How to paint Faux Denim

Denim Faux Finish Jennifer Allwood
This is my son Noah’s bedroom.
Denim Faux Finish Jennifer Allwood


I love, love, love faux denim on boy’s bedroom walls! Sometimes it is difficult to come up with a great faux technique for boys… but denim goes with SO much. Especially Pottery Barn Kids bedding. It’s always a go.

Denim Faux Finish Jennifer Allwood

(Notice the tile in the bathroom above and the mirror this client had me paint. It all coordinated so well!)

You need to start with white SATIN paint on the walls. Anything less shiny than satin will not work well. The key to denim is starting with “panels”. You do this by using chalk lines to section off your walls and then fauxing denim every other panel the first day. Then every other panel the next day.

Denim Faux Finish Jennifer Allwood

We have even done denim on a few ceilings to match the walls….hard on the neck!!!!!

The blue is just eggshell or satin blue paint and glaze….you can do any shade of blue. Your mixture is 3:1 glaze to paint. Ralph Lauren has some AMAZING blue colors…..

Denim Faux Finish Jennifer Allwood


You roll the glaze mixture on your wall panel and strie it both horizontally and vertically with “denim tools” from your local Home Depot stores. Or you can use a a stiff old paintbrush, or a wallpaper brush. Each of those will strie your glaze. Then, Home Depot sells a denim roller that you roll over your glaze to put little nicks into your blue color. It makes the denim look more authentic. Complete one panel at a time.

Denim Faux Finish Jennifer Allwood


After letting those panels dry overnight… you tape off the remaining panels and overlap them by 1/4 to 1/2 inch, which gives you the dark line which is supposed to look like the seam on the side of your bluejeans.

Denim Faux Finish Jennifer Allwood


After those panels dry overnight, you are ready for the stitching on the dark overlap lines. I’d love to let you think we painted these stitches all by hand. Which I guess we kinda did…. we just had a stencil. The stitching stencil tape comes in a roll which makes the process so easy. You use a little bottle of white acrylic paint for the stitching and pull off your stitching tape.

Denim Faux Finish Jennifer Allwood

And that is it!

A denim faux finish is not hard… but it is a two-person project, unless you have some faux finishing experience. And…. it takes 3 days (day 1 for panels, day 2 for every other panel, and day 3 for stitching).


Update: We eventually updated this bedroom into a baseball-themed room, see it HERE. Instead of a denim faux finish – we now have a giant faux baseball. LOL


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How to paint a denim faux finish in a boys bedroom as a feature wall  | Painting Tips by Jennifer Allwood | Faux Finish Ideas | Boys Bedroom Paint Ideas

  1. southerninspiration
    April 5, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    I love it….feel free to come find a blank wall at my house when you need to TRAIN someone to do this technique!!!


  2. Laretha
    April 5, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Oh yea, it’s easy. Just like that! You make it sound so easy!

    It does look wonderful!

  3. Girly Stuff
    Girly Stuff
    April 5, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    It IS great! Can I start with a blue wall?

    I like what you did to the red mirror also.

    And I have those same sports pics up in my gameroom! Kirkland’s baby!

  4. Amber
    April 6, 2009 at 1:22 am

    Love it!

  5. Shauna
    April 6, 2009 at 1:28 am

    It is so cute, and you make everything seem easy…your so calm and reassuring.

  6. Cathy
    April 6, 2009 at 1:46 am

    That looks awesome and you make it look so easy!! What an adorable idea..

    {{Big Hugs}}


  7. Jen r.
    Jen r.
    April 6, 2009 at 2:36 am

    Love it, it looks great! jen

  8. KC Mom
    KC Mom
    April 6, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Ha! Can’t you just do it for all of us!!?

  9. Katy
    April 6, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Jennifer, This is awesome! Great job and I bet that little boy thought it was so very cool. I know my oldest son would LOVE it!!

  10. Nancy W
    Nancy W
    April 7, 2009 at 5:19 am


  11. Screaming Meme
    Screaming Meme
    April 7, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I wish my teenagers would go for this…I love it…Now who would let me practice this on their walls? 🙂 Loved the post and I love your sons room! You have a great eye…or two…:) Meme

  12. Virginia Janet
    Virginia Janet
    May 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Awesome and wonderful job!! I would like to make my kids room stylish with furnitures.

  13. Sportskids Team
    Sportskids Team
    August 13, 2009 at 11:03 am store offering Sporting goods, Bedding, Clothing, Sports Camps & Leagues directory, Kids Online Games and more. Sports stuff for kids and families with huge discounts.

    kids bedding

  14. Anonymous
    August 26, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    I love this technique. However, can you tell me where you purchased the stitching stencil tape?


  15. The Painted Home
    The Painted Home
    February 14, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    this looks awaesome, so perfect for a little boy…timeless. and it photographed so well..great job, another file worthy post!

  16. Its So Very Cheri
    Its So Very Cheri
    April 15, 2010 at 5:28 am

    That looks so cute– I have seen it before but not with the stitching, that is an adorable feature.


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