Art supplies clutter

Inspiring Painting Ideas to Try (With Tutorials)

Painting is a great way to express yourself while adding new artwork or color to your home. However, sometimes it can be hard to find the inspiration you need to get started. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced painter, the painting ideas below will help get your creativity flowing.

Painting Ideas

Types of Painting

There are so many kinds of paint to use and so many things to use them on. Decide which painting project you want to try by looking through the list of painting ideas below.

  • Acrylic Painting: These can be done on a canvas, high-quality paper meant for acrylic painting, flower pots, and more. Acrylic paint is fairly versatile, so pick your canvas, and most often, you will be good to go. The paints themselves come in two qualities: artist and student. Depending on your skill level and your budget, choose which version works best for you. Artist paints are typically more expensive and of higher quality, while student paints are made for beginners and are cheaper.
  • Watercolor Painting: To ensure the paint dries on the page well, you need to buy watercolor paper specifically made for this painting type. Like acrylic paints, watercolor paint comes in student and artist versions. Student paints are easy watercolor paints to use, while the artist versions are for more skilled painters. Choose which paint is a better fit for you, and you’ll be set to watercolor!
  • Oil Painting: Painting with oil paints requires you to pay more attention to your canvas’s texture and surface. Priming your canvas with gesso is a must. The paints themselves are meant for oil painting and are not water-based solutions. This also means that cleaning your brushes requires turpentine. Turpentine is a paint thinning solution to strip the brushes of their paint. Watch the video below to learn more about priming your canvas!

  • Spray Painting: Spray paint is a great tool for DIY projects that will brighten your home. The paint itself comes in all kinds of colors, even metallic paint! Spray paint emits certain fumes, so you want to do these projects outside or in a large open space for better ventilation. You also might want a tarp to protect the area you’re spray painting over.
  • Body Painting: This can mean anything from face painting with makeup, painting with face paints, doing nail art with nail polish, or finger painting. Whichever you decide, be sure that the paint you choose is safe to push on your skin and easy to remove.
  • Indoor House Painting: No matter what room you’re painting in your house, you will need primer and house paint. These two crucial items are commonly found at your local home improvement store. Furthermore, doing a job this large requires a few extra tools such as:
  • A paint brush or two in a variety of sizes to cover everything down to the small cracks and crevices
  • paint roller to cover more space
  • Tarps and plastics to lay over your floor
  • Painters Tape
  • Step stool for those hard to reach areas
  • Rags for when mistakes are made
  • Screwdriver to take off any outlet coverings

Painting Ideas for Acrylic, Watercolor, or Oil Paint

There are so many things you can do with acrylic, watercolor, and oil paint. To find some inspiration to kick off your creativity, look through the list of painting ideas below. Here you can find a bunch of canvas painting ideas or an acrylic painting idea to try!

Brighten the Garden

Use this rock painting idea and gain inspiration to paint something like a rock, flower pot, or pumpkin for the garden! A painted rock, new flower pot, or a painted pumpkin is great for brightening your home or personalizing the flower beds. To find rock painting ideas, check out the Kindness Rocks Project started by a woman who found hope in the little things. Not to mention these projects are perfect for kids to try that you can continue to love forever.

DIY Canvas Painting

There are so many canvas painting ideas to try. Find a few easy canvas painting ideas below that add a pop of color to your home.

Pour Paintings: These have recently taken over TikTok with their beauty and simplicity. Try it yourself and have some fun while you create a beautiful image with different colors.

Yarn Art: A great way to create wall art that adds texture and a pop of color to any room.

Metallic Accent Art: Use a solid, bright color to start your canvas painting. Next, use metallic paint to paint over half of it for an elegant addition to your home.

Sparkling Canvas: Use lights to embed your canvas painting with some sparkle. Paint pens help to write and create a message for this canvas, while puffy paint adds some dimension and flare!

Bob Ross Painting: Bob Ross is a painting legend. Watch one of his painting tutorials and try to replicate one of his famous nature scenes; there are so many to choose from! And don’t worry, just because he’s incredible with his palette knife skills doesn’t mean you have to be. Just have fun and watch his painting tutorial below.

Splatter Art: Place stickers or painter’s tape in the shape of a message or design you want to stand out on your canvas. Once they are placed, lay down your canvas on a tarp and splatter or drip paint of any color all over its surface. Once finished, peel off the tape or stickers to reveal your bold piece of art!

Canvas Inspired by Shapes: Use geometry to inspire your artwork! Use triangles, squares, circles, etc., to web an intricate and colorful design on your canvas.

Ombre Canvas: When painting an ombre canvas, it’s important to remember to blend each layer. This is done to ensure each layer will flow together from beginning to end. You want to start with the lightest shade possible of the color you choose and end with the darkest shade possible. Be sure to layer varying shades in between to make the color look like it’s fading.

Paint Your Day: Pull inspiration from the world around you by painting the little things or people you encounter each day. This is a fun idea to try with watercolor. You can draw your day first with a pen and add color as you go along.

Quote Canvas: An easy acrylic painting idea to try is a quote canvas. First, paint your canvas a solid color and then layer a good quote from your favorite book, movie, song, etc., over top of it.

