We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

The perks of living in a modern building cannot be understated; promises of air conditioning, functioning appliances, and a general lack of built-up grime are enough to send anyone packing to a new build. But what these spaces have in comfort, they often lack in charm. Gone are the rustic patina or cool original flooring—but that doesn’t mean your modern rental has to lack personality.

There’s a simple yet oh-so effective way to introduce old school character: paint. Sponge painting, rag rolling, using textured rollers… there are tons of easy paint techniques you can try for your next weekend DIY project.

This sneaky method is a favorite amongst designers, too. “I added lime, which comes in powder in bags at Home Depot, to my PPG True White paint in my own home to give it a chalky, texturized feel,” says interior designer Leanne Ford. “We used a massive brush to sludge it on.”

Edyta Czajkowska, the founder of design firm Edyta & Co, prefers a more involved means of achieving this look. “I love adding patina to interiors by applying Venetian plaster to the walls in a gray or cream tone,” she tells Domino. “It adds so much character, charm, and texture while remaining classic and timeless.”

Whether you live in a rental and are looking for a low-lift solution, or are willing to make bigger changes to your space, you too can get that coveted antique look no matter when your home was built. Here are some spaces to inspire your next paint project.

Subtle texture elevates these walls from standard beige to something worthy of a Mediterranean escape. Play off the rustic feel by with furniture and decor in natural finishes like concrete bowls, woven rattan pieces, and unfinished wood accents.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Birgit Schlotterbeck (@birgitschlotterbeck) on

Okay, so this old-world vibe is probably 100 percent authentic given that it’s a Moroccan riad, but you can mimic the look with rag rolling. Once you’ve added your base coat and glaze, quickly roll a damp rag over the surface of your wall to get the desired aged finish.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by CHELSAΞ ANNE (@chelsaeanne) on

So you love millennial pink, but don’t love how overdone it is. Spruce it up with choppy paint strokes and an application technique that transports this 21st-century trend back a couple of centuries.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Curious Egg (@curioegg) on

No matter what you do with it, deep turquoise is guaranteed to make a statement. That said, this rich hue looks all the more elegant when paired with a textured finish.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by CHELSAΞ ANNE (@chelsaeanne) on

Pair your textured walls with a globally inspired floor tile for a rustic look. It’s a double whammy that’s sure to bring the charm and make any contemporary space feel vintage-inspired.

See more paint ideas to try now: 16 Ways Painted Trim Transforms a Room How to Use One of the Trickiest Paint Colors in Your Home The Best Paint Colors for Small Rooms