The Paint Mistake You're Making In A Room With Wallpaper

Just like wallpaper, paint can be used to make a room pop. However, during the renovation process, you may feel that you have to decorate the rest of a room neutrally in order to let a wallpapered wall stand out more. While this definitely isn't the worst paint mistake you can make when renovating, it may leave your room looking dull and uninspired, and the pros agree. Speaking to, designer Noz Nozawa shared that you actually don't need to pick either wallpaper or paint — you can create an impact using both.

In fact, according to Nozawa, we should "unshackle ourselves from the standard assumption that if you use a bold wallpaper in a room, it needs to be paired with white trim and a white ceiling." Still, pairing paint and wallpaper in a room is trickier than it seems, especially if the wallpaper features a complicated pattern. Here are a few tips on how to make your wallpaper and paint colors work in harmony so the wallpaper doesn't take all the attention.

Harmony is important when it comes to matching paint and wallpaper

The key to a cohesive decor scheme is making sure all the colors in a room mesh well together. "If the idea of color matching might have been intimidating before, it's now so much easier to choose an accent trim color that makes the wallpaper in a room a 'complete thought' — and [creates a] total transformation," Noz Nozawa explained to This is partly because some companies now offer matching collections, so you can pick the perfect accent trim for your wallpaper, but also because of the expansive range of paint colors now available. 

From bright pinks to subtle creams, there truly is a paint shade to match even the most ostentatious of wallpapers. However, it can be intimidating to know where to start. If you're completely at a loss, we recommend picking out of the main colors in the overall color palette of your wallpaper. For example, if your wallpaper is cream with green accents, painting one of your walls green is a great way to emphasize these accents. You don't have to stick to just one color, either. Picking out multiple colors (so long as they all mix well) will make for a finished look that's fresh and fun.

Avoid an uninspired decor scheme with these tips

When choosing the right wallpaper. and paint color combo, you'd be forgiven for wanting to keep within a limited color palette so you know everything will match. While picking out a color from your wallpaper is a good option, you can also get more creative by picking out a paint shade that will complement your wallpaper instead of match it. Though it may seem a bit scary, especially if your wallpaper is on the busier side, this method will infuse a room with vibrancy. You'll need to be selective about colors for this option, as not all colors contrast with each other in a good way and the last thing you want is an eyesore. 

Another excellent way to brighten up a room is to paint the baseboards on the wallpapered wall the same main shade — i.e. blue baseboards if the main backdrop of your wallpaper is blue. You don't have to choose the exact same hue, just one with a similar look (unless you want to do a deliberate contrast). There's nothing wrong with sticking to neutrals for your non-wallpapered walls, but by choosing one of the above options instead, you can avoid the common paint mistake of a room looking dull despite your carefully chosen wallpaper.