How Can I Update This Wall Without Tearing It Out?!?

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This pebble rock wall was here when I moved in. I would really like to update this somehow, on a budget. Can I paint this? Possibly a charcoal color?

q how can i update this wall without tearing it out

Existing pebble rock wall in bathroom. Previous owners did all this by hand.

  16 answers
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Feb 05, 2021

    I would not think that a charcoal wall in a bathroom would be very practical, as it will show every speck of towel and kleenex lint, talcum powder, dust, ....

  • I would white-wash it.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Feb 05, 2021

    Hello. Yes you can paint this pebble wall just as you can paint wall or floor tile!

    I think charcoal might be a very trendy color as a wall accent.

    You might even try to test several shades ....as they can always be primed over.


    I can understand your desire to paint this more visually distracting multicolor look into a clean crisp one color textured wall. Very similar to people who paint their brick fireplaces. Very exciting idea and upgrade.

  • Michelle Michelle on Feb 05, 2021

    I would get a pattern that I like and paint the rocks that fit into the pattern for a rustic art look

  • Judy in Canton. Judy in Canton. on Feb 05, 2021

    I can't tell how true the color of your picture is but it looks like your vanity top is dark grey, if so I would paint it to match that.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Feb 05, 2021

    Sure, you can paint this any color you'd like! I think charcoal might really make this an exciting space to update and adding metals will help brighten things. I agree to paint the vanity to match.


    Several things to keep in mind:

    *once you paint the wall, there is no going back to natural rocks (which wouldn't bother me and I love rocks!);

    *You'll need a lot more paint and brushes than you think. The rocks and mortar will suck up a lot of paint (priming would be a good idea and ask a paint store for direction of materials) than you think it will. The wall will also destroy many brushes before you're finished. Although you might want to go really cheap on the brushes, please don't. If they are too crappy, they'll start shedding bristles immediately and you don't want that. You can use a combo of brushes for the mortar lines and a really thick nap roller for the surface. Use the brush to blend all and make sure there aren't any drips.


    This one is a total change of direction:

    *First, check to see what distance you have to work with between the pebbles and your toilet.

    IF you've got a couple of inches, you could then also consider putting a wall right over the pebbles. It's not at all structural so you can basically just run boards widthwise ceiling to floor around the edges and every 4' to allow you to hang thin plywood over it. Or, you could use beadboard, which also comes in a really thin veneer that would work.

    From there, you can paint, wallpaper - whatever your heart desires! All you do need to remember is to never hang anything heavy on the wall without considering how to properly support it because using a 1/8" wallboard or plywood won't hold much on its own.

  • Janice Janice on Feb 05, 2021

    Painting the area a solid color will totally update and change the look. The texture will still add interst. Charcoal sounds stunning!

  • Betsy Betsy on Feb 05, 2021

    Hi Anna: How about getting some paneling to put over it? Or, you could get a thin piece of plywood and either paint or paper that. And, you would be able to hang pictures on it, too:)

  • Em Em on Feb 06, 2021

    Beadboard or reclaimed wood would look really nice. Beadboard comes in a sheet of 4' x 8' for under $20 at home depot. Locktite construction glue will hole it in place. Single pieces of wood would take longer, but would be easier to cut around the tank and plumbing. Put it up the same way. Loctite comes in a tube like caulking.

  • Anna Anna on Feb 06, 2021

    Here is the finished project! I’m a beginner at DIY but I think it looks better then it did. Thanks for all the advice!! I have a new mirror to put up today and new floors coming in a month.

  • Deb K Deb K on Feb 06, 2021

    Hi Annam=, the paint looks great, remember you can do any color you like!


  • Bushra Bushra on Feb 06, 2021

    You can paint it and it will look amazing. It is beautiful as it is though.

  • I love that wall. Don’t change it!

  • You could paint that, sure. Just get a good adhesive primer then paint using latex.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Feb 09, 2021

    I think this would look good if you painted the mortar/grout a darker color. Test a small area and see how you like it. You might try a dark glaze.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Mar 28, 2021

    I see you already did it. Great!

    What technique did you use?