The Do’s and Don’ts of Painting an Accent Wall

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Perhaps you’re spiffing your house up to sell it or maybe it’s just time for an update to an existing room.   Either way, getting out the roller and a bucket of paint is a fantastic way to transform your home. Don’t want to paint the whole thing? No problem! You’ll be surprised at the huge difference you can make just by painting one wall.  An accent wall also known as a feature wall differs in design from the other walls in the room. It can be completely different color or a variation in color of the other walls.

Why Create a Room with an Accent Wall?

Paint color can really make or break a room. When you’ve chosen the perfect color, it goes a long way towards setting the mood in your living room, bedroom, or home office.  A painted accent wall gives you a way to complement the main color. Much like adding well-chosen home decor, painting a colorful accent wall gives you a way to make the colors on the other walls pop.

A living room accent wall provides a focal point in a larger room and also makes a smaller room look larger. They’re also an excellent way to have a little fun with unusual colors without committing to that hue throughout the entire room.  Want to get pretty in pink or bring in a bit of sunshine with some vibrant orange? A bright accent wall is the place to do it!  Want to try one of the trend colors, try it on the feature wall.

Choosing the Perfect  Color

Although choosing an accent wall can feel intimidating if you’re embarking on this kind of project for the first time, as long as you remember a few do’s and don’ts, it’s sure to be a success.  One of the best ways to choose a bedroom or living room accent color is to use a color wheel to pick you color scheme.  There are three basic color schemes monochromatic, analogous, complimentary.  If you are using a monochromatic scheme think shades of the same colors.  For instance you would use a light blue with dark blue.  If you are using an analogous scheme you will use colors next to each other on the color wheel.  As an example, a yellow wall with a yellow-green  wall.  Of for a complimentary color scheme it would be the color opposite the other color.  Yellow and purple work in this scenario.  Or start with a neutral on three walls and find an accent color that works with your decor. 

DO feel free to choose any room for a feature wall.

Painting an accent wall works well in almost any type of room — from a large living room to a small bedroom or even a hallway. It’s not the room that matters; it’s the colors you plan to use and the goals you’d like to achieve.  If you need to make a room look larger, try a dark color on the wall.  The dark color will visually push the wall backward, providing a greater sense of space

DON’T limit yourself on color.

Bold, vibrant colors work well to make small spaces look larger. Meanwhile, warm colors can help larger spaces feel more relaxing and cozy. You can also choose a neutral tone for an accent wall in a room that’s painted rather muted colors. A brown accent wall can add warmth and beauty to a room with more neutral colors. No matter what colors you choose, make sure you have the right colors in the room to accent them — whether it’s the color of the surrounding walls or strategically-chosen throw pillows or lampshades.

DON’T start painting without testing the color out first.

When picking out colors, use SureSwatch to test out different hues on different walls before you start rolling it on. This is much easier than working to cover up an unwanted color later.  A SureSwatch saves you from the hassle of repainting because of a bad color decision.

DO choose interesting walls to use as an accent.

The entire point of painting an accent wall is to draw the eye, so natural choices for painting an accent wall are areas that already have interesting architectural features. This could mean the wall behind your beautiful brick fireplace or the antique wood stove in the living room. There are plenty of opportunities for painting a fantastic accent wall in the bedroom. Choose the wall that anchors your bed to add dramatic flair. If you have a reading nook or a bookcase wall, these also make excellent choices for accent walls.

DON’T rule out the ceiling.

You may also consider using the ceiling as an accent wall. Although this may sound unusual, it’s a trend that’s becoming increasingly popular in the interior decorating world. Painting your ceiling as an accent is an unexpected way to add pizzazz and color to a room. If you have white crown molding, that’s a plus because it provides a visual separation between the walls and the accent ceiling that will truly help it pop.

DO have confidence in your choice.

Remember: a paint color is temporary. It can always be changed if you decide you don’t like it in the future. Using SureSwatch to pick the right hue and the best wall will help you avoid making mistakes; beyond that, go boldly into the world of exciting new colors and accents for your home!


SureSwatch is an easy-to-use, paintable clear film that eliminates the gap between the users’ vision of a newly painted room and the responses of “oh-its-too-bright” or “or its-too-dark” once the job is complete.  The low tack paint swatch can be used on multiple walls, multiple rooms and removes cleanly leaving the wall ready to be painted.  And the best part it is temporary, yet customizable by color and sheen.  SureSwatch was envisioned & created by entrepreneur, Jamie Peltz after watch people struggle with choosing the perfect paint colors.  She worked with friends and colleagues to create and commercialize SureSwatch.

Find SureSwatch at Home Depot, and Ace Hardware.