DIY Herringbone Wallpaper | Easy Hand Painted Wallpaper


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March 10, 2020
Zoe Hunt




2 Days



Get the look of Serena and Lily Feather Wallpaper for less by hand painting wallpaper!

DIY hand-painted herringbone wall that mimics Serena and Lily feather wallpaper

Have you ever found something you loved and then looked at the price? You want to hate it, but you can’t get it out of your head. That’s how I felt about this beautiful Serena and Lily feather wallpaper.

Honestly, we probably only would’ve needed two rolls, but I couldn’t bring myself to justify the price (or the frustration of putting up wallpaper).

The solution? DIY it! Using some leftover white paint and a $7 can of blue paint we found at Lowe’s, I recreated the look for wallpaper that costs $98/roll (with a lot less frustration than trying to perfectly line up wallpaper). You can too! All it takes is a little time and a little paint.

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Let’s start DIYing!

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  • Miter saw or handsaw
  • Painter’s tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Level

What You’ll Need

  • Paint (base color + 1 quart of the pattern color) – We used Sherwin Williams Extra White and HGTV Home By Sherwin Williams Falkland Blue)
  • 1- 1×3 wood board
  • Crafting paintbrushes
  • Colored pencils
  • Magic Eraser

Hand Painted Herringbone Wallpaper

New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!

how to paint a herringbone wall

Step 1: create your level/spacer

 If you have a large level, great. If not, you can make one that also works as your spacing guide! For ours, we taped 1 colored pencil and a small level to the side of a 1×3.

Note: if you are going the 1×3 route, it’s really important to choose wood that is straight. If you need help picking out the right piece, check out our wood sizing and selection guide.

Step 2: mark the center of your focal wall

This is where your first line will go. Then you will work your way around the room from either side of this line.

STEP 3: draw your vertical lines

Using a colored pencil and your level, draw your first line, making sure it is level.

Note: we used a color pencil for several reasons. First, you can pick a color that’s already close to your paint color so you don’t have to worry about it bleeding through. Second, it doesn’t smear like lead tends to. Third, you can easily remove it with a magic eraser if you make a mistake.

draw vertical lines on wall using a 1x3 and level as a guide

Continue drawing all of your vertical lines. If you created a spacing guide for your desired width, this goes by really quickly. Simply line it up with the line you just drew, confirm it’s still level, draw your line, and repeat.

Note: we got lucky and all of our corners with solid lines (or close enough that we made them all that way). If yours aren’t, you can either just make them all solid lines, or you can continue the pattern onto the next wall. If you continue the pattern, you will need to measure how far your line should continue onto the next wall before changing directions and then mark your first vertical line at this distance.

Free download wood sizing cheatsheet

Step 4: create your herringbone guide

We cut a 1×3 into two pieces at 40-degrees. Once cut, we taped them together using painter’s tape. You don’t need the lengths to be exactly the size of your lines. Just make sure that they are long enough to trace the full line.

Note: you want to tape them together rather than glue or screw. You will have to disassemble your guide for the edges.

Step 5: draw your herringbone pattern

Using your guide, draw all of your slanted lines. This guide will help you get the right angle, the right spacing, and you can use the seam between the two boards to properly line up the guide on the vertical lines you drew in step 4.

draw herringbone pattern using a 1x3 guide

When you get to the edges, remove the tape from your guide. Push the 40-degree side into the corner of the wall and line it up with the slanted lines in the column next to it.

draw angled lines in corner using 1x3 as guide

Once you finish an edge, reassemble your guide and continue the pattern until the next corner.

Step 6: paint

After you finish drawing your pattern, it’s time to break out the paintbrush. We used a simple round craft brush. I would recommend picking 2-3 different styles or sizes and practice the pattern using each until you decide on which one is best for you.

Note: I would highly recommend getting more than one of your exact paintbrush. The paintbrush has a lot of work to do and will breakdown over time. Your lines will get thicker as times goes on if you don’t have a fresh paintbrush to replace it with.

Paint all of the vertical lines first, covering the lines you drew previously. Keep the paint to the top 1/4-1/2 of your paintbrush. You don’t want too much paint at a time.

While painting, you want to move quickly and try not to overthink it. Get in a groove and just keep moving in a straight line. Don’t stress and worry about it not being perfectly straight–that’s the beauty of this hand painted wallpaper! You can see just how crooked my lines looked, but once the pattern is filled in, they look nice and straight!

paint vertical lines on wall

Once your vertical lines are done, start painting all of the slants. I found it fastest to work in columns rather than trying to paint a full arrow (like you see in the photo below). Be sure to work left to right if you are right-handed!

hand painting herringbone pattern on wall

Keep painting until all of your colored pencil lines are covered up. If you have a few lines poking out here and there, you can go back and erase them with a magic eraser after the paint has fully dried.

There you have it! Beautiful hand painted herringbone wallpaper. Get ready to see the shock and amazement on your guests’ faces when you tell them that you painted it yourself!

I can’t wait to see your “wallpaper”– send me a picture over on Instagram when you get it finished ?

DIY painted wallpaper tutorial, blue herringbone painted on white wall

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