How To Decorate A Room Divider

room with a designed room divider and wall mural
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-300

The room divider that you've chosen to separate your spaces can be easy or difficult to decorate. It all depends on the type of divider, how much time you have and the extent of your creativity. With a visit to the craft store and a little bit of elbow grease, you'll have a room divider that perfectly matches your taste.

Determine your Type

Most room dividers contain screens in either a fabric of some sort or plastic. While plastic can be much easier to work with because it is more stable, fabric leaves more options when it comes to decorating. If your screens are fabric, be sure any paint purchases you make are able to be used on fabric. Likewise for plastic--make sure the paint you buy will adhere.

Fabric Dividers

room divider

If your privacy screen has fabric panels, as many do, you've probably found yourself brainstorming to find ways to spice them up. One of the easiest and most effective methods for a fabric screen is stenciling. Stenciling is just what it sounds like--using a stencil and paint to transfer colorful shapes onto your fabric. This method is especially easy if your screen's fabric is light in color.

Lay your screen flat and open on the floor, exposing the panels that you want to decorate. After you've found the stencil you like, map out a pattern. Will you stencil the same shape in a straight line down the middle? Stagger it from left to right? Once you've decided, tape your stencil to your fabric, fill your paintbrush with (fabric-friendly) paint, and stipple your brush into the stencil using short, jarring motions to prevent paint from leaking under the stencil. Let the paint dry for about a minute before removing the stencil and place it in the next area. If necessary, clean the stencil between each application so extra paint doesn't stain your screen.

Another method is stamping, where you fill a store-bought stamp with paint and press the designs on the fabric rather than painting them.

Plastic Dividers

Plastic dividers are easy to work with because they are a hard surface but can be broken if you choose to stencil or stamp them too firmly. If you don't want to paint your plastic screen, try making a picture board with this fun, creative method:

Find a few rolls of thin (less than one-inch) ribbon in different colors that you like. Cut strips of the ribbon so they fit in a criss-cross pattern on one of your plastic panels. Lay the ribbons out in a design that looks pleasing and where the colors alternate. Hot glue the ribbons down at the corners, so that they stretch diagonally across your screen. Make sure they are tight against the plastic. Once the glue is dry, you can slide photos behind the ribbons to display them!

If you have less time, use minimal effort to decorate the divider by painting your plastic screen the same color as your room's walls so it blends right in.