How to Paint a Wall to Look Like Stone

Mackenzie Wright

A stone wall can give a room a wonderful rustic or old-world feel, but installing a wall of real stones can be cost-prohibitive. Fortunately, you can achieve a realistic stone look on a wall with a simple paint treatment for just a fraction of the cost.

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Wall Mural
  1. Choose three variations of color for your walls. If you want your stones to be gray, choose a light gray, medium gray, and a darker gray. You can also use brown or tan colors, or a terracotta or reddish color.

  2. Prepare your wall for painting. Prime the surface by rolling on a primer first. Allow the primer to dry for 24 hours before continuing.

  3. Paint your wall the base color, which will be the medium shade. Use two coats to cover well. Allow the base color to dry before continuing.

  4. Mix the darker color with the glaze, according to the directions on the can. Pour it into a paint pan. Dab the paint with a sea sponge and tap it on the wall. If you prefer, use a crumpled-up rag or a crumpled-up plastic bag. Don't cover the entire area smoothly or evenly; you want a mottled look. Allow it to dry.

  5. Mix the lighter color with glaze. Use the sea sponge (or rag or bag) to pat on some lighter colors to highlight some areas. Allow it to dry.

  6. With a ruler and a pencil, roughly draw the stone shape you want on a piece of scrap cardboard. Cut it out, making sure the edges are straight and even.

  7. Starting in one top corner of the wall, lay the stone template on the wall and trace around it with chalk. Move it over and trace another stone. Continue doing this, creating one horizontal line across the wall.

  8. Move your template to the next row, and stagger it so the stones look like they were laid to interlock. Continue tracing the stone template with the chalk, one row at a time, until the wall is complete.

  9. Paint over the chalk lines with the dark paint, using the quarter-inch brush. Continue until you have painted over all of the chalk lines.