When you start looking at wall covering ideas, you quickly realize that there are dozens of options available. Picking out the correct wall covering can quickly and easily upgrade your interior without you having to do a complete remodel. It could surprise you that several people forget about wall covering ideas when they’re trying to figure out how to update your decor on a budget, but we’re going to help show you a few fun and easy ideas that are available to you.
You could choose a wall covering idea like a tile wood covering that introduces a modern flair to your room, or a cork covering can give you a more distinctive look and texture. As a bonus, most wall covering ideas are great for just about any room you can think of, like the kitchen, bedroom, and living room. The trick is to find the wall covering idea that pulls your look together and complements your decor, and some definitely go better with certain design aspects than others. Let’s dive in and see if we can inspire you to tackle your own wall this weekend.
1. White Bricks with Wall Art
Are you a more artsy person? If you, you need to add this artistic wall covering idea to your home. While brick isn’t hugely popular in homes, you can find it a lot in apartments. To start, you’ll want to paint your brick wall white. This look really stands out if your other walls are traditional brick color and pattern. Apply a few coats of your white paint to give you an even canvas to work with, and make sure you allow it to completely dry between coats. It’s important to pick out a clean white without warm undertones so it doesn’t look dingy or pull in colors from around your room.
Once it’s dry, you’re ready to paint it. Pick out a theme. It could be anything from monuments like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Statue of Liberty to your favorite city skylines. You can freehand or trace this mural on your white wall. Get black paint and fill it in. The black will contrast sharply against the white background to help it stand out, and it works particularly well in a living room or bedroom. Take your time and carefully fill in a few coats of the black. Semi-gloss paint works best as it’s less likely to scuff or get dirty.
2. Wainscoting Design
When people think of wainscoting, they think of exterior stone veneer on their home or backsplashes, but you can easily apply it over a full wall to create an eye-catching design, especially when you get the right lighting in to highlight it. People are finding new ways to create fun designs that enhance the walls while offering a light texture that doesn’t distract from the rest of the room, and it works particularly well in contemporary designs. You could have a white wall with white wainscoting designs over it, or you could create contrast with one color wall and have the wainscoting a second color.
This wall covering idea doesn’t stick out too much, so you don’t have to worry about bumping alongside it as you move around your room. It looks nice in the bedroom, living room, or even in the kitchen. The trick to this wall covering idea is the lighting. You’ll want lighting that draws attention to the design and highlights that you get a different texture. So, the lighting should be close to the wall and adjustable. Your designs can be as simple or as complex as you’d like, and you can DIY without a problem.
3. Plaster with Murals
Plaster is one of the safest wall covering ideas available. If you don’t want to risk doing something to your wall that could be difficult to remove and/or redo, plaster is a safe way to go. However, plaster is also very plain, flat-toned, and it can be boring if you have it by itself. The first thing you’ll want to do is apply plaster to your wall. You want to ensure you get a very nice, even coat because this will turn into your canvas when it comes time to decorate it.
Once the plaster is ready to go on this wall covering idea, you’re ready to spruce it up. Again, you can freehand sketch your design or find a larger stencil and apply it to the wall. Onc nice option is to create a tree mural, but it can be virtually anything you want. Think about something that goes well with your overall design and which colors you want. If you have a lighter color scheme, this could be a perfect place to add pops of color or draw in your room’s accent colors. If the rest of the room features bold colors, you could use lighter tones to help calm it down and balance it out.
4. Recycled Pallet Boards
This wall covering idea incorporates recycled pallets to help create a fun rustic look and feel for your home. You can usually find wooden pallets for free at your local big box stores, or friends and family most likely have them lying around. You may even have one or two you can use. When you get them, the first thing you’ll have to do is take them apart to give yourself flat boards. Measure your wall you want to cover to ensure you have enough boards. You may need to cut them down to the correct length to fit the wall.
A nice thing about pallets is that you don’t necessarily have to stain or paint them. A lot of them come weathered, and you can quickly sand them to smooth them out and give them a more rustic look. Starting at the bottom, nail your pallet boards one by one on the wall, working your way to the top. This will give you a fun shiplap look. The boards should but up against one another for a snug fit, and you want to ensure that there are no gaps before you nail them to the wall.
Tiles are a great wall covering idea if you want to achieve a much more modern and sleek look. However, this material has also been very popular for decades, and it offers a huge range of patterns, colors, and styles that can match virtually any decor you want. You’ll typically see tile in the bathroom or kitchen, but you can make it work in any room in your home, as long as it goes with your design aesthetic. You want to consider what feeling you want the tile to evoke. Do you want cool tones to bring calm? Maybe you want something warm and earthy to make the room more welcoming.
Also, consider how high you want the tile to go on this wall covering idea. Do you want a full tile wall or do you want an accent stripe? Maybe you want a half-wall of tile and the rest for paint. Once you decide, it’ll be easier to narrow down your style and tile size. Larger tiles can be easier to fill in space, but they may also require cutting to fit. In turn, you may have to bring in a professional to complete this wall covering to ensure it looks good and lasts.
