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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

How to make textured paint (13 ways) for DIY, art & crafts

How to make textured paint with household ingredients.

Textured paint on vase

Everyone needs to know how to make textured paint because it's so much fun! As a DIY and home interiors writer and content creator, it's fair to say that I spend A LOT of time covered in paint, plaster or glue as I tackle project after project in the name of research (best research ever!). During this 'research', I've discovered many tips and tricks for creating texture and introducing it to your interior schemes. 

I love adding texture to a room, I find it's often the missing ingredient that pulls a scheme together, perhaps because I tend to work with a tonal or reduced colour palette, so by adding layers of texture it adds depth.

Textured paint effects are so simple to have a go at that anyone can mix up a bowl of textured joy on their kitchen table and upcycle a vase or ornament to have a new lease of life. I've got lots of easy-to-follow, step-by-step tutorials on my blog covering different ways to make textured paint so I thought it might be helpful to write a post summarising them to hopefully get you feeling inspired to grab your paintbrush

Different ways to make textured paint

1. Sprinkle baking soda onto wet paint

how to make textured paint with baking soda

This technique is a great way to create textured paint in specific areas, as you can control where the texture goes by where you apply the baking soda. I used this technique in my textured vase hack.

2. Mix baking soda into the paint

how to make textured paint

Mixing the baking soda into the paint ensures a more even spread of the textured paint as it's throughout the paint.

3. Limewash textured paint

Limewash textured paint

I loved experimenting with natural limewash paint. It was such a cool paint as it created beautiful cloud-like areas of texture and depth on the walls and ceiling. I used limewash in different spaces from kitchen to living room and found that best way to create the textured paint effect was to use a large brush and work the paint into the wall by spreading it over a large area with sweeping motions.

This process meant there was a varying amount of paint across the wall and lots of visible brushstrokes. Unlike 'normal' paint where you want a nice even coverage, the key with limewash is to create patterns and lines in the paint which adds depth and interest. 

4. Create textured paint with nail varnish and water

Nail varnish in water textured paint hack

This textured paint hack was such a fun one to try out on baubles. The key to success is to pour the nail varnish into a bowl of warm water creating your desired pattern. Then you dip the dry bauble into the bowl, and the nail varnish sticks to the side, and the pressure of the water creates a cool marbled texture as you push down and then lift up the bauble.  You can add to the texture by using glittery nail varnish and combining multiple layers of swirls.  The best part is, this is a good idea if you have leftover or old nail varnish to use up. Top Tip: Rest the closed nail varnish bottle in a bowl of hot water before pouring if it has gone thick and clumpy and this will make it much easier to pour to create your stylish textured patterns.  Read the marbled nail varnish bauble tutorial here. 

5. Tester pot wall mural textured paint hack

mountain wall mural with layered textured paint.

This textured paint effect was from lockdown, when I wanted to create an escape with all the feelings of an exotic destination in my bedroom. I mixed up my own shades using various tester pots of colour-matched paint and applied them in layers to create an ombre mountain themed mural.

6. DIY textured painted canvas

textured paint hack with polyfiller

I discovered how to make textured paint of this kind when creating DIY textured canvases on a budget a few years back. The idea is that you use a grout spreading tool to create texture in a layer of joint compound/drywall mud applied directly onto a canvas. I bought the canvases from an affordable crafts and games shop and they were only a couple of pounds each.

Drywall compound or flexible filler is ideal for this DIY texture paint because it adheres well to the canvas and dries ready to paint in your desired colours. It's a great way to make a cool art piece on a super low budget.  You could use a putty knife to apply the textured paint or a spoon or fork even. 

7. Mix plaster into paint to create textured paint

How to make textured paint

The previous project created the textured paint effect by first applying the filler and painting over it, but you can also mix in joint compound/drywall mud to the paint for added texture and consistency. I used this method on a 3d textured canvas that was less uniform and more experimental. Create a larger texture by layering the mixture accross the entire canvas. Top Tip: Experiment with brush strokes and paint rollers to create unique patterns and textures.

8. Texture with paint and paper machè

textured vase hacks with paint

I perfected this technique in my DIY textured vase project where I revamped bargain vases from Amazon using shredded wallpaper and wallpaper paste but have also done it with pva glue if you have some of that. Read the DIY textured vase hack tutorial here. 

9. Textured paint with sand

A glass of sand on a worktop in a modern kitchen

Adding sand to paint is a good way to give a stone-like textured finish. Mix some sand into the paint or you can paint your item (with plenty of paint) and sprinkle sand onto it. Once dry, layer another coat of paint over the top until you are happy with the resulting texture.

10. Textured paint with flour

A bowl of white flour being mixed into paint for how to make textured paint.

This super simple hack is ideal if you don't have DIY materials like plaster or joint filler and don't want to buy them especially. Simply stir some flour into the paint and adjust the amount according to how thick you want the texture to be. To take this idea a step further, if you have the materials you can combine flour, baking powder, and ready-mixed plaster to create a DIY texture paste. The following three textured paint ideas are more DIY centric that the previous ones. These projects require a certain amount of DIY'ing with tools required for installation and a fair amount of elbow grease. But they can save you a fortune in 3d textured wall coverings

11. Textured paint with microcement

concrete vase hack - how to make textured paint.

Microcement is one of my favourite materials to DIY with. It's a great way to add (concrete) texture into your interiors and is ideal for layering over wood and mdf, meaning you can build a base structure and cover with microcement to realise your wildest concrete-style dreams. I've got lots of example microcement projects you can have a nose through that will hopefully get you inspired to have a go. Above is the DIY concrete vase project which was another example of how to create textured paint.

12. Textured painted postal tubes

textured paint with postal tubes in interior decor

Regular readers might remember the postal tube decor era, where I experimented with strong postal tubes around my home to create a luxe-look tubular texture on a budget. They can be seen being installed above on my IKEA Billy bookcase built-in shelves hack.

13. Painted fluted mdf sheet

fluted mdf panels with textured paint

The postal tubes were replaced by the fluted wall panels and DIY wall panelling which are easier to replicate as they are available to buy online and in your local DIY store. I have a discount code if you're interested (not an ad!) just drop me a message and I'll send it to you.

What do you mix with paint to make it textured?

To create textured paint you can add so many different materials so it's a great way to use up household items or natural foraged materials too. You can add flour, sand, baking powder, wallpaper paste, paper mache, drywall compound or even old dried up paint. Adjust the texture by varying the amounts of each ingredient for different effects.

How do you make your own textured paint?

Mix your chosen materials into the paint ready to apply to your canvas or accessory. Adjust the consistency by varying the amount you add and stir well to fully combine. Incorporate leftover paint in the colours of your interior palette for a personalized touch

How do you make texture in paint?

There are so many ways to make texture in paint, some of which include adding plaster, flour, sand, wallpaper paste, shredded paper, or even drywall mud. Mix your chosen texture into your paint and apply with a paint brush or other tool such as a putty knife, spoon, fork or grouting tool. 

Can you add texture to regular paint?

​You can add texture to any type of paint from standard emulsion to acrylic, furniture paint and even spray paint. If you love a minimalistic look then add white acrylic paint and PVA glue to the mixture for sheen and binding.

Where next?

Below are some other paint-related posts you might enjoy...

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