How To: Denim Ain't Just for Pants Anymore!

4 to 6 hours

When you're not quite sure that you want to wallpaper, and plain ol' paint seems just too boring, then texturizing is just what the doctor ordered!

There are a number of different types of texturizing techniques that you can use that will give the depth and character to your walls that they've been missing. A Denim textured wall is a fun and funky alternative that can compliment almost any decor. This technique can also be used on furniture or fabric as well.


First off, a little note:

The Denim technique works best with two people because this process will be difficult to accomplish by yourself so invite a girlfriend or loved one over and put 'em to work, too!

Ready to 501 your walls?(Sorry, little denim humor...)

Don't flip out! There is an easier way to get that denim look on your walls!

Step 1

Prime the walls with a light yellow or cream base coat. It is important to note that this color is going to create the white part of the jean look but beware! Whatever paint color you had underneath decades ago may rear its ugly head. When I tried this technique to my surprise I discovered that - several paint layers ago - someone had painted my walls red and some of the color began to show through as we rolled it. The trick to help avoid this is to thoroughly prime your walls- perhaps even adding a second coat of primer if need be. Additionally, it's best if you wash your walls thoroughly with a water-TSP mix(tri-sodium-phosphate - available at any local hardware store - look at the label for the proper recipe concentration) prior to applying any paint whatsoever. Make sure the walls are completely dry prior to applying the primer.

Step 2

Using your paint roller, apply what's known as a Denim Glaze - most well established paint stores should have this pre-mixed for you.

Step 3


This is the KEY step and where your second person will come in handy. While the paint is STILL WET, take a wallpaper brush and brush it using a vertical stroke. These lines do not have to be perfectly straight because denim is never perfect looking either. Besides, it adds to the character. So, while one person is rolling on the denim glaze, the other person should be using the wallpaper brush to create the denim effect.

Once the vertical strokes have been made, do the same thing in a horizontal pattern to truly establish the "look" of actual denim.

As the wallpaper brush removes some of the paint, the primer coat will be exposed. This type of painting is also referred to as, "negative painting," or removal of paint - just in case you need that for your next game of Trivial Pursuit - The Home Improvement Edition.

Use your paint brush to dab along the edges and corners to blend in the look with the rest of the wall.


Step 4

As an added step that will really finish off the look, before the glaze has had time to dry completely, roll with a "Check Roller" (Ralph Lauren makes a good one in their line). This is the most time consuming part and it will create the final distressed jean look that you are looking to achieve. Another benefit is that this will give you a good arm workout because you will need to press with some force in order to get through the layers of paint.

Step 5


Sit back and enjoy the blue!


JANE TIP: This technique looks particularly good underneath chair railing or below a border complimented by a lighter color on top.

That's it! You've now got button fly walls!