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Paint a Wall Accent

Make neutral walls pop with color by adding painted accents. Use them to complement furniture in matching colors or showcase artwork.

Aqua-color wall accent

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Painting supplies
  • Painter’s tape
  • 3-foot (or longer) level
  • 6-foot (or longer) straightedge


  • Valspar Signature paint, gallon, Vivid Blue (#4006-10C)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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A color accent can be sized to a piece of furniture, expanded to cover an entire wall or, as with this project carried over onto the ceiling. When sizing an accent for your room, remember that narrow patterns make the ceiling feel higher. Size your accent to avoid overwhelming the room with color. Then choose bold colors that attract attention by themselves or more subtle colors that direct your eye to art displayed on the wall. To see a video on creating zones, click here.

Step 1

If the wall accent will be narrower than the width of a fall, mark the vertical edges at the ceiling. On each mark, place a level or a combination of level and straightedge and mark the vertical boundaries of the accent.

Step 2

Apply painter’s tape along the pencil lines so that you can paint over the lines. Then mask off the ceiling and baseboard if you want to retain their original color. For an entire wall, apply painter’s tape at the corners.

Good to Know

Use a moist paper towel to wipe the baseboard clean before taping for a tight seal.

Step 3

With a paint roller, apply the first coat of accent color. Allow it to dry according to the label directions, and then roll on a second coat. Allow the paint to dry before removing the painter’s tape.

Good to Know

If you’re adding the accent to a freshly painted wall, first apply the room color along the tape edge inside the accent area. That way, any paint that seeps beneath the tape will blend with the neutral areas and create a crisp line for the accent color you’ll apply afterwards.

Step 4

To gauge how artwork will look on a small accent wall, lay out the various pieces on a section of floor the same size as the accent area. After you settle on an arrangement, transfer the measurements to the wall and use nails or wall hangers to display the artwork.