Using Paintable Textured Wallpaper to create a whole new look!

When we moved into our house eight years ago, every wall was white. It was a total blank canvas. It was exciting, but a bit intimidating too.  What would we do with all that white space?  With the help of textured wallpaper and wood trim, and a bunch of paint, we transformed a blank canvas into beautiful entranceway! This DIY project may take a bit of time, but is relatively simple to do.

paintable textured wallpaper DIY

We first tackled the huge of expanse of white wall that went two stories up and included the stairwell to the second floor. The question was how?  And then it came to me to create faux carving from paintable textured wallpaper.

paintable textured wallpaper DIY

After being in the house a few years, the wall along the stairs began to look dingy. My daughter’s bedroom was up there and keeping her and her friends from man-handling the wall on the way up was a total losing battle. What to do to break up all this whiteness and handprinted-ness?

The stairwell in my old house had to be painted repeatedly, but it was only a 5 step stairwell and the walls were easily reached. Which was a good thing in fact because I am a total clutz and managed to fall down the stairs on my butt one night with an open bottle of cough syrup in my hand. I ended up splattering red cough syrup on the wall, the whole way down the steps. I’m here to tell you that if that should ever happen to you, just paint the wall. It won’t come off. I promise.

paintable textured wallpaper DIY

But this stairwell is much different. We knew that when we finally made a decision, it would have to be a pretty permanent one. We didn’t want to have to do it over again. So one day, we ran across some paintable textured wallpaper and we came up with an idea that worked for us.

For this project we used:

Paintable Textured Wallpaper
Paintable Textured Border Wallpaper
Lots of trim
Wood Putty
Wood Glue
Wallpaper Paste
Tons of paint
Some scaffolding and a ton of nerve

We started by using a chalk line and laser level to mark off where we wanted the top of the chair rail to be and then marked off the different sections of the “wainscot panels”. Because we wanted to break up such a high wall, we went with the top of the chair rail being 5′ tall.

Once everything was marked to our satisfaction, we began cutting the trim with a miter saw. My husband was in charge of this part as he is very good with wood. He added a touch of wood glue to the back of the trim, and then used finishing nails to hammer into the wall. He used wood putty to smooth out any imperfections where the corner pieces met and to cover any nail holes. Once the putty dried, he sanded it down and it was ready for paint.

paintable textured wallpaper DIY

Now for the fun part. Using wallpaper glue and water, we cut sections of the wallpaper to fit into the panels. We found that we needed the additional help of wallpaper glue to get a good stick. We did not want to have to deal with peeling wallpaper later down the road. We did the same with the wallpaper border, fitting it in between to two pieces of trimwork that marked the top of the chair rail.

paintable textured wallpaper DIY

We put in two sections of trim at the top of the chair rail, just far enough apart to put the wallpaper border in between.

paintable textured wallpaper DIY
paintable textured wallpaper DIY

Then after much trial and error, we chose two contrasting colors for our entrance way. We painted the chair rail and “wainscoting” a cream color and from the chair rail up, a dark fern green. I particular love how the use of one color on the trim and the textured wallpaper gives the wall a “carved wood” look. In fact, we have been asked several times if it is carved.

paintable textured wallpaper DIY
paintable textured wallpaper DIY

The two contrasting colors and the high chair rail with wainscoting broke up the vast expanse of the hallway and gave the entranceway and stairwell a ton of well needed character.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my Faux Textured Chair Rail Tutorial.  A low budget option for creating a chair rail out of paint and sheet rock putty.

Also, if you are into the faux painting thing, check out my Faux Marble Ceiling Tutorial.  All you need is a little paint and a tons of imagination…

For over 150 more tutorials for all ages, be sure to visit my Tutorial Page!


{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Angie January 27, 2013, 2:11 pm

    Ok, I just found your website, and it is amazing! Thank you for all your wonderful tutorials!!

  • Julie August 12, 2012, 7:50 am

    Hey Susan! That looks so elegant! Wish I had ur talent… u are certainly gifted. I just put ur site in my faorites & hope to visit it more frequently.

  • Nadine August 6, 2012, 11:58 am

    I think you’ve just solved my dining room dilemma… I’m in love with this! Pinning it for future reference. Kicking myself because I just passed up 3 rolls of that wallpaper at a yard sale this weekend!

  • Jenny June 26, 2011, 4:13 pm

    LUV this! And your Faux Scroll metal idea as well! Definitely going on my "TO DO" list! Thanks for the inspiration. Linking to my blog now!!!

  • Rhissanna May 28, 2011, 6:23 am

    Oh wow! Thank you so much for the link to the wallpaper! In the UK, I use Anaglypta embossed paper, but it costs a fortune in the US. This looks perfect for my 19th century study makeover. Thank you again.

  • Jenny @ Embellishing Life January 10, 2011, 12:22 am

    This looks amazing! Now I want to do this to my stairway!

  • Karen January 4, 2011, 4:16 am

    What a fabulous idea! I've been taking down old wallpaper in my stairway and this has inspired me to not just paint it but really give it a fresh new look.

  • malia November 3, 2010, 9:52 pm

    wow this looks awesome– you did a great job! Thanks for joining us at A Crafty Soiree last week, hope to see you again tomorrow (-: Malia

  • Remodelaholic November 3, 2010, 6:10 pm

    We love this party link and I wanted to let you know that we are planning on featuring it on our blog. We hope that you get a bunch of new visitors. If there is any chance that you could post about being featured on Remodelaholic with a link back to your post on our site, we would really appreciate it.

