Skip to main content

Hand-painted wallpaper is having a moment: What to know about this classic feature

Hand-painted wallpaper has been around for centuries. Since its popularity in the 17th century, this chinoiserie design element has been a steady and classic inclusion in many homes. With an emphasis on delicately painted birds, flowers, trees, and other nature themes, hand-painted wallpaper is an elegant and beautiful way to include Chinese-inspired elements in your home. Created through hours of dedication and made on some of the finest silk materials in the world, many homeowners adore the luxe and sophisticated nature of this beautiful trend. So, if you’re considering bringing this stunning wallpaper design into your space, here’s everything you need to know.

blue wallpaper with white blossoms chinoiserie style
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What is hand-painted wallpaper?

Hand-painted wallpaper, often painted on silk, treated, and then backed by rice paper to be hung like traditional mass-produced wallpapers, is a delicate and luxe alternative to traditional wall decor. However, one of the key differences between ordinary wallpaper and hand-painted wallpaper is that the latter is painstakingly curated by hand by dozens of talented artists. The process to create a hand-painted wallpaper panel can take anywhere from fifty to one hundred hours to complete. To carefully curate a completed design, every detail and pattern is meticulously painted by hand.

Recommended Videos

History of chinoiserie wallpaper

Hand-painted wallpaper was heavily inspired by chinoiserie styles. In China, the delicate art of silk painting was highly admired by westerners during the silk trade and garnered much appreciation in home design. According to the site Wallpaper in Trend, Chinese hand-painted wallpaper featuring intricately designed birds, flowers, and other nature themes gained popularity in Europe during the 17th century. These wallpapers obtained the name “chinoiseries,” which would later become a term to define Chinese-inspired art and design. Chinoiseries were highly sought after and envied by those who could not afford them. However, being hand-painted and made of silk, this style of wallpaper was expensive and difficult to obtain for the average person.

Today, hand-painted wallpaper is still an expensive design implementation. However, artists worldwide have come together to continue this beautiful trend, and any homeowner looking to include hand-painted panels in their home can do so.

Is hand-painted wallpaper back in style?

Hand-painted wallpaper has been a classic in home design since its big hit during the 17th century. However, this design addition has gained more popularity in the past year due to the new interest in chinoiserie and maximalist styles. Homeowners and designers are looking for colorful, patterned alternatives to the ordinary painted wall. Wallpapers offer a fun and complex look into a design, perfect for maximalist styles.

So, homeowners have begun to lean into chinoiserie styles, especially hand-painted wallpaper designs, which offer a colorful and patterned look while also bringing a luxe and elegant touch to the space. With chinoiserie becoming increasingly popular in home design, it’s no wonder that people love this trendy hand-painted wallpaper look in their designs.

nature themed green wallpaper with pink background
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What to consider before trying out hand-painted wallpaper

Before purchasing hand-painted wallpaper for your space, it’s important to consider the design you want, as this will impact your final costs and design timeline. According to de Gournay, a well-known creator of hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper, an in-stock selection can take a few business days to arrive, while a custom selection could require months. Therefore, if your project is on a time crunch you might have to choose a different style to include in your design.

Additionally, the cost of hand-painted wallpaper is not affordable for every homeowner. We’ll discuss the prices below in more depth to help you better understand what to expect.

So, before you begin selecting your luxurious hand-painted wallpaper, you should consider what design aesthetic you’re aiming for and how the panels will fit your project needs.

How expensive is hand-painted wallpaper?

As we mentioned above, hand-painted silk is a luxurious and highly sought-after design element. The price of this elegant wallpaper can vary depending on where you shop, but we’ll cover two of the most prominent names in chinoiserie below.

What does de Gournay wallpaper cost?

Founded in 1986 by Claud Cecil Gurney, de Gournay is a company with some of the most beautiful hand-painted wallpapers. Inspired by chinoiserie, French Art Deco, and other rich and colorful design styles, their papers add a luxurious touch to any space.

The cost of de Gournay wallpaper is greatly dependent on the design, the square footage of the room, and the amount of customization added to the order. On average, homeowners can expect prices to range anywhere from two thousand to four thousand dollars per panel, making the cost of a full project in the tens of thousands. For those who can afford this price, de Gournay wallpaper can be a fantastic choice for incorporating the delicate look of chinoiserie hand-painted wallpaper into their home.

How much does Fromental wallpaper cost?

