8 ways to transform your room with paint

Before you wield your brush to re-decorate, we have some ideas to inspire you to think about paint differently.

Paint is probably the easiest and most cost-effective way to make a big impact in a room. Paint offers you almost endless options when it comes to giving your space a brand new look. From bold brights to barely there neutrals, accent walls to stripes.

Draw the line

room with half painted door and blue wall

(Image credit: TBC)

Dado rails may be making a come back, but you can add interest to walls without the heavy DIY. By painting the lower half (under where there would be a dado rail) in one shade, and the other half in a contrasting shade. Continue across door ways for a dynamic look.

Add an accent wall

kitchen room with white shelves on black wall

(Image credit: TBC)

This old chestnut really does create bold impact and can change the mood of a room. The best option is to choose a wall without doors or windows. For high impact choose a strong colour, be brave and go for an experimental colour, it's easy to paint over if you fancy a change.

Play with stripes

dining room with wooden flooring and table with chairs

(Image credit: TBC)

Think about whether you want classic vertical stripes, which make a room feel taller; or horizontal stripes, which elongate the room and are a more contemporary option. Choose the stripe width carefully, wider stripes feel more modern, narrow stripes are more subtle. Neutral stripes will blend into the background a little more easily without dominating the space.

Create a frame

room with painted panels and white table

(Image credit: TBC)

Make your stencil really stand out by painting a panel in a bold or contrasting colour to the main, base wall shade and use the panel as a frame for your stencil design. The panel will add a more formal feel for a living room or dining room. Choose a long, vertical stencil design to add a sense of height to your room.

Make it restful

dining room with table and chairs

(Image credit: TBC)

The rich, warm-grey walls in this dining area makes the space feel relaxed. By painting the architectural details such as the fireplace, skirting and door frame in pale lilac is an unexpected alternative to white. Contrast the chalky, matt textures of the walls with shiny highlights such as ceramics or glossy furniture.

Have fun with colour

room with blue wall and table with chairs

(Image credit: TBC)

Identify a starting point and find colour inspiration from a wallpaper or fabric design and build your colour scheme around it. Introduce an extra flash of colour with wall lights, painted picture frames or even painted wood work. If you can't find the shade for you, Valspar can create any colour you want.

Turn cupboards into a feature

room with pink cupboards and wooden flooring

(Image credit: TBC)

Built-in cupboards or wardrobes don't have to blend into the background. Painted in a fun candy-pink, this wall of concealed storage gives the traditional style mouldings a contemporary twist. Blur the lines between walls and cupboards by mounting a clock or picture frames.

Create a feature in a plain room

room with white door with painted door frame

(Image credit: TBC)

Add features and interest in a plain box room using paint, add a finishing flourish with a decorative moulding painted in the border to match. By giving internal doors a painted border you can also introduce strong colour in small doses.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.