  • Sew Much Ado November 3, 2010, 3:55 am

    That is SO beautiful! Awesome job, I love it and will be featuring it tomorrow :).

  • Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy October 31, 2010, 9:48 am

    What a fun change! It turned out really well. Thanks for linking up to Topsy Turvy Tuesday's.

  • poindextr October 28, 2010, 4:22 pm

    Great idea and fabulous job – makes this part of your home look oh so elegant!

  • Janet October 28, 2010, 2:47 am

    I really love it. That is so unique. You did a great job with your blank slate.

    Stopping by from It's so very Cheri.


  • Sachiko October 28, 2010, 2:41 am

    Oh wow! I have never heard of "textured paintable wall paper" before! Thank you for sharing!

  • Colleen @ MuralMaker&More October 28, 2010, 2:22 am

    Oooh, I'm so glad I found you (via TheGirlCreative). Such fun stuff! I bought a roll of textured wall paper way back and never used it. Love how it looks in your home!

    Would love for you to link up to Passion for Paint this weekend!

  • Ruth October 27, 2010, 5:04 pm

    That is absolutely gorgeous. Love how it makes the stairs pop. Great job.

    I came over from the link party at Tea Rose Home. So glad I stopped over. I have thought of doing that to our stairs.


  • Coleen's Corner October 27, 2010, 11:19 am

    Beautiful! So elegant – so eye catching. You did a fantastic job! I just love it!

  • Cristie October 27, 2010, 1:31 am

    Wow! It looks really great! I love the textured wallpaper. I have it going up my stairway. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week.

  • Cindy Adkins October 26, 2010, 11:04 pm

    Oh this is gorgeous!!!!

  • Jan @ bobbypins boardwalk October 26, 2010, 5:09 pm

    I thought I had commented on the wrong post. Let me try it again:

    Absolutely gorgeous. I love the height of the wainscoting in your hallway and rooms. It adds so much drama. The stairway is an eye-catcher, you did a wonderful job. This is a wonderful unique variation of what I've seen elsewhere. You've added a very special element to it, and I LOVE IT. Thank you for sharing on the Boardway Bragfest! It's a wonderful project!

  • Laura @ House of Thrifty Decor October 26, 2010, 4:29 pm

    Love it. The use of the wallpaper is great.

    I hope you can stop by my blog and share your project with my followers. I am having my Show Off Sunday Party.

  • Laura October 25, 2010, 10:00 pm

    Wow what a difference!

    This week is my blog anniversary and I'm hosting a week's worth of great giveaways. Feel free to stop by if you'd like!

  • Eliana October 25, 2010, 4:48 pm

    Love this…. I am racking my brain trying to figure out where I could do this!! thanks for sharing. you can check out what Im up to at

  • Jenny October 25, 2010, 12:45 pm

    This is brilliant — it looks amazing!!

  • Becca October 23, 2010, 11:50 pm

    This is amazing! I'm going to remember this when I'm ready to do my hallway! GREAT!!

    Thanks for linking up to Home and Family Friday!


  • Lisa October 23, 2010, 4:11 pm

    This looks really great! I love white trim and colored walls.

  • Faith Like Potatoes October 23, 2010, 4:21 am

    oh i love this idea!! love your staircase too!!!!

  • Nancy ~ Inkcicles October 23, 2010, 3:15 am

    LOVE IT!

  • Courtney ~ French Country Cottage October 23, 2010, 12:00 am

    What a great makeover- the stairway looks beautiful! I love the pop of color on the wall too! 🙂

  • Michelle@Somedaycrafts October 22, 2010, 9:26 pm

    I forgot to write on your blog that I would be featuring this at

  • Amanda October 22, 2010, 4:18 pm

    This is beautiful! Congratulations on a job well done!

  • Kristi Flanagan October 22, 2010, 3:47 pm

    Love it! Really adds something doesn't it! I have textured wallpaper on one of my walls, and just love it.

    Punkin Seed Productions

  • fix it yourself October 22, 2010, 3:37 pm

    I love how this turned out! I mentioned you on my blog today. Thanks for the great ideas.

  • Amy October 22, 2010, 3:04 pm

    Really nice! I love the aqua color!

  • Kari October 22, 2010, 3:03 pm

    Paintable textured wallpaper?! This is such a wonderful idea and I love the way this looks! Thanks so much for sharing…I'll definitely be featuring!

  • Korrie@RedHenHome October 22, 2010, 2:12 pm

    Very pretty!

  • Sarah October 22, 2010, 2:01 pm

    I'm a new follower from Boost My Blog Friday.
    I hope you'll come check me out at PS Mom Reviews and follow me too!
    I have a great 1,000th follower giveaway going on now too for my followers!

  • Lisa October 22, 2010, 1:49 pm

    Amazing! What a cool idea! It looks fabulous!

  • Miri October 22, 2010, 1:46 pm

    This is just gorgeous! Stunning! Brilliant!

  • michelle October 22, 2010, 1:43 pm

    That is such a great idea and it really give the wall an elegant feel! Great idea!! Saw you at Frou Frou Decor!!

  • katskraps4kids October 22, 2010, 12:27 pm

    This is just GORGEOUS_ filing it away for my home when we finally get the upstairs done. I know it's years away but I just think this is stunning! tfs Be blessed, Karyl

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