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Tips for painting a statement accent wall

Claire is an aspiring nutritionist (and soon to be culinary student) with a serious addiction to bacon, wine, goat cheese and online shopping. She is recently married to a social media guru who loves *almost* everything she conjures up. ...

Update your home with these paint tips!

So you've just purchased your new home and you're exploding with excitement to get started on renovations, upgrades and painting projects.
Gray accent wall

After much consultation and research, you've decided to paint a bright, festive accent wall in your living room to instantly add some pizzazz to the boring white walls. However, before you grab your paint and go to town, check out these important tips and tricks for creating the perfect accent wall!

Painting is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways you can update or change a room while still creating impact. However, when it comes to more precise painting projects, like tackling an intricate accent wall as pictured above, you need more than just a can of paint, primer and a brush! Be sure to read these important tips and tricks before you begin. A well-done accent wall can quickly, easily and cheaply turn a room from drab to fab!

accent wall

Pick your wall

Just like painting isn't as easy as slapping some color onto a wall, choosing your wall shouldn't be done blindly. You want to pick a wall that's a focal point of the room. For example, when you walk into the room, where do your eyes take you first -- the wall behind the fireplace? The wall next to a giant window? That's the wall you want to accentuate. It's usually best to choose a wall that has some architectural charm to it, like one with a fireplace, built-in bookshelf or a large window.

When choosing your accent wall, it's also important to take into account how you plan on decorating. Do you have a lot of oversized paintings, ornate mirrors or decals you want to use on adjoining walls? If so, creating a bold accent wall and decorating with those pieces will only create a cluttered, busy look. The wall pictured was a great choice to accent since it's along the stairs, plus, there are no decorations on the surrounding walls, making this wall the main focal point.

Photo credit: Raleigh-Elizabeth

living room accent wall

Choose your design and/or colors

If you're planning on painting a solid color, choose one that's slightly deeper, more vibrant or darker than the other walls. In the picture above, the other walls are a beige, while the accent wall is a deeper red. This not only makes it stand out more and creates more of a focal point, it adds a nice contrast when you're looking at the room head-on. However, each color isn't just that color alone. For example, blue isn't just blue, it's made up of green and yellow. So if you have a pale green wall and want to accent one side of it, a deep blue may clash. To find the right color, go to a home store or a paint supply store and ask for paint swatches in an array of different colors. That way, you can hold up the swatch to the wall and find the color that complements perfectly.

Feeling more artsy and want to create a more dramatic look, like the beautifully stenciled accent wall here? Simply find a stencil that is large enough to fit your entire wall. (You can buy them here). If you can't find one large enough, simply buy a few of the same stencil and layer them up. Place the stencil over the wall and using a smaller, more precise brush, paint inside the lines of the stencil using your accent color. Then carefully remove the stencil and let dry. You can do touchups then too. Check out this tutorial by DIY Network for more information!

Photo credit: James Steel

accent wall

Decorate wisely

After your wall is painted, primed and dried, it's time to start decorating! You certainly don't have to decorate your accent wall, especially if it's the wall behind a large fireplace, bookshelf or other statement architectural piece. However, if you've just painted a wall and want to add decor, find a theme and stick with it. Too many clashing colors, whether that be in frames, prints or artwork, will take away from the color of the wall.

Take, for example, this accent wall in the photo at right. The homeowner just added a few prints in the same color scheme and clustered them. The look is polished, simple and still creates a statement.

Photo credit: Amy Metzner Kimes

Painting an accent wall is an easy, budget-friendly way to spruce up your home, so follow these tips and get to painting! Check out HGTV for more accent wall tips and tricks,

More home improvement tips

Weekend home improvements you can do yourself
Monday Mom challenge: Home improvement projects
Girl's guide to home improvement

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