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Painting every wall a different color in your home or business can look a little crazy, but all neutral walls can look dull.

A great balance and a popular trend used by top interior designers are to paint an accent wall. Accent walls showcase your furnishings, artwork, home decor and lighting fixtures– and they add personality to your home or office without looking too loud.

If you’re doing the job yourself, you might not know how to go about it or where to start and need tips for painting.

We’ve got your covered.

Here are some handy tips for painting the perfect accent wall to create an attractive look that suits your style.

Let’s paint it.

tips for painting

Tips for painting

Choosing The Right Type of Paint

You can buy paint in a selection of different paint sheens and paint is available in both oil and latex paint. Most people prefer latex for their walls because it’s easier to clean off brushes, paint sprayers, and your hands.

Oil can feel sticky and requires turpentine or an alcohol based remover, which is rough on the skin. If you spill latex on the floor by accident, it will be much easier to clean because it is water based.

Also, latex is simpler to paint over if you decide to repaint in a year, especially if you want to change colors, and it also wears better.

Oil adheres well and is good for trim and baseboard molding around your accent wall, but you can also use latex.

Oil takes much longer to dry, so it’s not a good idea if you’re pressed for time. You’ll have to wait longer to paint that second or third coat.

Choosing The Sheen

When choosing the sheen for your walls, keep in mind the condition of your walls.

Higher sheens show the details of older walls with cracks and imperfections more than flat-based, eggshell and satin sheen paints.

Flat paint is best to hide imperfections, but it’s also harder to clean.

If you’re painting an accent wall in the bathroom, you definitely want a paint sheen that is semi-gloss because semi-gloss repels the water better.

You can also use a glossy sheen if you’re looking for a shinier appearance, but glossy sheen paints on an accent wall are very shiny. They are usually reserved for trim and molding.

The glossier your paint, the easier it is to clean it off the walls. Just take a damp rag or sponge and wipe and the dirt should come off.

Semi-gloss and high-gloss are not recommended for bedrooms and living rooms, but they’re great for bathrooms and kitchens.

Bathrooms and kitchens are where your worst messes are.

These rooms are more susceptible to water damage, shower steam, steam rising from pots and pans on the stove and liquid spills that can land on your walls.

Deciding on Paint Color

Choosing the right color for your accent wall can add a creative touch to your room and make a beautiful statement, but picking the wrong color can undo your efforts and ruin the look of your space.

When looking for paint colors, look for contrasting hues.

You don’t want to choose a paint color that’s too close to the paint on the main walls because it won’t stand out.

When deciding on your accent wall color, keep in mind the color scheme of the room and the other elements of your home décor.

Choosing the same color as an attractive piece of art, window treatment or toss pillows makes a nice touch and good color choice for your accent wall.

Make sure not to choose an item that you might change out in another six months unless it’s a color that’s used in several home décor accents.

The shade of paint color you choose should take the size of the room into consideration.

paint color

For instance, if your room is small, you should stay away from dark colors.

While a dark color can add drama to the look of a room, it can also make a room appear smaller, even if it’s only on one wall.

If you own a home, you can pick any color you want, but if you’re renting, it can be another story.

Make sure to check your apartment lease to see if you’re allowed to paint.

While some landlords let renters paint, they require neutral colors.

Speak with your landlord of property management company first or they can take extra money out of your security deposit.

There’s a psychology to color. Color affects our moods.

They have an energy and effect all their own. There are colors that have a calming effect like pastel colors and other colors that give off energy


Red has been associated with passion, raises our blood pressure and pumps our adrenaline. The color red makes us hungry. For this reason, red is a good paint hue choice for a kitchen accent wall.

Have you ever noticed how many restaurants have red walls? While it’s not the best choice color for the bedroom, red is often used in living rooms as an accent wall matched with complementing red throw pillow on a sofa.


Yellow is a bright, uplifting color.

It can also be energetic like sunshine. It can make a room look larger, especially when there’s a mirror opposite the wall to reflect light.

Yellow makes us feel happy and has been widely used in living rooms, kitchens and small spaces like hallways and foyers.


Like a bright blue sky, blue is calming and tranquil. While most blue hues can promote relaxation, pastel blue can be cool.

If you want blue for your accent wall, choose some warmer blue shades like purples, violets or turquoise to balance it out.

Complement light blue with warmer elements in the room: reds and yellows can also soften up a cool blue.


Like a green meadow, a green accent wall can refresh a room. It also has an energizing feel to it. Some greens can be cool, others are warm. Check the color palette at your paint store to see the variations.

Choose a warm green for the bedroom or the living room for a relaxing vibe or to give the dining room a boost of energy.


Orange boasts excitement. It can be loud if it’s really bright and wake up any room if that’s your intention.

It can be a good accent wall in the kitchen to showcase pots and pans.

A softer orange hue with gold and red mixed into it can add a boost of color to a living room wall without being too bold.

Paint Sprayers Vs. Rollers

When you paint your accent wall, you have two application choices: using a roller or a paint sprayer.

There are distinct differences between paint sprayers or rollers.


Rollers are less expensive to buy than paint sprayers. They’re also easy to wash.

The downside is that rollers can be messy and have a tendency to leave more paint drips on the walls and baseboards and more paint on the floor.

Rollers work with any kind of paint, unlike paint sprayers.

Rollers don’t need power or electricity to operate like a paint sprayer, but they can take hours longer to paint a surface than paint sprayers.

Paint sprayers

Paint sprayers are more costly than rollers because they are machines.

However, they are much neater and don’t make a mess.

They are better for angling and doing edges. You won’t see drips and leaks on your walls and floors like a roller can leave.

Paint sprayers give a smoother application than a roller. You won’t see blotches from drying paint like you would that can form on a roller.

Paint sprayers are easy to use, come in a variety of sprayers and can be used by novice painters. They are also much quicker than rollers and get the job done in little time with less effort.

sprayer vs roller

Paint sprayers can last for years compared to paint rollers which can be used for one through a few applications.

This is because the material on the roller can wear out from several applications, even when cleaned well.

Make a Creative Accent Wall

If a solid color doesn’t have enough pizzazz for your taste, make your accent wall a work of art!

There are a variety of artistic painting techniques you can use on your accent wall to give it extra style and texture.

Paint it with stripes

For a modern look, paint your wall with stripes. You can make wide horizontal stripes, make them vertical or paint pinstripes.

Put up painter tape and paint a second color between the tape. Make sure to line it evenly with a level. You can buy at a paint store.

Let the paint dry and remove the tape.

Two colors

For a more subtle look, paint the bottom of the wall a different color than the top. Section off the top or bottom of the wall and cover it with paper and paint the exposed half.

If you like blue, paint a deep blue on the bottom half and a lighter shade of blue on top for some contrast.


Stenciling can give your wall a classic or modern look, depending on the stencil you choose.

You’ll need a stencil, painter’s tape, a stencil brush and a roll of paper towels.

Choose your stencil and tape it on the wall.

Make sure it’s secure. Stick a brush in your accent paint color. Dab the excess paint on a paper towel. Repeat.


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