Outdoor Wall Decor Ideas: 8 Ways to Cover a Boring Exterior Wall

Whether in your place of residence or business, blank exterior walls can become a fantastic opportunity to turn an eyesore into an attractive outdoor space. It offers a chance to show off some personality, impress clients, become an instant Instagrammable backdrop and add value to your property.

However, a blank wall can be challenging to decorate because, at first glance, there isn’t much to work with. If you’re renting, you might also feel like your options are limited as you can’t drill holes on it, or you may not want to invest too much in sprucing it up.

There are many easy and affordable ways to decorate a blank exterior wall. Large spaces suit wall art or water features, while you can decorate small spaces with decor or a vertical garden. The trick is to find out what’s best for your particular space. The opportunities are endless! 

So, if you’re itching to freshen up that forgotten blank wall outside with some outdoor metal wall art or dive into a new, creative project, this post is an excellent guide to inspire both experienced and beginner DIYers. 

At the end of this post, you’ll see there are plenty of affordable, creative ways to liven up an outdoor wall. Let’s ‌look at what they are!

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What Should I Use to Decorate an Outdoor Wall?

Decorating your blank exterior wall should be a fun, creative process. You can consider using hanging plants, metal art, paintings, lighting, murals, or more to transform your outdoor space. 

Let’s look at some practical, creative ideas to freshen up an otherwise drab exterior wall.

1. Hanging Planters

Plants are always in! Hanging planters, installing plant boxes or creating a full vertical garden can make any outdoor space look inviting and calming. 

Not particularly a green thumb? 

Try shopping for high-quality faux plants for a real yet low-maintenance look, place them on eye-catching planters, and none will be the wiser.

For the planters themselves, you can get extra creative and upcycle empty wine or plastic bottles, or if you’re crafty with your hands, you can make your own custom macrame hanging planters for that bohemian vibe.

A few things to consider:

  • Choose low-maintenance plants or vines, especially if your wall is in an area with little sunlight.

  • Make sure the wall is sturdy enough to support your planters.

  • If you need to drill holes to install hooks/hook screws, get your tools ready and prepare your protective gear for safety.

2. Metal Wall Art

Unique, eye-catching metal wall art is one of the best large outdoor wall decor ideas many professional decorators recommend. Metal is usually an ideal material for outdoor decor because it’s sturdy, can withstand the elements and evokes a minimalist, industrial vibe that adds character to any outdoor space.

A large metal wall art piece can serve as a focal point for narrower or smaller walls. Metal screens and fence toppers can also help to block a neighbour’s view and add privacy to your outdoor living space, so they’re great to bolster lower walls. 

Smaller pieces can also work on smaller walls. You can choose a single, larger metal wall art piece for large outdoor walls, or you can artfully place smaller pieces for an eye-catching look. Add accessories that match.

Residential metal art fabricators, like Kanyana Engineering, can produce custom metal wall art in a range of designs such as modern, abstract,  flora, fauna, geometric or lace patterns.  They can fabricate these unique decor pieces using mild steel, aluminium or Corten steel, with a range of finishes available to suit your landscaping. 

A few things to consider to install your new outdoor art piece:

  • Make sure the wall is sturdy enough to support your metal wall art.

  • If you need to drill holes to install hooks/hook screws, get your tools ready and prepare your protective gear for safety.

  • You can install metal wall art without drilling holes by using 3M Command Hooks.

Learn more about how to hang metal wall art outdoors.

3. Hanging Paintings 

Paintings are always a great idea for outdoor spaces! Especially if the painting itself matches or complements the area where your outdoor wall is located. E.g. a painting of a garden if you’re decorating a wall in the courtyard or a still-life painting if the area is for dining and entertainment.

If you love the idea of hanging smaller pieces together, then you can arrange smaller paintings on your wall. 

You can find exterior wall art paintings made explicitly for exterior decor or weather-proof indoor paintings for outdoor use. If you’re not confident, consider laser cut metal art with your choice of image – you’ll be surprised how attractive they look, and they’re far more weather-proof.

4. Outdoor Lighting

Aren’t outdoor string lights just dreamy? For an extra romantic, cosy look – paper lanterns work wonders in exterior areas needing a glow up. Even during the daytime, they add colour and character to your outdoor wall.

If you have a smaller or narrower outdoor wall, you can opt for static porch lights, sconces or wall-mounted LED lights. For a more environment-friendly option, you can choose solar-powered lighting.

Whatever type you prefer, the outdoor light fixture you choose should be well-suited to the application space. 

