Half-Painted Walls Deliver All the Color, Without All the Effort

updated Feb 13, 2020
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(Image credit: Little Greene)

Nothing can transform the look of a space quite like paint. But we get it: painting a whole room is a whole lot of work. That’s why we’re so into this unique look that’s been cropping up on design blogs all over: painting just half the walls. It’s a great way to do less work, use less paint, and create an interesting, architectural feature that will add character and color to your space.

Above: Little Greene‘s Tuscan Red makes a gorgeous faux wainscot in a traditional bedroom. This is a great way to add color to a room in a way that feels sophisticated and doesn’t overwhelm the space.

(Image credit: Viv Yapp)

Half-painted walls add a colorful, geometric element to the bedroom of this London home. Usually a bold, bright color like this is a bit of tough sell, but only painting half the walls and keeping the rest of the items in the room to a neutral palette means that the look is energizing without being overwhelming.

(Image credit: Hidden Edinburgh)

It’s a good idea to connect the height of your ‘wainscot’ with a feature in the room, like the fireplace in this room from Hidden Edinburgh. Painting the floor the same color gives this blue hue an immersive feel: painting half the portrait is a fun and funky touch, which enhances the color-dipped look.

(Image credit: Sketch42)
(Image credit: Sketch42)

Half-painted walls give a stylish look to a monochromatic room from Sketch42. If you love the look of black walls but are afraid of the room becoming too cavelike, this is a great compromise.

(Image credit: Lonny)

In this room from Lonny, the dark lower half of the walls mirrors the black painted ceiling and the dark tones of the furniture, for a moody, sophisticated look.

(Image credit: Metro Mode)

Although it does remove the whole ‘less work and less paint’ aspect, I couldn’t resist including this photo from Metro Mode, which shows a room with black paint layered over mint green. This is a particularly nice way to give a lighter color a bit of an edge — or just add a little excitement to your room with two colors rather than one.