How to Paint Ocean Waves in a Child's Room

Even if you don't consider yourself artistic, you can paint ocean waves in your child's room along with sea creatures.

If you have a child who loves sea creatures, swimming, surfing or fishing, decorate his room with painted ocean waves. If you have an artistic flair, freehand the waves, but free stencils are available online to help you create the perfect wave.

Basic Wave Painting

Start Clean

Wipe down the walls that you plan to paint with a damp cloth. Allow the walls to dry completely.


Place the dropcloth on the floor and over any furnishings. If you're using a stencil, adhere it to the wall with tape at the desired location. Hold the tips of the wave in place with a small piece of tape rolled to reveal the backside and placed between the stencil and the wall, or use double-stick tape. If you're not using a stencil, place a line of painter's tape around the room, using the bottom of the tape as the guide for the top of the wave.

Make Waves

Use the pencil to lightly draw waves up to the desired height as marked with your painter's tape. If you use a stencil, trace the stencil to transfer the wave design to the wall. Remove the tape or stencil after the design is drawn onto the wall.

Stir and Paint

Stir the paint vigorously to mix. Dip the paintbrush into the paint, covering no more than about 2 inches of the brush. Paint the outline of the wave, reloading the paint frequently for consistent coverage. Allow the paint to dry, then paint a second coat on top of the wave outline. Cut in the paint around the corners of the room and around the floor and baseboards.

Start Rolling

Pour about 3 cups of paint into a paint tray. Push the roller in and out of the paint, dragging it against the top of the tray to spread coverage. Do this several times to load the roller with paint. Paint the area below the wave outline with the roller. Allow the first coat to dry completel;, then add a second coat for better coverage. After the second coat is dry, remove any painter's tape that you make have used.

Optional "Foam"

Pour some white paint onto a paper plate in in an extra painter's tray. Dip the tip of the sponge into the white paint and dab just beneath the tips of the waves to resemble foam. The addition of the white sea foam helps make the waves look as if they have depth.

More Ocean Fun

Complete the ocean theme in the child's room by adding sea characters in the ocean. For designs, print free ocean coloring pages. Transfer them onto the wall using a piece of carbon paper and pencil; then paint as desired with craft paint. You could also transfer the designs onto white adhesive-backed shelf liner, then paint the image as desired. Once the paint is dry, cut out the design and peel off the paper backing. Stick it anywhere you want it in your "ocean."

Enlist the help of the child, too. Share the decorating experience by printing out free ocean coloring pages and letting the child do the coloring with crayons or markers. Then, cut out each design and adhere it to the wall with removable tape or glue dots.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape
  • Plastic covering
  • Damp cloth
  • Light blue interior paint
  • Paint trays
  • Paintbrushes and rollers
  • Thumb tacks
  • Wave stencil
  • Dark blue interior paint
  • Sponge
  • White interior paint

About the Author

Ronna Pennington, an experienced newspaper writer and editor, began writing full-time in 1989. Her professional crafting experience includes machine embroidery and applique. When she's not repainting her den or making new holiday decorations, Ronna researches and writes community histories. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and an Master of liberal arts in history.