6. Industrial Brick
Brick is popular for garden edging, but it’s also very popular for home interiors that are geared toward a more industrial look and feel. Funnily enough, if you pair this brick wall with plank-style flooring, you can have a fun farmhouse look that is perfect for many kitchens or living rooms. It even works well in the bedroom or bathroom as brick can withstand higher humidity and moisture levels without a problem. To transform your brick wall, all you’ll need is a few buckets of paint and a roller or brush.
Clean the bricks first before you start to paint to help ensure you get a clean finish. Your bricks should be dry before you apply your first coat of paint. Bricks are porous, so you might need to apply a few coats of paint to get an even coloring across the board. You can leave the wall’s face blank, or you can apply your favorite quote, graphic, or wall art. All you have to do to keep it looking nice and clean is to wipe it down with a damp towel once a week or every other week when you clean.
7. Red Metallic Cover
If you want to stand out and be bold, take one full all and create a red metallic covering to go over the whole thing from floor to ceiling. This will work better if you have more muted or darker colors around it to really make it pop. However, it could also work if you have lighter walls without a lot of bright, bold colors. Red works especially well because it’s meant to stand out and make a statement, and you can make this wall covering idea in a few ways to fit your budget.
The first thing you want to do is pick out your color and the wall you want to transform. Then, you’ll set a budget for your wall covering idea. You could install floor-to-ceiling metallic red wallpaper on your own, or you could opt for a red metallic piece of fabric that you fasten to the wall. You should pick the one that you think will pop the best while staying inside your set budget. Doing it yourself instead of hiring a professional can help save money too, and you can easily complete this project in a day or two at most.
A lot of people think that they have to restrict fun things like glitter to projects like explosion boxes or paint crafts with the kids. However, the sparkle glitter offers a room makes it a popular but unusual wall covering idea. A sparkling and glittering wall can help your room look flashy when the lights go down, and it adds a very lively nuance to any room you choose to add it to. As a bonus, there are several ways you can incorporate glitter into your wall cover, so you want to do your research and pick the one that fits into your style and budget without while still looking nice.
Since this can be very distracting, it’s best to put it in a small area instead of covering the full wall. If you have a fireplace, consider glittering it and leaving the wall around it glitter-less. You could paint the wall and add glitter to the wet paint. Some paint comes with a glittery sheen to it, or you can get tile with grout that comes with glitter in it. If you go this route, make sure that you don’t overwhelm your space entirely. You’ll have to scale back on other flashy accessories to help it stand out without overdoing it.
9. Wood Parquet
This is a slightly more difficult and time-consuming wall covering idea, but it’s so worth it. Wood parquet is very common for people who want pretty designs on the floor, but you can turn it into a wall covering idea too if you want to put the effort in. This design works well with both farmhouse and classic interior design aesthetics, and you can create a huge amount of designs with this flooring to make your wall more eye-catching while still being a durable choice for any home.
Parquet comes in a huge range of colors and hues, so you can easily brighten up the room with it or add a darker accent wall in your room. Since this is a complicated project, you’ll want to put out your design on paper before you try to put it on the wall. This way, you can ensure that you get the finished product you want without having to tear parts off and redo it because you skipped a part of your pattern. It’s very durable, and it’s easy to care for as long as you don’t get a lot of liquid on it. Just like any wooden flooring, it can warp and pull away with water damage.
10. Stacked Wood
Maybe you’re someone who has a large amount of scrap wood lying around and you have no idea how to use it. Or, you could be someone who wants a unique, textured wall that stands out. Either way, this wall covering idea allows you to use up some of your wood scraps while creating texture, depth, and color. For the best results with this project, get different sized wood pieces in different colors and grains. The more options you have, the more you can customize your wall as you start cutting and stacking the wood. To start, decide how thick and thin you want the wood pieces to be and cut them to size.
Start in one corner of your wall and slowly apply the wood pieces you cut one by one. Depending on the wall size and your wood piece sizes, this can take a significant amount of time to finish. You can patch any holes with wood filler if you want a more seamless look. Fill in any gaps in the wall and carefully use wood glue and nails to adhere to wood pieces to the wall. As long as you take your time and fit the wood pieces together, you should get a complete cover.
If you’re someone that needs a more practical choice for your wall cover idea, consider hanging up a fabric one. It’s very low-maintenance, and it offers very quick and easy installation. You can choose a blank fabric, or you can choose from a huge range of colors and patterns. So, if you want something that is going to define your room, go for a fabric cover with an eye-catch geometric pattern. It can give you a very dimensional look, especially if you highlight one or two walls and leave the rest solid colors.