For instance, if you have a plain wall with no windows and minimal natural light, a pendant light is likely the right choice. On the other hand, if you have an expansive yard with tall trees and plenty of sunlight, ‌go with a chandelier or even a solar lamp.

A few things to consider:

  • Whatever type of fixture you choose, it should also be well-suited to the space’s decorating style. Consider how it will blend in with the rest of your exterior décor; do you want it to look like part of the landscape or set apart?

  • Consider its compatibility with your electrical system. You’ll need to have weather-proof access to electricity in your garden to safely install lighting, and it should be outdoor rated. 

5. Reclaimed Wood Art

Stylish and timeless, artworks made from reclaimed wood make beautiful exterior wall décor that genuinely stands out. Aside from aesthetic benefits, reclaimed wood art is sustainable and environmentally-friendly.

You can search for reclaimed wood art pieces online and purchase them from local artists. If you’re an artist yourself, you can also make your own! It’s easy to find reclaimed wood lumber dealers in your area and find a lot of inspiration online, as well.

If your wall is exposed to the weather, however, you’ll need to look into treating or coating wooden garden art to protect it. 

6. Trees & Plants 

If you’d rather not hang plants, you can grow trees and plants in front of or around a blank wall as decoration. As mentioned, plants never grow out of style, and they’re great for the environment.

A climbing plant or trellis is a popular way to cover a blank and boring wall with greenery. You can also consider a vertical garden or other hanging arrangement, which can even allow you to grow herbs and vegetables.

 If you have the budget, you can purchase fully grown trees or, if you’re happy and patient enough to wait around for them to grow, you can head over to your local garden store to purchase a tree sapling. For green thumbs, why not consider a fruit-bearing tree? If your local area’s climate is suited for it, you can try growing an orange tree. Orange blossoms smell heavenly, and you’ll then have an unlimited source of natural orange juice.

Potted plants will do if you don’t have enough space or soil for actual tree planting. You can also consider planter boxes, such as those made from weatherproof Corten steel or one of these cheaper Corten steel alternatives

A few things to consider:

  • Choose low-maintenance plants, especially if your wall is in an out-of-the-way area with little sunlight.

  • Choose a tree that will grow well in your area. Ask your local garden store for tips.

  • Try some of the many flowering plants that can be used indoors and out. It’s great for attracting native birds and bees.

7. Feature Brickwork 

Some people may be a little wary of brickwork. But if you’re intent on using brickwork, don’t worry too much about it! It can be a fresh and inviting way to decorate your property’s exterior; it simply requires a little more planning.

If you’re not too keen on actual bricks or it doesn’t fit the type of wall you have, you can opt to use faux bricks that look realistic enough to pass for the real thing when installed correctly. They’re usually made of high-density polyurethane. Some come in panels that make them relatively easy to install, but it still needs proper execution to ensure it lasts.

When choosing brickwork for your exterior walls, there are so many possibilities that it’s challenging to decide what to go for. You could go for a simple, rustic look with standard bricks or opt for something more ornate and detailed. But whatever you choose, make sure that your choices here reflect the style of your home and the other details you want to include in the project.

8. Paint a Mural 

Decorating a blank exterior wall with a mural is a popular option! Not only is it attractive, but it’s also versatile. Whatever your taste or style, there’s bound to be a mural that appeals to your tastes or, if you’re thinking of refurbishing the exterior walls of your office, it resonates with your brand.

There are several ways for you to put up a mural. If you’re an artist, this should be easy enough for you. You can also hire an artist who specialises in mural art or graffiti if you like. 

You can experiment with upcycled picture frames and install them atop your mural for a whimsical feel. You can also purchase stencils to create a DIY mural. You also don’t have to do the entire wall! You can add mural accents that you can easily do with paints and brushes.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match the above suggestions!

  • Brickwork adds depth and accents vertical gardens or hanging plants.

  • You can combine a stunning metal art piece with a reclaimed wood art piece and add some succulents or plants.

  • You can set a tall potted sapling close to a painting or arrange a group of plants artfully around a mural.

How Do I Choose the Right Outdoor Wall Cover Option? 

A well-designed exterior wall can spell the difference between a great, eye-catching outdoor space and a mediocre one. But how does one actually go about beautifying an outdoor wall? 

There are a few general considerations that you need to make before putting your decorating plans into action.

  • Cost

    Most of us are too busy to spend more than a day or two sprucing up an exterior wall, so it’s a good idea just to take a step back and think about exactly how much you can spend on a project. Otherwise, you might just have a DIY project on your hands that’s too much for you to handle.