Abstract Painting: This easy painting idea lets your brush wander across the page in any way that feels comfortable. Pair together colors that compliment or contrast each other to make bold abstract art that looks great in any room. This is great for watercolor because it’s a painting form that allows the paint to roam pretty freely.

State Painting: These DIY paintings of your state are beautiful and easy to make. Not to mention, they’re a perfect sentimental gift for loved ones who are moving away or starting a new chapter in their life!

Spray Painted Canvas: Use painter’s tape, flowers, grates, or other cool items to lay over a canvas and use as a design. Once you have your item overlaid, pick out any color spray paint you choose and spray it over the top. Once the canvas is evenly coated, remove your tape or stenciling object, and voilà, your artwork is complete!

 

Spray Painting Ideas

Spray painting is a great way to upcycle old decor that needs a little sprucing up. Look through the list of things below to find some easy painting ideas for DIY home projects that make for a fun craft!

  • Upcycled Bins: Take old, metal bins that might be rusted or tinted a weird color and spray paint them! Use metallic paint or another paint color of your choice to make them good as new.
  • Faucet: If your faucet is covered with stains or rust, use metallic spray paint to coat over them. Doing so will make your faucet just as sparkly as it was before.
  • Upcycled Tins: Take old mason jars or cans and spray paint them evenly with any color. These make great pencil holders or pots for spice plants!
  • Upcycled Vases: First, pick out old beer bottles or vases at the thrift store. Then, spray paint them to create new, colorful vases to display your flowers.
  • Room Accents: Use fake branches or flowers as your canvas with this project! Take whichever flowers or branches speak to you and spray paint them in whichever color you feel will accent your room. Once you’re finished, place them in a nice vase in the center of a table for display!

 

Body Painting Ideas

In recent years, body painting has become extremely popular. People are using their faces or bodies as canvases to express themselves. Check out the list below for some inspiration.

  • Painting with Make-up: Create elaborate designs like the stars in Netflix’s show Glow Up! Display your emotions by making beautiful creations and colors with your make-up brush.

  • Body Painting: Grab a friend and use their back as a blank canvas for some pretty beautiful creations.

  • Nail Art: Grab some nail polish, nail polish remover, Q-Tips, and toothpicks because it’s time to make beautiful designs on your nails!

Wall Painting Ideas

Painting may seem like a daunting task to conquer when you’re staring at a large blank wall but just take it step-by-step. It’s a great way to personalize your house! Make each room feel like home by adding color to bedroom walls or turning the living room a new color. Here’s a brief step tutorial to help you paint your wall and begin a new art project!

Step 1: Choose a room, your color scheme, and your paint type. Use a color theory wheel to assist you in choosing which colors mesh well together. Various types of paint finish with different textures. For example, chalk paint gives items a distressed, matte finish while high-gloss paints are shiny. Take your time and choose what’s right for you!

Step 2: Gather your supplies.

Step 3: Remove any outlet coverings and cover the edges of your wall with painter’s tape. You also want to lay a tarp or plastic covering down to prevent drips from ruining your floors.

Step 4: Prime your walls. This is an important step because it makes sure the paint looks even in color and texture on your walls.

Step 5: Paint! Browse the list below to find a wall painting idea that speaks to you for your accent wall. Be sure to have a rag on you to clean up drips or mess-ups as you go along.

  • Ombre Wall: Choose a color and ombre it down for a fun sunset-looking scene.
  • Polka Dots: Have your accent wall be white with colored polka dots! This is great for your children’s bedrooms or playroom.
  • Vertical or Horizontal Stripes: Mark off the stripes you need white with painter’s tape and go to town with color in the other sections! A horizontal or vertical stripe makes for a great statement pattern.
  • Solid Color: Pick a color that offsets and complements the other walls in the room. A pattern isn’t always needed to make a statement; this time, you only need a different color!
  • Chevron Style or Herringbone Style: Use painter’s tape to mark off the pattern you want and then paint accordingly to make it pop!

  • Chalkboard Wall: Use wallpaper or chalkboard paint to create a chalkboard or whiteboard on your wall. This is an awesome tool that you or your children can use daily to doodle and draw.
  • Stencil Patterns: Use stencils to create patterns that stream across your walls with fun and elegance.
  • Colorwash: This is a simple way to paint a wall that adds texture and vibrancy to any room.

  • Strié: This is the French word for “streaking” and is a painting technique that creates texture with vertical or horizontal kinds of stripes.

  • Sponging: Use a sponge to create an airy, cloud-like pattern across your walls for added texture and beauty.

Step 6: Let dry and furnish the room with fun accents and touches!

Fun Ways to Get Started

With so many ideas to choose from, it might be hard to know where to start. It might help to try one of the ideas below to get your inspiration rolling.

  • Paint Night with Friends: Invite some of your artsy friends and have a paint night with some wine or cocktails. This is a great way to turn painting into a fun, group activity with friends and bounce ideas off one another for inspiration.
  • Go to a Painting Class: There are so many paint classes now for all styles of artwork. Go alone, take a friend, or go on a date night to have some fun and paint! These classes normally provide you with a subject to paint, which clears any stress in deciding what your muse will be.

About the author
Katee’s passion for writing and fascination for language has forever guided her path in life. Follow Katee on Instagram or read more articles from Katee on Thought Catalog.

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