Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! DIY Painting: Accent Walls 101. Here’s the latest.

A guest post by Laura McGarey
I thought painting an accent wall would be a fun, quick and easy way to add a splash of color and personality to my apartment. I figured painting an entire room would be a big commitment and I wasn’t quite ready to take the leap. Additionally I rent, so I didn’t feel it was worth my time and investment to paint entire rooms in a place that is not mine. I decided on painting different accent walls throughout my apartment because I felt they can make a statement in a room without closing it in or overwhelming it.

Choosing the Wall
I learned through research prior to my painting adventur, that it is important to choose the right wall to accent, the most obvious being a wall that is the main focal point of a room: a headboard of a bed, a fireplace, a big mirror, etc.  By painting this wall, it will further enhance the room’s main focal point.

Choosing the Color
I decided to paint four different accent walls throughout my apartment: one in the master bedroom and one in the spare bedroom, and two walls in the den.  I chose a bright “California Poppy” red by Behr for the den walls and a pale gray/blue called “Anonymous” also from Behr for the bedrooms.

According to eHow.com, the color you choose should compliment the room décor, not match it, otherwise the accent wall will lose its ‘wow’ factor.  I chose red because of the black and white theme of the room; I figured it would bring a pop of color and modern feel to the room. I chose the pale gray/blue for both bedrooms because it was neutral AND I only had to buy one gallon of paint for the project. I think I chose the right colors!

I made a trip to Home Depot, purchased all of my supplies and was super excited to start my “little” project.  Got home, moved the furniture away from the walls and rolled out the drop clothes.
Here are a few helpful tips I found out along the way:

  • Gather together your paint, brushes, rollers, hammers, screwdrivers, drop clothes, etc. before starting to paint (I forgot about the outlet covers until I needed to paint around them).
  • As much as you want to see the finished product ASAP, don’t try to get everything done in one day.  Take your time preparing and painting.
  • No matter how good of a painter you think you are, you are bound to get paint on yourself and your surroundings; wear old clothes.  Also, don’t go barefoot; your feet will stick to the plastic drop clothes!
  • Use a tinted primer, tinted the color of the surface coat. This should prevent the need for multiple coats of paint.
  • Blue painter’s tape: According to the label, it is suppose to keep paint from seeping through. I found through my first-time painting experience that you really need to make sure the tape is completely sealed. Also, try not to thickly paint over the tape because the paint may pull up when you remove the tape.

Overall, my first-time painting experience went well. Would I do it again? Honestly, I would probably hire a painter, for a few different reasons:

  • Professional painters are experienced and can save you a lot of time by getting the project done in a quick manner.
  • They know the proper techniques and tricks of the trade from years or experience, for example taping off the area to be painted.
  • It is fairly inexpensive to hire a painter for a single room or a few accent walls.

The entire project took me way longer than it should have simply because I had never done it before. I struggled with taping off the area and evenly painting each wall because I over coated the paint roller. I definitely think I will stick to my day job!