Accent Wall Painting: Tips & Tricks

Nathan Jones, North Highland Paint
Expert: Nathan Jones
North Highland Paint

Q: How do I begin to start painting my accent wall?
A: The first step to painting the perfect accent wall, or any wall for that matter, is to pick a premium painters tape. It is important to get the right tape because other low cost alternative tapes may not even properly stick to the wall and paint can seep through. For long-term success, it is imperative to use high end flexible caulking, which can be as much as $5 to $7 a tube. Using the right kind of caulk can properly get rid of unwanted gaps and spaces between your wall and trim and will last much longer. Apply a plastic covering so you don’t ruin your flooring. Just remember, 30 minutes of applying plastic and tape will save you 1 hour and 30 minutes of clean up afterwards!

Q: Should I use a primer? And if so, how do I know which one to use?
A: You can most definitely use a primer when preparing to paint an accent wall because it is intended to allow your top coat to dry smooth and evenly. Most people believe that choosing a white primer is the best option before applying their paint. WRONG. You should always tint your primer a similar color to the paint you plan on using. This works great because it allows you to apply fewer coats of paint while getting the same rich and vibrant color you wanted. You can use a water based stain blocking primer to cover water stains, grease, ink, and scuff marks. If your home has new drywall installed then a Poly Vinyl Acetate (PVA) primer will help seal the surface.

Q: How do I choose the right color for my accent wall?
A: Choosing the right color for your accent wall can be tied into the existing furniture you have, whether it is a couch, pillow, picture, carpet, rug or vase. It is recommended to tie in an investment piece rather than a lower value piece. If you have an existing color pallet throughout your room, then using a color from the scheme will work. Using a bold color that complements pieces from the room can be a great eye catching addition to the look and feel of your home.

Q: How do I make my accent wall match the existing color scheme in the room?
A: Matching your existing color scheme is very simple. Choosing the next lighter or darker color on the color wheel may not match your color scheme. It could easily be a different tone, a different pigment and just in a whole different color range. If there is a certain color in your room that you want to base your accent wall off of, then you would need to change the saturation of that color which can be done at your local paint store. Let’s look at this more in depth. If your wall color is blue and you want your accent wall to be a lighter blue, then ask for your original blue color at 50%. This means that the store will add the same mix of pigments but only at 50% of the prescribed amount so your color will turn out lighter. You can do the same if you want a darker blue but at 150% resulting in the same color but darker. This process guarantees your colors will match because they are essentially the same color. On the other hand, picking your accent wall color does not necessarily have to be the same tone as the other walls in your room. Just like we discussed earlier: if you have an accent piece or a piece of furniture that has you want to tie into your accent wall, then you can choose that color so it adds more of a bold look to your room.

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