How to Grunge Up a Wall

Grunge refers to a style of early 1990s post punk music popularized by bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Blind Melon.
Add layers of cracking paint for a "grunge" wall aesthetic.Add layers of cracking paint for a "grunge" wall aesthetic.
The fashion associated with this genre exemplified destruction and decay. Though grunge music and fashion could be depressing at times, the much-loved genre celebrated the disenfranchised and welcomed individuality. If you miss the grunge era, you can use special painting supplies and vintage posters to decorate a wall in the style of early ‘90s concert venues.

Step 1

Bang a few small dents in the wall near high-traffic areas, using a hammer and chain.

Step 2

Coat the wall with a patchy application of drywall joint compound. Allow the compound to dry for four to six hours.

Step 3

Coat the wall with a light colored paint and allow it to dry. Apply petroleum jelly and weathered crackle paint over the light paint in random spots. The petroleum jelly will prevent the darker top coat of paint from sticking, creating the illusion of missing paint patches. The crackle paint will create the texture of flaking paint.

Step 4

Paint over the light paint with dark paint. Allow the paint to dry and apply weathered crackle paint over random areas of the dark paint. If desired, add as many additional layers of paint as you want, using crackle paint and petroleum jelly to create distressed effects.

Step 5

Make wheat-paste glue to adhere posters to the wall in the traditional punk style. To make wheat paste, mix 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of water and stir until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Add more water if necessary until the mixture achieves the consistency of glue and remove it from the heat.

Step 6

Paint wheat paste on the back of your posters and stick them on the painted wall. Let the wheat paste dry overnight, and use razorblades to distress the edges of the posters.

Step 7

Draw graffiti on the wall, using permanent markers and spray paint.

Things You Will Need

  • Hammer
  • Chain
  • Drywall joint compound
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint rollers
  • Light paint
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Weathered crackle paint
  • Dark paint
  • Punk and grunge band posters
  • White flour
  • Razor blades
  • Spray paint
  • Permanent markers

About the Author

Christina Sloane has been writing since 1992. Her work has appeared in several national literary magazines.