Close Give Feedback
Resene Paints - home page
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Instagram Follow us on YouTube

Off the wall

It’s time to get creative and think about what else might benefit from a good papering.

Who said wallpaper had to be used solely on walls? Not us.

A wallpapered tropical themed lounge

A tropical themed moodboard

A tropical themed mood board

A tropical themed living room

Mood board: Background painted in Resene Blanc, Resene Wallpaper Collection 37530-1, basket in Resene Nepal, candleholder in Resene Laurel, vase in Resene Amulet, shell ball in Resene White and A4 drawdown paint swatches from bottom to top Resene Amulet, Resene Laurel, Resene Blue Bayoux, Resene Nepal and Resene Conch.

Certainly, on the wall is where many Resene wallpaper designs and patterns will shine, as it does in this fresh tropical themed living room, but it’s time to get creative and think about what else might benefit from a good papering. It’s also a good use of any spare wallpaper you might have – don’t biff it in the bin, search around for other ways to use it.

This old cabinet has been given a smart new look by covering the centre panel of the doors in wallpaper then pulling out one of the colours from the paper design, in this case Resene Nepal, a muted blue pastel, and using it to paint the door surrounds and rest of the cabinet. Wallpaper is handy for something else too (aside from prettying up the wall). It can be used to kickstart a colour scheme. Identify the colours in the paper then match them to a range of paint colours. In this case, these are quite obvious and easily matched, with a couple of shades of blue and green on the white background, but if the paper is more detailed, Blu-Tack it to the wall, step back, maybe squint a little bit and get a sense of the overall colour. Then go with that to inspire other coloured elements in the room.

Using wallpaper in creative ways

Paint: Floor in Resene Tiara, Side wall in Resene Conch, Cabinet in Resene Nepal, Rattan chair in Resene Amulet, Rattan plant stand in Resene Amulet, Large round coffee table in Resene Amulet, Small side table in Resene Blue Bayoux, Tall vase on coffee table In Resene Tiara, Bowl on cabinet in Resene Blue Bayoux, Palm tree candle stick holder in Resene Laurel.  Accessories: Sofa from Danske Mobler, blue throw from H&M Home, vintage wash linen cushion and lumbar cushion, macrame throw and faux palm tree from Adairs, green textured cushion from Bed Bath & Beyond, palm cushion from Spotlight, light blue linen cushion cover from H&M Home, shell ball from Indie Home Collective.

Use a colour in threes to create a balanced scheme. In our room, the fresh tropical green chair painted in Resene Amulet, is echoed and balanced by the drum coffee table in the same colour and a similar hued cushion in the middle of the sofa.

The relaxed casual vibe of this room is created not only by breezy colours and that fabulous wallpaper but by a laid-back rattan chair, a potted palm and casual natural linen slipcover on the sofa.

With a bold wallpaper like this, it may be best to use it just on one wall as a feature where it frames larger items of furniture like the cabinet and sofa.

You could then paint the other walls a fresh white, such as Resene Sea Fog, to match the background or, as with this room, muted dusky blue Resene Conch.

Unexpected ways to use wallpaper

Wallpaper can go on almost anything so be creative with left-over paper.


Give an old set of drawers a new look by fixing wallpaper to the front of the drawers. Remove the handles temporarily then reattach once the wallpaper is on. These can be glued or for a temporary measure use double-sided tape. You can also go old-school and use wallpaper to line the bottom of your drawers.

Inside cupboards or cabinets

Line the back wall (or all sides) of the inside of your wardrobe or cupboards, or the back wall of a cabinet – it will make you smile every time you open the door.

Creative uses for wallpaper

Creative uses for wallpaper 2

On open shelves

Use wallpaper to line the back of a shelving unit or hang it on the wall behind an open shelving unit.

As a framed artwork

Off cuts of wallpaper are a great option for artwork. Simply buy an inexpensive frame or upcycle one with a fresh coat of paint and pop in some wallpaper for a piece of instant artwork.

Side tables

We used some left-over wallpaper from the wall to use on the drum-shaped side table. We painted the table in Resene Blue Bayoux and then cut wallpaper pieces to stick to the sides of the table. This is very simple to do and very effective.


This upcycled old cabinet looks modern and fresh with some wallpaper inserts added and gives the piece a new lease on life!

With a little imagination, Resene wallpaper can be used to reinvent and refresh a huge range of surfaces. View the full collection of Resene wallpapers at your local Resene ColorShop or get a taste of the new collections online.

Styling by Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by Bryce Carleton. June 2022

Colour inspiration - latest looks gallery

Get inspired with colour and the latest decorating and colour trends! Select just the right look and mood for your space.

Latest Looks Gallery

Filter:  kids & teens | greens | blues | yellows | neutrals | oranges/browns | pinks/reds | greys/blacks | violets | pops-of-colour/multi-colour


previous « 

Room with a view
Create calming wall murals for your bedroom

 » next

Bright and breezy
A calming yet bright and playful bedroom


Order online now:
Testpots | Paints | Primers and Sealers | Stains | Clears | Accessories

Get inspired Get inspired ! Subscribe      Get saving Get saving ! Apply for a DIY card

Resene Paints Ltd

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask us!

Resene Paints Ltd   –

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Instagram Follow us on YouTube
Videos on how to paint and stain your house

Welcome to our World of Colour!™
Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

What's new | Specifiers | Painters | DIYers | Artists | Kids | Sitemap | Home | TOP ⇧