Tips For Painting Accent Walls

The easiest way to accent a room is by painting accent walls. But first, you need to learn how to choose the right paint color and wall for your accent wall painting project.

An accent, or feature wall in a room is like an exclamation point at the end of a sentence. It allows you to create a sense of architecture and style, and add excitement and importance to a space.

But in the wrong place it will only look odd and confusing, that's why picking the right accent wall is so critical.

Unlike what most people think, the first wall that you see when you enter a room is not always the best one to accentuate. In fact, there are many more decisions involved, and although every situation is different, here are some guidelines that can help:

Guidelines For Painting Accent Walls:

  • Accent walls are usually solid and have no doors or windows.
    But here are the exceptions: an accent color around beautiful french doors or a window with a spectacular view can serve as a great "frame".

  • Painting accent walls in a bedroom

  • What is the natural focal point in a room?
    If you have a fireplace, you can make it more dramatic by painting the wall in a different color.
    Other naturals include the wall behind a bed's headboard or an important piece of furniture, the wall holding some dramatic artwork, a niche or other interesting architectural wall features that you want to highlight.

  • When there is no natural focal point in a room, you can create one. Look around - where do you want the eye to go first?
    Maybe you have a painting, sculpture, floor vase, live plant or even a collection of framed photos that you really love? On the background of an accent wall, that item will stand out and get more attention.

  • Painting accent walls to change the shape of a room

  • In a really oblong room, the best wall to accentuate is the farthest short wall - the accent color will draw attention and make the wall appear closer to you, visually correcting the shape of the room.
    Painting the longest wall in accent color will only emphasize the long shape.

  • Whatever wall you choose to accentuate, make sure there is no competition from the other walls. If any of the adjacent walls already has a focal point element like an oversized painting or a mirror, multiple pictures or windows, or other bold wall decor, adding an accent wall next to it may create confusion and overwhelm.

As far as choosing paint color for painting accent walls, here are a few tips:

Choosing the Right Paint Color
For the Accent Wall

  • An accent wall is usually a much deeper color than the other walls.

  • Painting an accent wall in the same color but 2 shades darker than the rest of the walls is always a good look.

  • Painting an accent wall with existing colors

  • Another idea is to pick an accent color from the existing decor - take a look at your throw pillows, artwork or other decorative pieces and use that color for the accent wall.
    Just don't pick the dominant color (e.g. the color of your upholstery), otherwise you'll end up with too much of the same thing and when everything is emphasized, nothing is emphasized.

  • Make sure there is enough contrast and that all your existing furniture pieces and wall decorations do not blend in or disappear on the new color background.

If you are experienced in decorating with paint, accent walls can help you make quite a statement. For those who are new and not used to bold colors, adding an accent wall is a good place to start experimenting with possibilities.

Paint Color Cheat Sheets
Paint Color Cheat Sheets

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