Use Paint for Easy DIY Wall Treatments

Large middle eastern decorative pot and faux finish walls.
What You'll Need
Interior paint
Masking tape
Spray paint

Paint is an affordable way to add color to walls, and it’s within my budget. So naturally, I picked out a ton of different colors with unrestrained glee when I bought my first house. I soon learned that color is great…but it’s not a whole lot more interesting than the plain, white walls I had in my many apartments.

It’s more colorful, sure. But even painted walls still have a flat, monotone look to them – particularly if, like me, you’ve spent all your money on paint and can’t afford to buy artwork. I found there are ways to turn painted walls into artwork instead, and none of them cost a ton of money.

DIY Wall Treatments

Here’s the secret of wall treatments: they’re not expensive, they’re time-consuming. Even professionals have certain tricks and tools they use to get the job done, and most of it is the same stuff that anyone else can buy at the hardware store. But wall treatments do take time, and this is where much of the expense comes in.


Get some stencils and spray paint. White or black designs against a colored wall look dramatic. You won’t even need artwork. If you’re feeling really bold, try metallic spray paint to color in your stencils.


Sponging is a well-known, easy DIY wall treatment. Just get a big, clean sponge. After your base coat dries, dip the sponge in the paint and dab it on the wall. This works best if you choose a color that’s a shade darker or lighter than the base coat.


Multi-shaded colorwashed walls look amazing, and they’re easy to create with paint. The trick is that you have to start with a clean, smooth base coat. Let that dry before mixing water into your paint. Apply the wash on the wall with quick, light strokes. Follow the brush with a clean, lightweight cloth to create a smooth finish. Apply two coats to get a richer, multi-layered look. Work quickly! I found that the watered-down paint dries very fast, so it pays to be speedy.

Rag the Walls

Ragging creates a beautiful texture, and it’s really simple to do. Get a bunch of clean rags and choose your technique. Dip the rag directly in paint and then on the wall, or brush the paint on the wall thickly and use the rag to remove it. Look for a rag with interesting texture to get a more detailed look.


Ordinary masking tape or painter’s tape is truly one of the most powerful painting tools in the DIY world. I used it to make vertical stripes in the kitchen, but the uses are limitless. Paint the wall and apply tape in a diamond pattern, in a zigzag pattern, in an abstract and modern pattern – it doesn’t matter. Take care to apply the tape evenly and in straight lines, and apply a second paint color. Pull the tape away to expose your pattern.

I leaned that paint is actually a very affordable way to make walls look amazing. With tricks and tools, the potential for interesting walls is limitless.