How To: Paint Your Own Faux-Chinoiserie Mural

How to Paint Your Own

Chinoiserie Mural

If you’ve got a love for Chinoiserie wallpaper and a DIY mindset, we’ve got a great project idea for you. With a bit of effort, you can use paint and stencils to create your own Chinoiserie designs and save yourself the expense of traditional imports. Here’s how:

Soft blue nursery with scenic mural wallpaper

Tools You'll Need

  • Paint roller
  • Large China bristle brush
  • Large stippling brush
  • Small stencil brush


Start by rolling on a base coat of light, latex-based paint and allow it to dry.


Choose a matching top color that’s about four shades darker. If you’re worried about selecting matching colors, a good rule of thumb is to choose colors from the same fan deck section, like Benjamin Moore’s 708 “White Rain” as a base and 705 “Sioux Falls” as a top coat.

Using a pair of colors will make a wall surface much more interesting than a medium flat paint ever could. Experiment with your own color combinations! A dull base with a vibrant top coat, or vice versa, can be especially interesting, making the final color luminous. Just keep in mind that the two colors will blend to make a shade somewhere in between the ones you’ve chosen.


Mix your top coat color in latex glaze, then use your China bristle brush to apply the glaze over the base coat, breaking it up with the stippling brush. The stippling technique should even out the color and give your surface a wallpaper-like texture.


Once your top coat is dry, you can use the stencils to paint in your Chinoiserie designs. You can find some great stencils at The Stencil Library or Royal Design Studio. For Chinoiserie, look in the Panel Stencils or Repeat Pattern Stencils categories on their Chinese Style Stencils page.

You’ll also want to decide on your color(s) for the pattern. To contrast nicely with our earlier colors, we might choose something like Benjamin Moore’s HC-6 “Windham Cream.”

The Stencil Library also provides tips for adhering your stencil to the wall and applying your paints.


Use the stenciling brush to apply your patterns and designs.


Once it’s all finished drying, apply a coat of dead-flat varnish to remove the sheen of the glaze and heighten the resemblance to authentic Chinoiserie wallpaper.


Take a deep breath. Step back. And admire your work!

with love susan navy
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