HGTV's Jasmine Roth Explains How To Turn Any Boring Wall Into A Work Of Art

Empty white walls can be a stubborn design challenge, especially if they're large and looming over low-slung furniture like sofas, beds, or entertainment consoles. However, you can turn this challenge into an opportunity to be creative. A fun and novel approach is creating a custom work of art directly on the wall. While techniques for painting a unique wall mural vary, a phenomenally easy method was recently shown off by HGTV's Jasmine Roth. In an episode of her series "Hidden Potential," Roth creates a large and bold painted accent wall in collaboration with muralist Kim Frost of Ripe Designs. The result is a stunning nod to the sea and its waves emblazoned in various shades of blue that drift and float across the wall, reflecting the home's stylish and subtle coastal vibes. 

In the series, Roth and Frost share their easy technique for freehand painting the accent wall with a painting mitt. The application process, which involves a single color of paint and lots of water, allows the color to flow organically across the wall, creating a cloud-like swathe of ombre blue that fades in darkness and intensity until it vanishes into white. Roth begins by wetting the wall liberally with a spray bottle, then applies paint she has thinned to a water-like consistency. They begin with a darker, more saturated application with the painting mitt on one side of the wall, adding additional layers of color for intensity. A softer touch and fewer layers of blue helps achieve the full ombre effect as they move across the wall. 

Benefits of turning blank walls into art

Jasmine Roth and Kim Frost's beautiful accent wall uses only a single color (to be specific, Sherwin-Williams' Rainstorm) to achieve gorgeous sea-inspired results. With the paint watered down considerably, this makes the project extremely budget-friendly to do and far more dynamic than simply painting the wall a solid accent color. This particular easy application technique is far less labor intensive than stenciling or sponge painting an entire wall, and a much less expensive alternative to wallpaper or investing in pricey large-format artwork. 

The mural immediately draws the eye when you enter the room, adding additional color, texture, and pattern to the space. It's an especially striking pop of vivid blue in an otherwise mostly neutral home. While anyone can throw some paint on a wall or layer on the wallpaper, this unique accent allows you a bit more creativity and personalization. It's a fun way to experiment with color in a space — no professional artist or muralist skills necessary. In a blog entry discussing the project on her website, Roth says, "You really can't mess this up, I promise. If you're having fun with it, it will come out great!"  Because you are working with lots of water and thinner paint, it's easy to dab and wipe away excess paint or drips until you get the desired results. With a little confidence, skill, and experience, you can also mix colors or create subtle shading for an even more intricate work of art.

Alternative ways to get a similar look

While painting a mural from scratch is a good way to fill a wall and a fun creative project no matter your style, not all interiors will work with the beachy imagery of Jasmine Roth's wave-inspired design. Many different design styles, however, can benefit from using a similar technique to apply color with a painting mitt to create a personalized accent mural. If the abstract design and swathes of color feel too bold, for example, you can also try a more subdued ombre on the whole of the wall that blends pastels or neutrals for a softer touch. For a kid's playroom or nursery, an abstract landscape or forest scene can be a great way to create a whimsical feel and magical world for little ones to inhabit. 

While this approach will sadly not work for renters unless you have the freedom to paint the walls, there are some great ways to create your image on plain white peel-and-stick wallpaper you can easily remove when you move. If you do not want to deal with the messiness of paint at all but love the look, you can also purchase ready-made peel-and-stick ombre murals from Etsy or that give the same color and energy to any space.