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How to Paint Accent Walls

Make It Pop: How to Paint an Accent Wall That Makes a Statement


Choosing an Accent Wall to Transform Your Room

Looking to make your room pop without breaking the bank? Feature walls are an easy and inexpensive way to energize an otherwise neutral space. Whether you’re adding a splash of color to your living room or creating a headboard wall in your bedroom, painting an accent wall can make a big impact.

For a picture-perfect look, it’s important that you choose the right wall and a color that complements your space. Follow these accent wall design tips to decorate your home like a pro.

Which Wall Should Be the Accent Wall?

Your feature wall will be the focal point of the room. While every space is unique in size and shape, consider these general rules of thumb when choosing an accent wall.

  • In rectangular rooms, accent walls typically work best on shorter walls. 
  • Consider choosing the wall facing the room’s entrance. 
  • Avoid walls with windows or large furniture obstructions.
  • Select a wall that is well-lit with natural light, lamps or overhead track lighting.
  • When painting multiple feature walls, choose opposite walls for balance.
  • Choose the headboard wall in bedrooms to make the boldest statement.
  • Consider a wall with unique architectural detail like a fireplace or decorative trim.

How to Choose an Accent Wall Color

Unless you’re redecorating your room from top to bottom, choose a shade that fits your current color scheme. Pick up accent colors from your furniture, throw pillows and other accessories to pull the space together. 

Also, consider the room’s purpose and how the color will impact the mood. Keep in mind that red hues generally bring energy to a space, great for kitchens or playrooms, while blue tones create a calming effect, perfect for bedrooms or dens.

To avoid overpowering your space, we recommend following the 60-30-10 wall color rule for balance. The majority of your room, 60 percent, should be a neutral backdrop. Your secondary color, 30 percent, can be applied to your accent wall, chairs, and draperies. And the remaining 10 percent is reserved for decorative accessories like throw pillows or art.

How to Paint Accent Walls

Painting Your Feature Wall

Paint Supplies Needed:

  • Paint and/or primer
  • Painter’s tape
  • Ground covers
  • Stepladder
  • Paint roller
  • Edging brush
  • Fan
  • Painting clothes

A basic feature wall painted with one color shouldn’t take more than a few hours. But keep in mind that you might need to begin with a few coats of primer to cover darker colors. 

How to Paint an Accent Wall in 10 Easy Steps

  • Move furniture away from the wall and cover.
  • Lay old sheets or drop cloths to protect flooring.
  • Sand and seal any holes or imperfections.
  • Wipe the wall clean.
  • Tape around wall edges and trim.
  • Open a window and/or turn on a fan for proper ventilation.
  • Cut the edges of the wall with a paint brush or paint edger.
  • Use the roller to cover the wall from top to bottom.
  • Repeat with a second coat.
  • Remove tape before drying to keep corners clean and free of chips.

Take Your Accent Wall to the Next Level

To add more artistic flare to your space, consider incorporating an accent wall design or even multiple colors. Below are the most popular methods for unique accent walls.

  • Whether it’s a mandala, a floral design or an abstract pattern, stencils help to achieve a custom look with minimal effort.
  • Increasingly popular, ombré walls gradually blend shades of color from light to dark, creating a dreamy look perfect for bedrooms. 
  • With a little bit of painter’s tape, you can create a contemporary, geometric pattern to wow your guests.
  • Using a sea sponge, dab a secondary color against the wall repeatedly to create a textured look.

How to Create a Feature Wall Without Paint

Some popular accent wall ideas for homeowners include reclaimed wood, stone, tile or wallpaper. If you’re a renter and want a temporary accent wall, there are a variety of peel-and-stick options such as wall decals and removable tiles that allow you to transform your walls without losing your security deposit.

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Are you ready to choose an accent wall design for your space? Share your experience with us in the comments below. Check out the Room Inspirations section of our blog for more design tips and trends.

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