    If you’re looking into saving a few dollars (or more), a few simple fixes can add up to a big payoff. To cover a large outdoor wall in a cost-effective and attractive way, consider a large outdoor decorative screen.  

    The key is to think about how much time and money you want to spend on a project, and then pick out the elements that will elevate your space without emptying your wallet or sacrificing too much of your precious time.

    But don’t sacrifice aesthetics for durability just because you’re trying to save money. You still want your wall to look good! Find a balance by investing in high-quality materials that don’t need much maintenance. 
  • Material

    Many decorative products, art pieces and paints aren’t suitable for outdoor use, so make sure you’re aware of all the options before you drop the money on a product.

    Aluminium or Corten steel metal art is one of the best options for garden decor – it’s extremely weather-resistant and long-lasting. Laser cut screens and panels are extremely hardy, so you’ll enjoy them for years to come. 

    Even smaller art pieces need to be weather-proof – not only will rusting and deterioration cause your piece to degrade, but rust run-off can also stain your walls and paved areas. 

    Consider the best way to maintain outdoor wall art, especially if your material is prone to rusting, like mild steel – you’ll need to seal, paint or powder-coat the piece so it stands up to outdoor conditions. 
  • Style

    Style can be challenging because blank exterior walls can quickly become an overwhelmingly large canvas that you’ll need to fill. But – worry not, with careful planning, deciding on how to dress up that blank wall can become the easiest thing.

    Consider looking at other people’s designs online or in books/magazines for inspiration if you’re starting from scratch. You can also use an online tool like Houzz to find more ideas.

    Also, think about integrating your decoration ideas into your surroundings. Is there a building or fence nearby that could support a laser-cut metal screen? Are there trees nearby that could provide a framework?

    If you’re thinking about repainting, choose a colour that complements the other elements in the area surrounding the blank wall. 
  • Size

    When it comes to decorating, size definitely matters. Large exterior walls need more extensive planning, especially if it’s an older wall that might need a more careful inspection to ensure it can support decorative materials such as heavier metal wall art. 

    The best cost-effective cover option for a large outdoor wall will typically be a decorative metal screen or other large feature. Narrower or smaller-sized exterior walls are naturally easier to decorate with smaller pieces. 

    Not sure how to measure your walls outside? You can use apps like Hover to get accurate exterior measurements in 3D. You can also find several resources online to guide you.

    Even if you can eyeball the blank wall and figure out its size, exact measurement is still essential, especially if you’re planning to get custom wall art created. So set aside some time during a quiet weekend, get your tape measure and pencil (or app, if you prefer) and start measuring.

    After you’ve made the considerations above, you should already have a pretty good idea about the size, type and condition of your exterior wall – meaning you’re all ready to install your new wall cover.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Cover a Blank Exterior Wall?

Installing a screen is a cost-effective way to hide or cover a blank exterior wall. You can choose from a wide range of laser cut designs. One of the best things about a metal screen is that it’s long-lasting and needs little to no maintenance – making it the best value option in the long term. 

Unlike something like bamboo or reed wall covers, which have a limited lifespan, a metal screen will last for years to come. 

Can I Decorate an Outdoor Wall in a Rental? 

Yes, you can decorate an outdoor wall in a rental – but you’ll need permission from your landlord or real estate agent for any invasive changes, like drilling or planting. Consider non-invasive methods of hanging outdoor wall art to avoid the need to drill. 

To hang outdoor wall art without nails, consider using brick clips or 3M Exterior Command Hooks. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so speak to your landlord about your plans before undertaking any DIY project.

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Related Questions

How Long Do Outdoor Decorations Last?

Cheaper outdoor decorations may only last for a season, while professionally created outdoor metal art is intended to last for years to come. Be sure you know how to maintain your outdoor art and choose an appropriate material for outdoor use.

Laser Cut Outdoor Wall Art Made Locally in WA

If you’re ready to get moving on your next outdoor project and decorate that blank exterior wall, get in touch with the experts at Kanyana Engineering. We specialise in creating unique residential and garden metal art that can elevate any home! 

Our team of professional metal fabricators can bring your custom design to life. Whether you’re after a unique piece of metal wall art or an artistic fence topper, we can help. Thanks to our advanced computer-aided design systems, we can create stunning pieces custom sized to your needs. 

View all our design and finish options or contact Kanyana Engineering for a custom metal art creation.