DIY Wall Decor – Create Texture Using Drywall Compound

Click here for a link to my tutorial video on my YouTube channel “I See Melanie”

I’ve been in the market for some new artwork to put up on my bare walls. I’ve seen a few nice pieces in the stores, but nothing that really jumped out at me. I particularly like art that has some degree of texture, to give it an extra dimension. That was proving even more difficult to find, especially at a price point I was willing to spend. That got me thinking that perhaps I could create my own DIY wall art. But it would have to be easy (because I can’t draw to save my life) and economical (because I like to keep things frugal sometimes!) This got me thinking of what materials I could use to achieve my wants.

In a previous post, I talked about a little reno I did in my bathroom. I had to do some patchwork on my wall, utilizing drywall compound (also known as joint compound). When this pliable material dries, it solidifies and keeps the form it was left in. That being so, I decided that this would best option for my wall décor using.

These are the tools and materials I used for the project:

  • Painting Canvas (mine was 16 by 20 inches)
  • Drywall compound, premixed
  • Adhesive spreader, 6 inches wide
  • Putty knife
  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • Disposable bowls – for mixing paints and cleaning brushes
  • Sand sponge, or sand paper
  • Tablecloth
  • Clear matte painting finish
  • Glossy Mod Podge


I set the canvas on the tablecloth. With the putty knife, I applied a generous amount of the drywall compound to it. I spread it all around.

DIY Wall Decor with Drywall Compound - Apply Drywall Compound to the Canvas

Click the pic to see this piece of wall are being created

After that, I took the adhesive spreader and played around with different swirly designs. You may notice that some areas, the materials might look sparse. If this happens, just apply some more drywall compound to the area.

DIY Wall Decor with Drywall Compound - Use Adhesive Spreader to Make Swirls

The style you chose is up to you – you can make circles, swirls, straight lines – whatever you fancy. I chose to make 3 overlapping circles.

Premixed drywall compound stays pliable for a generous amount of time. It took me about 25 minutes before I found a design that I liked, and the material still pliable. As long as the air in the room is not too dry, you’ll have more than enough time to find your style on the canvas. Just make sure the design you make with the drywall compound is not too too thick, as it may crack.

It’s very likely that some of the compound will spill over on the sides. With the putty knife or even popsicle sticks, you can easily take off the excess.

I gave the canvas about 2 hours to dry. There were some areas on the side that had some lines that I didn’t want, so I took my sand sponge and smoothed them out.

DIY Wall Decor with Drywall Compound - Sand Areas That Need Smoothing

Okay, now it was time to paint! I chose to keep the sides white, with the circles a mix of green and blue.

DIY Wall Decor with Drywall Compound - Painting over Drywall Compound

I let the paint dry for another 2 hours. I went out to my balcony and finished the sides with the matte spray. I went back inside and finished the circles with the glossy Mod Podge. The Mod Podge applies like glue, as it is quite thick. I let it sit for about an hour. And with that, my project was done!

Always use aerosol spray in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside

Always use aerosol spray in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside

DIY Wall Decor with Drywall Compound - Finish Artwork with Mod Podge for a Glossy Finish

I really like the look of this wall art. It was really simple, which makes it a great artwork project for the whole family and the artistically challenged, like myself. It’s also very likely that you might already have  some of the materials in your house.  If not, they are inexpensive – the adhesive spreader cost a mere $3 and the tub of drywall compound cost about $7. There is enough material in the tub to do several artwork projects like this, or you can use it to do some wall patchwork around your house.

All done!

All done!

This would make a great last-minute Christmas gift, as it is unique and quick project. To see a video of my project, please check out my video on my YouTube channel. Let me know what you think!

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2 responses to “DIY Wall Decor – Create Texture Using Drywall Compound

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