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Professional Tips for Painting an Accent Wall

August 31, 2023

Painting an accent wall can drastically transform the look and feel of a space. It is a creative way to inject color, personality, and interest into a room. However, as simple as it might seem, doing it right requires careful planning and execution. If you’re considering painting an accent wall as a DIY project, follow these tips from Fort Collins painting company Horner Painting. 

What is an Accent Wall?

An accent wall is a single wall in a room that is painted a different color than the rest. Also known as a feature wall, this design choice will focus visual attention on the space giving it importance and emphasis with minimal cost. 

Painting an accent wall can truly transform a living space. A sense of architecture and presence can be created in a boxy room, or comfort and warmth breathed into an open floor plan. 

Choosing the Accent Wall

One of the most critical steps in successfully painting an accent wall is choosing the right one in the first place. Done correctly, your accent wall will draw attention, and create excitement and importance; done incorrectly, it will look out of place and confusing. 

Designers will most often choose to accentuate a room that will have a lot of activity, like a living room for example. Look for a wall that is solid – without windows or doors – and consider painting a wall that is in your direct line of sight.

To start, think if your chosen room already has a focal point. If it does, it is best to bring attention to this part of the room rather than making a new one. For example, if there is a beautiful painting or new fireplace along one wall, consider painting that wall differently than the rest to highlight it rather than compete against it. But, as a rule of thumb, it’s good practice to choose a wall that is solid, not one that has long windows or a glass door. The goal is to enhance, not distract. 

Other tips to consider when choosing your accent wall include: 

  • The accent wall should be symmetrical. 
  • Choosing the wall that is faced most often when in the room is a great idea; guests will always have it in view. 
  • Consider the fifth wall in a room if none of the others make sense – the ceiling. A white ceiling heightens the room and darker colors make it feel cozier. 

As a quick example, what is the best way to accent an oblong room? Shared walls (walls common in open floor plans that extend from one room to the next) are rarely a good idea as it creates confusion. Painting the long walls in an oblong room will emphasize its length. The best wall is actually the shortest wall that is farthest away – this will draw attention and make the wall appear closer and thus visually correct the dimensions of the room. 

Which Color is Best?

The next thing to consider when painting your accent wall is which color to use - this can make or break the success of your accent wall just as much as which one you choose. Of course, be aware of common mistakes to avoid when painting any part of the interior of your home, and consider our tips on textured walls and paint sheens

This part of the design process matters, but it is also the fun part! Color really allows you to decide the stylistic feel and theme that a room gives off, so consider it within the scope of the rest of your home and the room that the accent wall is in. 

Accent walls look the most classic when they are darker than the other walls in the room; but the reverse is also possible if you have the right aesthetic eye for shades and complimentary decorating. 

  • Don’t be afraid to go bold. Most people assume the accent wall needs to be the same color but a few shades lighter than the adjacent walls, but this is simply not true. Pay attention to the décor of the room and the rest of the home, such as upholstery, paint, artwork, furniture, and carpet – if the accent matches the rest of the home, you can go as bold as you want. 
  • Accent walls do not need to be a single color. Multiple colors, designs, and murals can all work if you have the artistic touch. 
  • Accent walls work with neutral colors. Brown, tans, and grays can still be a great accent in coordination with the other walls of your room. 

Biggest Mistakes 

There are some common mistakes you will want to avoid when painting an accent wall. 

  • Don’t pick the wrong wall! Avoid selecting a wall that is bigger than the surrounding walls, a wall that is shared, or a wall that has odd angles. 
  • Don’t pick two accent walls. Your room (and house for that matter) will quickly feel busy. Emphasizing everything will only mean that you’re emphasizing nothing. 
  • Don’t choose a color that doesn’t relate to the existing décor. The goal is to harmonize and highlight, not to dominate. 

Get Help From the Fort Collins Painting Experts 

An accent wall is a great way to breathe fresh life and energy into living spaces. There is, of course, a lot to consider in order to do it successfully; and it is always worth consulting experts in interior painting to ensure your home design becomes a dream come true. Contact the experts at Horner Painting!

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At Horner Painting we strive for excellence. In the event that you are unhappy, we will make it right! At the completion of every job we set up a walk through to go over every detail of your project. We do not expect any payment until the job is finished to your satisfaction. All projects also include a five-year comprehensive warranty.

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