How to Paint Curtains

Liven up curtain fabric with a painted stencil design. You don't have to stencil the entire panel—a simple border treatment will do the trick.

When your room has a distinct color palette, it's difficult to pair new curtains with the look. Most often, people will choose white or neutral fabric and call it a job well done. Instead, make painted curtains to coincide with the room's existing color scheme. For this two-stencil design, we used painters tape to mask off the unwanted portions of the stencil. The result is a one-of-a-kind look. 

More DIY Curtains to Make

What You Need

  • White cotton curtain panel
  • Drop cloth
  • Stencils (we used Rockin' Roses from Royal Design Studio and Leaf & Damask from Artisan Enhancements)
  • Stencil adhesive spray
  • Painters tape
  • Spray bottle and water
  • Two or three colors of fabric paint for curtains (we used sample-size containers of Annie Sloan's Emile, Henrietta, and Charcoal)
  • Stencil brush
  • Cloth (for blotting)

Step 1: Secure Stencils

Lay the curtain panel right side up on a clean drop cloth. Using stencil adhesive or painters tape, secure the stencil in desired position. Run the stencil off the edge of the panel, or overlap stencils to get the look you want.

Step 2: Apply Paint

Spray the fabric lightly with water. Blot excess paint off the brush, then hand paint curtains over the stencil using an up-and-down motion.

Step 3: Add More Colors

Dip the brush into the second color, and apply on top of the first color for a two-tone effect. If desired, add a third color to your painted curtains. Let dry completely and remove stencil carefully. Continue curtain painting until the design is finished for the hand-painted curtains.

Bonus: How to Paint Striped Curtains

Give plain curtains a bit of personality with this easy painted stripe technique.

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