Unusual Painting Ideas for Awe-Inspiring Accent Walls

Unusual Painting Ideas for Awe-Inspiring Accent Walls

Adrienne Breaux
May 15, 2017
(Image credit: Liz Calka)

I like to call unique, not-all-the-way-painted accent walls "partial paint jobs." Sure, you can paint one wall of a room entirely and be done. But you can also put your own spin on a painted accent wall and end up with a one-of-a-kind room. The accent walls in these real homes push beyond the usual; you just may find inspiration for your home's own individual style from these successful ideas.

A dreamy ombre accent wall:

(Image credit: Liz Calka)

When you want a little bit of bold color in your life (but don't want to coat every wall in a room) go for a partial paint job on an accent wall, ombre-style. This idea comes from interior designer and business owner Teri Clar. In the bedroom of the Arlington, Virginia apartment she shares with her partner, Teri added Benjamin Moore's Crushed Velvet to an accent wall.

"I wanted to wrap my accent wall a little farther than the corner, so I decided to get creative with it," she explained about her design decision. She also shared just how she DIYed the look:

"When we painted, the bedroom walls were a darker gray blue color that we painted over. We painted white on the majority and crushed velvet right onto the blue where we wanted that color. If I were to do it over again, I would've painted all the walls white first to prime over the blue, and then I would've added the crushed velvet once the white dried. There are some spots where the raspberry color just doesn't cover well over the blue, and the ombre transition would probably have gone smoother, too.

The mood board for the bedroom's makeover. Teri didn't find an exact inspiration photo for her ombre wall idea, but she did find a shower curtain that had the ombre effect she was desiring!
(Image credit: Courtesy of Teri Clar)

I just used a roller brush like normal for the ombre effect. ...I put the crushed velvet in one side of the paint tray and the white on the other. I rolled the roller brush in the tray, and then rolled along the line on the wall where the raspberry met the white, moving the roller right and left just slightly. It kind of had the same effect as if you were sponge painting a wall — just a much more contemporary look."

Approximate time: An additional two hours to however long it would take to paint the room.

I love the idea of letting one accent wall extend a little farther than the room's boundaries. And instead of crisp edges, Teri chose to add an ombre effect. The result is just the right amount of boldness to the bedroom, with a softness that also feels relaxing. You can see before photos of Teri's bedroom on her blog.

Step up your painting game:

(Image credit: Viv Yapp)

Instead of just a regular half-wall paint job — like painting a color on the bottom half of a wall — Rhonda Drakeford added blue paint in the bedroom of her 500 square foot London rental flat. She painted the step-pyramid shaped half wall so that it frames her bed, making it feel more substantial than it is.

Rhonda's apartment actually provides partial paint inspiration in two more ways:

(Image credit: Viv Yapp)

Many people like to use paint to visually designate separate living areas in small spaces. In Rhonda's home, she used a golden yellow to delineate the dining area. But rather than just a line of paint from ceiling to floor, she chose to create a painted archway. The effect is architectural.

(Image credit: Viv Yapp)

Rhonda admits that her rental bathroom is on the ugly side. "The tiles had all fallen off from above the bath and all the sanitary ware is the cheapest common denominator crap," she described. But rather than live with an uninspiring space (and missing tiles), she took a paint brush to the problem.

"I've made a feature of the tile 'hole' by painting it with epoxy floor paint so it now frames the bath and feels a lot less 'squat.'" Because she used matte black paint, the blemishes of her rental bathroom are camouflaged, and what's left is a striking geometric situation.

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