You should stretch the fabric on this wall cover idea so it doesn’t have any wrinkles. In fact it should sit tight to the wall. You can get speciality fabric pins and apply them at specific points to help hold everything in place. To clean it, you can get a low-power vacuum and run it over the fabric. Just make sure that it’s not strong enough to pull the fabric away from the wall or rip your pins out because this can damage the fabric. It’s also relatively easy to swap out if your decor changes, and you’ll get a softer and more cozy feel to your room when you install it.
Vinyl flooring and vinyl siding are very popular on homes of all types due to the durability and how easy it is to maintain. However, it’s also popular as a wall covering idea. One of the best ways you can get vinyl on your walls is by installing vinyl wallpaper. It has easy installation, even if you’ve never done it before. It’s thicker than traditional wallpaper, and this makes it harder to accidentally rip or ripple as you put it up. So, you’ll get a much cleaner look and feel, and vinyl is a very slick material that allows you to quickly and easily cover huge sections of walls.
Since there are such a huge amount of patterns and colors available for this wall covering idea, you can easily find one that matches with your decor. A lot of people like stripes in a very subtle and low-key color in the living room. The same design with more subtle colors are also a great way to create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom that can help you fall asleep. Vinyl is easy to clean and maintain too, and you can easily wipe it down if you notice any scuffs or marks.
13. Beachy Wallpaper
Incorporating coastal nuance in the form of beach-themed wallpaper or as a wall covering idea can easily refresh your interior. It looks appealing in almost any room in your home because it allows you to capture the beach’s freshness without overdoing it. You can apply this wallpaper in a kid’s room, your bedroom, or in your living room to help liven up your decor. However, you also want to take steps to continue this beach-themed pattern throughout your room or design aesthetic so it doesn’t look extremely out of place when you finish with the room.
Once you pick out and apply your wallpaper for your wall covering idea, plan on continuing it throughout the room. For example, you could easily add upholstery that matches the beachy feel, or you can pick out furniture pieces that combine the colors of your wallpaper to upgrade how the room flows and looks when you walk into it. If the wallpaper has blue in it, you could add a large throw rug that matches it, or you could include small beach-themed figurines on your tables or around the room. White and blue are popular in this theme, and so are warm browns or turquoise green.
14. Subway Tile with Moroccan Backsplashes
While it’s true that a lot of backsplashes include tile, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, you can dress this up and turn it into an eye-catching and unique wall covering idea. It’s possible to use this wall covering in a very narrow space as well as a wide one, so you have more flexibility in what size wall you want to enhance. Also, tile is great with areas that routinely get splashed with oil, water, and other food debris without fading, peeling away, or getting damaged. So, they’re extremely popular in kitchens behind stoves and sinks in areas that see a lot of use.
Start this wall covering idea by picking out the correct size subway-style tile and installing it in your desired location. You can fill the entire space from floor to ceiling or from counter to the bottom of your cabinets, depending on where you install it. To elevate the look more, add a pretty Moroccan tile ornament right in the center of the design. This can gie the wall a more inviting look, and the covering is also easy to periodically wipe clean to keep it looking nice.
15. White Shiplap
This wall covering idea requires you to plan it out, but it looks very nice and classic when you paint the board white before you hang them on your wall. If you’re looking to create a room with tranquility and a warm atmosphere, or you want to introduce the farmhouse-style of decor to your design, this is the option for you. Shiplap is a long board that you attach horizontally to the wall. However, they’re not tight together. Instead, you leave a small gap between the horizontal boards. This gap can be the same color as the boards, or you can mix it up and allow another color to peek through.
For a more rustic look, hang up unfinished boards. You do want to make sure they have a sealant on them if you’re going to put it in an area that has a lot of humidity or water like in a laundry room, bathroom, or in the kitchen. You can nail the boards to the wall to create your wall covering idea, and this will securely anchor them in place. When it comes time to clean this wall covering, all you have to do is get a damp rag and wipe any scuffs off. You can also repaint them, but this can be more difficult due to the design.
Twill is another type of fabric, but it’s extremely durable. This makes it a popular wall covering idea, especially when you’re considering wood and it seems overwhelming. As a general rule, fabric is slightly easier to install with a single person, even if you’re brand new to trying it. Twill fabric adds a nice texture to your wall, and it comes in a host of colors. You’ll get a lot of tiny stripes that let you feel the texture of the wall when you touch it, but it won’t be hugely obvious from a few feet away.
As a bonus, the texture on this wall covering idea ensures that you won’t have to go all out with flashy wall decor because the fabric speaks for itself. Adding a nice brown or other earth tone can go with a huge amount of design styles. It does have a small amount of give and stretch to the fabric, but it’s not enough that’ll cause it to ripple or sag when you hang it up. You can even vacuum it with the upholstery attachment if you notice it getting dusty.
These 16 wall covering ideas can help you spruce up your interior while staying inside your budget. You could even use multiple wall covering ideas in different rooms in your home to give each space a new feel or look. We invite you to go through the list, get inspired, and see how one or two of these fun ideas can update your room’s aesthetic.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.