How to Create an Accent Wall that Wows, When it comes to painting an accent wall, there are two schools of thought: Paint it bold or paint it subtle. If you want to do the former, follow these steps on how to paint an accent wall like a pro. It’s really as simple as that! If you want to go with the latter, we won’t stop you; there are certainly more than enough tips out there about that approach!
Avoid These Mistakes When Painting Accent Walls
Painting accent walls in your house is a terrific way to create focus points and liven up a space that might otherwise be dull. Accent walls have often been painted a shade darker than the surrounding walls to create a striking visual that highlights not only the color, but also the form of the wall, the décor, and the furnishings.
Painting most DIY accent walls is simple and affordable. Using my recommendations, you can easily do this job in one day in an ordinary room with eight-foot walls. Let’s go through some planning pitfalls to avoid before we get into the step-by-step approach.
Choose the Correct Wall
Because incorrect planning throws everything off, choosing the appropriate wall for your accent color is more crucial than the paint job itself. The idea is to create a focal point without overpowering the primary wall color. Choose a wall that isn’t completely obscured by furniture; otherwise, it will go unnoticed. I would avoid using a wall that is larger than the other walls.
When selecting a wall and color, remember the 60-30-10 guideline. The primary color of the surrounding walls should account for around 60% of the space, 30% for the color of the décor, drapes, and furnishings, and just 10% for the accent wall color.
Bedroom Accent Walls: In a bedroom, the wall behind the headboard of the bed is nearly often painted a different color when asked. This works nicely since the location of the bed and the furnishings help to focus the space.
Accent Walls in the Living Room: Fireplace walls are fantastic. You may also paint the fireplace mantel white to emphasize the contrast with the darker wall color behind it. This color choice also draws attention to the fireplace’s woodwork. It also works to paint a living room column a different color. The column at the top of this page, which I painted, is a nice illustration.
Paint Only One Accent Wall in a Room
A different hue should be used on just one wall in each room. Remember to follow the 60-30-10 guideline. Painting more than one wall in a space with a different hue seems cluttered. This will also throw off the primary hue and act as a focal point in the other direction. Two dark walls in a room can also make the space seem smaller.
Choose a color that isn’t too similar to the main color
Swatches of paint may be misleading. If you want to use a deeper shade of the primary room color as an accent, make sure it’s three or four shades down the color wheel. If you choose a color that is just one or two shades deeper, the difference between the two hues will be minimal. I suggest looking at Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams colors. Both have excellent paint colors, but my personal preference is the Sherwin Williams fan deck.
Correctly preparing and painting accent walls
Accent walls are quite simple to paint, requiring just one gallon of paint and one gallon of primer, depending on the color and condition of the wall. Cover the floor with a heavy-duty drop cloth before you begin. The extra thickness of 12-ounce drop cloths guarantees that no paint gets on the floor. Dark red, gray, blue, green, or brown are common accent colors, and you don’t want any of them soaking into your carpet.
Painting materials required:
- 1 drop cloth made of canvas
- Tape for painting (Frog Tape)
- 1 1/2-inch nap lint-free paint roller
- tray for painting
- 2 1/2-inch to 3-inch angled paintbrush
- Patching drywall joint compound/spackle
- Extension pole for paint roller
- sponge for sanding
- For mending, use a putty knife.
- 1 gallon of high-quality latex paint
- 1-gallon latex primer (if necessary)
- Tape the Baseboard and Wall Corners
FrogTape is the greatest technique to get razor-sharp lines between two paint colors. FrogTape is more successful in preventing paint bleed-through in corners than blue tape. I no longer use blue tape.
The yellow rolls for sensitive surfaces are the ideal FrogTape to use on painted walls. The 1.41-inch x 60-yard rolls are what I use. 3M/Scotch purple tape also works well and accomplishes the same goal. When you remove the delicate surface tape, it is less sticky and will not rip the paint off the wall.
To protect the baseboard from paint roller splatters, tape it off. With a putty knife, press down the tape’s edge. Use a good quality brush to cut in the ceiling line, or tape it off. Several ideas for cutting-in ceiling lines with a free hand are included in my article How to Paint Wall Edges Without Tape.
Fill in Nail Holes
Always fix drywall gaps before priming. Paint blends in better with primed patches. Patching with a putty knife will make the repairs smaller and less apparent. Filling a small nail hole does not need the use of a large tapering knife. Darker paint colors make drywall flaws and oversized repairs stand out more.
Is it better to prime or not to prime?
If the wall is porous and uneven, or if you’re painting over white with red, deep blue, or deep green, primer is essential. The worst color is red. Without primer, you’ll have to apply numerous coats to get the desired appearance. A latex primer colored gray is the ideal primer for red and deep colors over white. For deeper hues, the backside of paint swatches generally indicates which primer shade should be used.
My preferred latex wall primer is:
- Aqua Lock All-Purpose Acrylic Primer by Insl-X
- Multi-Purpose Latex Primer by Sherwin Williams
- Prep Rite Pro Block Latex Primer by Sherwin Williams
After taping off the wall corners, dry brush just a little layer of primer into the corners to prevent it from bleeding behind the tape. Using a lint-free roller, apply one layer of primer to the wall. The Purdy White Dove paint roller is my personal favorite. These lint-free rollers are made of a soft woven fabric. They can hold a lot of paint and apply it smoothly. Sherwin Williams also offers a nearly identical version.
Two coats of paint on the wall
Apply the paint in the same manner as the primer. For your accent wall, I highly advise choosing premium paint since it is more washable and covers better in fewer layers. Duration Home by Sherwin Williams and Regal Select by Benjamin Moore are my two favorite wall colors. Darker colors may be utilized with both paints.