A Clever Paint Hack Transforms an “Awkward” Wall into a Beautiful Office

published Jun 23, 2024
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A blank white wall in an awkward spot can pose quite a challenge for some. But for others with a creative eye like photographer and artist Sidra Khan (@craftycapture), one offered quite literally a blank canvas.

Although the space is small — the wall is only 4 feet wide and 9 feet high — it’s located in an area of Khan’s home that gets a lot of late-afternoon and evening sunlight. However, Khan couldn’t figure out right away how to make use of the space. “It seemed too awkward to be used in any useful way,” she says.

Khan got an idea when she was scouting for a place to work in her home. “Being in a townhouse we are very tight on space,” she says. This unused wall was the answer, but she needed to spruce it up.

Credit: Sidra Khan
Credit: Sidra Khan

A little paint makes a big difference.

Khan knew she had to add character to the wall to give her builder-grade townhouse a more lived-in, vintage feel. “I call it distress painting,” she says. “Stamping the whole wall played [a] major role in changing the look of the space.”

She layered various watered-down paints to create the wall’s worn effect, starting with a beige tone (Mushroom by Behr), and then added swirls of gray and a teal blue shade called Paisley by Fusion Mineral Paint.

Khan also used stencils and stamps from Iron Orchid Design to frame the wall and bring focus to the decor pieces.

“One [piece of] advice that I would give people carrying out the same kind of renovation is to practice distress painting and stamping several times on a spare piece before doing the actual wall,” Khan says. “[Any] errors are time-consuming to fix,” she warns.

Credit: Sidra Khan
Credit: Sidra Khan

DIY touches add a bit of sparkle and shine.

Khan used resin molds from Iron Orchid Design to create the three-dimensional filigree and decorative birds attached to the wall. The gold paint on the resin makes the space sparkle when the afternoon sun hits it just right.

Her decor and furniture are a mix of gifts, travel keepsakes, and secondhand items. “Each piece tells a story, which makes this space look so collected and inviting,” Khan says. 

“I bought the desk, which is the most important part of any workplace, for $70 from Facebook Marketplace,” she says. “[It] looks extremely high-end after coats of paint.” Khan gave the desk a fresh coat of matte black paint (Coal Black by Fusion Mineral Paint) and added more resin pieces to create an antique look. She even hand-painted tiny white birds on each of the desk’s knobs to tie it in with the resin birds on the wall.

The lamp on the left side of the desk was a $20 Value Village find — it got a custom floral fabric lampshade courtesy of Khan. “Revamping a lampshade was my first try … I watched several videos on YouTube to learn the tips and tricks,” she says.

“I am in love with this space,” Khan says. “This once white, empty, awkward wall is now a tranquil, functional corner of my house.”