Stenciling is a painting technique that mimics the repetitive pattern of wallpaper. Using plastic stencils, paint your walls in a simple two-tone pattern or an intricate, multi-color design. Temporarily adhere stencils to the wall for easy painting and placement and repeat the pattern horizontally and vertically.
Stamping is one way to create simple designs on your wall. For best results, choose a lightweight, foam rubber stamp. Dip the stamp into paint and press it onto the solid-color wall. Use an even, repeated pattern to mirror the traditional look of wallpaper or dab the stamp on the wall randomly for a playful look.
To replicate striped wallpaper, paint vertical or horizontal stripes on your walls. Paint your stripes by freehand or use masking tape to create perfectly even rows.
There are many ways to recreate the look of textured wallpaper with paint. Create a two-tone visual effect on the wall using different materials. Sponging uses sponges of different sizes and textures to dab glaze or translucent paint onto a base coat. Ragging, also called rag-rolling, uses a bunched-up cloth to blot glaze off of a base coat.
Combing will give your wall a dramatic texture without multiple colors or finishes of paint. To create this effect, use a plastic or cardboard comb, fork or other implement with teeth. While the paint on the wall is still wet, pull the teeth of the comb across the wall to create wavy or cross-hatched patterns.
Wall printing is another way to imitate the look of textured wallpaper. Purchase a special rubber roller that has a raised pattern embossed on its surface. As you move the roller along the wall, the raised surface deposits a thin layer of paint on the wall in a uniform pattern.