This Paint Mural Looks Like Wallpaper at a Fraction of the Cost

A DIY pro re-created her favorite pattern in her NYC rental.

Paint mural DIY | Clare Paint

As the saying goes, you can’t always get what you want. But, if Dinah Eke’s paint mural is any indication, the alternative can be even better than you imagined. When the Dee Diary blogger wanted to spruce up her New York-based bedroom, she fell in love with a Kuba cloth wallpaper—but sadly, the retailer didn’t carry a peel-and-stick version to suit her rental.  

So, Dinah took matters into her own hands and recreated the look with paint. The blogger selected Clare’s Meet Cute and Pink Sky to create a sunset-like color scheme. “I needed something calming in my bedroom,” she explains. “The original wallpaper is more muted, but when I saw the swatches together, I knew I had a winning combo.”

Make no mistake, this DIY paint mural isn’t for the faint of heart. In fact, between hand-stenciling the repeat and waiting for the paint to dry between coats, it took Dinah three weeks to complete this wallpaper lookalike on her time off. But, if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to make a statement, it’s well worth the legwork—just follow Dinah’s step by step:

What You’ll Need:

DIY paint mural | Clare Paint

Behind every stunning paint mural DIY is a list of supplies to make it happen. Below, here’s what you need to create your own makeshift wallpaper:

Step 1: Pick Your Palette

Paint mural how to | Clare Paint

When choosing your colors, it’s important to think about the vibe you want to create. Meet Cute’s blush works with the deeper tones of Pink Sky to create the illusion of a sunset; however, this project can take on a new life with different schemes. Neutral tones will evoke calmness, while contrasting colors are poised to make a statement. 

Step Two: Apply the Base Coat

DIY paint mural how to | Clare Paint

Next, prep your wall and cover it with your paint mural’s background paint color. For her New York apartment, Dinah used Clare’s Meet Cute as the base. The light pink hue offered a subtle touch of color. “Clare paint made the process so easy,” she adds. “The paint goes on like butter.”

Step Three: Create Your Pattern

Painted wallpaper DIY

While your base coat is drying, create your faux-paper’s pattern by cutting stencils out of mylar sheets with the help of an X-acto knife. “Be careful when cutting your stencil,” warns Dinah. “I cut my finger in that process.” Be prepared to spend time on this step to get the result you want. 

As for picking a pattern? The sky’s the limit. Dinah selected a take on Kuba cloth, a popular fabric made by the Kuba people in central Africa, but any two-tone pattern will do.

Step Four: Trace Your Pattern on Your Walls

Paint Mural | Clare Paint Meet Cute

Since freehanding a paint mural can be a long and tedious process, Dinah recommends drawing your pattern onto your wall first. Attach the mylar sheet with painter’s tape and trace the stencil with a light pencil. Then, tape, trace, and repeat.

Step Five: Fill in the Blanks

How to do a paint mural | Clare Paint

Once you’ve stenciled your walls, it’s time to fill in the blanks with your accent colors. (This is when Dinah applied Pink Sky’s saturated hue.) Though you might want to go in and make a few, minor touch ups, Dinah encourages you not to sweat the small stuff. “Above all, have fun,” she shares. “I definitely drew outside the stencil lines in places where I made mistakes and I actually like the patterns it created. It makes me proud to think that I made that!”


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