Partial Paint Jobs: 5 Ways to Pull It Off

Partial Paint Jobs: 5 Ways to Pull It Off

Adrienne Breaux
Jan 5, 2014

It's a divisive wall paint method, the partial paint job. It's been a trendy one in the past, too. Whether you do it with a sharp edge, a faded ombre or leave some intentional unfinished brush strokes, it's a bold way to add color to a wall. If you're looking to be gutsy in your interiors by using a partial paint job, you'll want to consider these ideas to keep it fresh this year.

1. Be faint for a slow reveal.
Who says adding a little color has to be a jarring experience? Choose a pale and delicate hue, a faint enough shade that won't immediately steal someone's attention the moment they walk into the room. It'll be a delightful surprise when their eyes adjust and see the colorful attention paid to a particular wall.

2. Keep it half height and extend it to another wall.
Just painting half a wall can feel a bit tired and a little too DIY, but when you extend the painted area to another wall (or ceiling), you're creating a design object that becomes a piece of art.

3. Follow the lead of other design elements.
Use a kitchen or bathroom countertop. A fireplace mantel. Something in the space that has strong lines. Incorporate a partial paint job, with either straight or unfinished edges, using the design element's size to help you decide the scale of the painted area.

4. Combine this paint trick with an already interesting, textured/patterned wall.
If you don't have cool wallpaper, brick, or a shiplap wood wall in your home, you might be envious and perplexed as to why anyone would want to cover it up. But it might not fit someone's style. Using a partial paint job, you can add a modern wash over a wall that you're tired of, while also respecting the design by leaving some of its original look in tact.

5) Be bold, take it to the top, and keep it to one wall.
If you're just itching to try a partial paint job with an incredibly wild hue, keep the negative space — the space you're leaving blank — to a thin strip. This will keep the contrast between the two colors minimal. If you're doing unfinished brush strokes, keep it to one wall; too many walls with unfinished edges can look really busy. If you're using clean edges, taking the color nearly to the ceiling will mimic the look of molding.

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