space with colors like green, red, and blue in artwork, textiles, throw pillows, and area rugs can also help a black color scheme feel less heavy," says Woelfel.

08 of 12

Opt for an Ombré Effect

ombre wall
Chelsea Cavanaugh

This subtle ombré technique is actually quite simple—the slightly imperfect flow looks more interesting and organic than a solid colored wall. Start at the top with the deepest of three graduated shades, finish with the lightest, and blend for a stunning result.

09 of 12

Paint Over Brick

living room navy blue painted walls
Courtesy of Farrow & Ball

If your home features a brick wall, adding a wash of paint serves as an instant update with a fresh, texturized look. We're partial to a dark blue, like the navy hue pictured here.

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Color Block

mustard accent wall in neutral tones dining area
Courtesy of Benjamin Moore

Choose one wall as the focal point of the room and decorate it a different color than the rest. This is great a way to add dimension to your home—and the pop of color gives the space a welcoming look.

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Use Vibrant Colors

Bill Batten

A traditional, monochromatic paint job is instantly elevated when you opt for an unexpected hue, like a daring green or muted red.

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Try a Raw-Silk Wall


This fine paint effect replicates the look and elegant feel of raw silk. The technique is simple, and involves a China bristle brush, unraveling extra-coarse steel wool, and paint.

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