No matter how many interior designers create revolutionary trends in home decor, one trend will always remain timeless: the gallery wall. Gallery walls are an easy way to combine different pieces of art to create a statement, whether it’s paintings, photographs, vinyl album covers, posters, or even a mix of all. But art is expensive—especially if you want something custom-made for your space—so DIYers everywhere are embracing a new take on the trend: painting their own.

Oh, we know. Painting your own art sounds way too intimidating, particularly for people who don’t consider themselves artistically inclined. But painting a cohesive gallery wall actually isn’t as hard as you might think. Sure, you probably won’t be composing the Mona Lisa anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create something beautiful and special for your home. Read on to learn more tips and tricks for painting DIY gallery wall art.

Look for Inspiration That’s Easy to Copy

Find inspirational (and relatively simple) artwork that gets your creative juices flowing. Scroll through shops on Etsy, inspo on Pinterest, or artists’ Instagram sites to figure out what vibe you’re going for.

Depending on what you want the room to feel and look like, you might gravitate towards sharp lines and rigid geometric shapes, or you might prefer abstract blobs or scenes of nature.

“We are seeing a specific rise in searches for creative art ideas like these more minimalist ‘triangle wall paint’ with 12 times more searches, and ‘accent wall dots’ with over 14 times more searches,” says Larkin Brown, user researcher and in-house stylist at Pinterest.

Follow Along With the Basic Art Tutorials

The Internet is a great resource for learning how to do anything, including how to create art. Make sure to use the keyword “beginner” when searching for techniques to follow.

“For those who are picking up a paintbrush for the first time, Pinterest has DIY brush stroke tutorials to help with technique,” says Brown. “Whether you are using acrylics or watercolor, these Pinterest tutorials can help determine the best medium for the look you’re trying to go for.”

Consider Acrylic as a Starter Medium

If you’re a total newbie to painting, sketch out your paintings before you get started. Acrylic is probably the best medium for you. The thick paint is very forgiving; if you mess up, you can always wait for it to dry, paint it over with white acrylic, and start all over again. Another bonus is that acrylic also does a good job of hiding your pencil sketches.


However, you can make pencil sketches work under your watercolor paintings as well. Artist Kyra Kendall uses her pencil sketches to create definition and dimension throughout the colored paintings. She adds, “For a wall, watercolor is nice because, generally, they draw people in. Since they are usually smaller than other painting mediums, it makes the viewer come up close for a good look.”

Be Cohesive by Using the Same Colors and Shapes

Anyone who’s ever watched an episode of Project Runway probably heard Tim Gunn say, “Cohesion, cohesion, cohesion!” Though you’re not sewing a collection of couture clothing, the same principle applies to your gallery wall.

Cohesion can come in many forms. For the most part, stick to the same color palette throughout the paintings so that they all match. There should be a commonality in the themes of each painting, whether that’s abstract blobs, haphazard brush strokes, or anything else you choose. And finally, find cohesion in the paintings’ presentation.

Pick Out Similar Frames and Mats, If Applicable

“Try to match the type of frame you use, or match the type of mat you use in wildly different frames. This brings any eclectic look together,” says Kendall. “If you’re handy, you can precisely measure out the size of mat you need for your frames and get mats cut professionally to put in the frames you already have. It saves you money but will make your wall look professional.”

For painting novices, the mat is the border around the painting that separates it from the frame. This applies more to watercolor paintings that are on paper and need to be framed rather than acrylic paintings that typically go on stretched canvases, which don’t have to be framed.

Consider How You Place the Art on the Wall

The placement of each painting really has an effect on the wall and overall room. Brown notes Pinterest’s “gallery wall placement” search page and the addition of other wall decor elements to play off the actual paintings.

Keep in mind that this art is totally personalized, and it’s all for you. While the tips above are great starting points, there really are no rules for being creative.

“Nothing is wrong,” Kendall says. “If there are two things on your wall that can’t seem to play nice together, think of it as a challenge to find the third piece that will bring the two adversaries together. I remember reading once that a secret to a happy life is to have a collection. Any collection. So look at your gallery wall as that. If you want to begin with a theme then go for it. Or just start displaying things you like, and I bet a theme will emerge. You might even discover things about your tastes and style in the journey.”


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