Fromental is another popular company to find stunning hand-painted wallpaper designs. Founded by Tim Butcher and Lizzie Deshayes in 2005, Fromental offers beautiful hand-painted and hand-embroidered wall coverings. On average, the cost of a Fromental wallpaper can range between two thousand and three thousand dollars per square meter. Of course, depending on customization and room size, this cost can vary. An overall design project using Fromental wallpaper can cost thousands.

Is hand-painted wallpaper worth it?

One of the benefits of using hand-painted wallpaper in your home is the ability for a fitted look and complete customization. You have the freedom to get the perfect look for your design while also resting assured that your wallpaper will fit your room just as a custom suit might fit a person. The design and size are tailored to your space, so you can rest assured that you will get a beautiful fit every time.

While hand-painted wallpaper is not for everyone, this chinoiserie touch is perfect for those craving a luxe and elegant addition to their home design. For maximalists and homeowners aiming for color, pattern, and nature-themed details in their homes, hand-painted wallpaper can be a great option. Of course, cost, time, and customization will be essential considerations before a final decision can be made. If given enough thought, you can end up with a stunning and timeless piece of decor.

Editors' Recommendations

Amelia Wilson
Amelia Wilson (author pen name Amelia J. Wilson) is a content writer in Greenwood, IN. She often enjoys topics on…
What a hardwood contractor says your wood flooring says about you
According to a hardwood contractor, the species, stain, and cut of your wood floors can say a lot about you
bleached light wood flooring in an entryway

The home is a canvas for your personality, and your interiors should reflect your personal aesthetics. A professional hardwood contractor on TikTok, @lumberjackwoodsupply, says your wood flooring may reveal more about you than you might have thought. Here is what the species, color, and style of your wood flooring say about you (though, of course, some of these are a bit tongue-in-cheek).
What your wood flooring species says about you
If you have lighter, slim, natural pine floors, this TikToker says you likely fall into one of two categories. “You definitely have an appreciation for old things,” says @lumberjackwoodsupply. Alternatively, “you most likely own an old house that had these floors underneath.”
Walnut flooring
Walnut flooring is classy, elegant, and often sold at a steeper price. The hardwood contractor says homeowners with walnut flooring “have taste.”
Red oak
“There’s a good chance you didn’t choose to install this. It was just already in your house,” says this TikToker. But if you did choose to install red oak flooring, “you are either on a budget or you like to go against the status quo.”
Brazilian Cherry
“You probably live in an upscale but slightly outdated suburban home,” says the hardwood contractor. “There’s a good chance you hate the red.”
If you favor the sleek light wood tones of maple flooring to curate an airy and uplifting aesthetic, “You either live on the beach, or you want to look like you live on the beach,” says this TikToker.
Hickory flooring is well-known for its boldness. It’s a unique wood with a quirky grain and various hues. If you have hickory flooring, “you like unique things,” says the hardwood contractor. “You want to be different.”

Read more
Bone china vs. porcelain: What’s the difference?
Is it bone china, fine china, or porcelain? Find out with these tips
Tea kettle china

If you've been looking into a china set for the perfect dinner table, you may be wondering about the benefits of buying bone china vs. porcelain. You may have seen these types of dishes in your grandma’s house, or maybe you received some for your wedding. Or perhaps you're interested in hopping on the grand millennial trend, which incorporates these plates and dishes. In any case, knowing the differences in your dinnerware materials could influence your decision when it comes to using them in your home. Porcelain and bone china are two different types of ceramics that are very similar.

Whether you're buying your own or recently inherited some, you probably want to know what kind of dishes you have. Many people can’t tell the difference when it comes to bone china vs. porcelain just by looking at it, but there are some significant differences beyond what meets the eye. Here are the biggest differences and how you can tell them apart.

Read more
Thinking about installing sliding barn doors? 5 essential questions to ask yourself
Considerations before installing sliding barn doors in your home
Barn door

Sliding barn doors are a trendy, do-it-yourself design upgrade that can really transform your home's aesthetic. In fact, the increased popularity of farmhouse-style homes has made sliding barn doors even more common than ever.

Basically, a sliding barn door is one that you can install anywhere in the home, and it's usually a wood or metal material hung on a sliding track. Instead of opening and closing like a traditional door, it slides to the side and hangs neatly against the wall. People love them because they're space savers, they can easily revamp a space, and they add lots of character to the room. Plus, installing sliding barn doors is pretty simple if you love to do DIY. But before you delve into the trend made famous by Magnolia's Chip and Joanna Gaines, there are a few things you should take into consideration.

Read more