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How to Choose an Accent Wall Paint Color + Painting Tips

How to Choose an Accent Wall Paint Color + Painting Tips

Small home renovation projects are a great way to update your home and customize it to your style. One of the easiest ways you can refresh a living space is by painting an accent wall. A single painted wall can provide color to a room without overwhelming the space. These tips can help you can choose an accent wall color that best coordinates with your home design and decor.

This post is sponsored by Umbra. All opinions are our own.

How to Choose an Accent Wall Paint Color and Painting Tips

Painting is the first step towards decorating walls and coordinating rooms to create a comprehensive design within your home. Painting is my least favorite part, but the wall color sets the foundation for the fun part — decorating! Home decor brands such as Umbra offer timeless home accents that integrate seamlessly into many color schemes and decorating styles. Below, we share our process for picking a wall color, using proper painting techniques, and updating a room’s style with a few classic decorative accents.

Tips for Choosing Paint Color

It’s best to choose an accent wall paint color that coordinates with your existing furniture and home decor. If you have a classic country home design, warm hues such as yellow or tan could be a good fit for an accent wall. Modern home decor could coordinate with a gray, soft teal or dusty blue accent wall. A Southwestern or Adobe style home would look great with light gold, rust or soft plum accent walls.

  1. Choose a paint color that matches the style of your home.
  2. Coordinate that same accent color throughout your house with decorative details, pillows and throws.
  3. Tie rooms together by choosing several accent colors and coordinating decor accordingly throughout your home. For example, you may have a warm gray accent wall in one room with charcoal and teal decorative accents, and a soft teal accent wall in another room with warm gray, charcoal and teal home decor scattered throughout.
  4. Once you choose your accent wall color, you can embellish your home’s style with some fun home decor that adds pops of color!

Rainforest Sensory Kit creative kids activity

How to paint an accent wall - painting tips

How to Paint an Accent Wall

Choosing your accent wall paint color is the first step towards painting an accent wall. Once you have a general paint color in mind, you can purchase paint samples. You may want to test out a few colors of paint to see which color you like best. Paint a small swatch that you can easily paint over later. The paint samples will allow you to see the color on the wall within the lighting of the room, before you commit to painting the entire wall. Once you’ve decided on the color, you can confidently purchase the paint.

You can use a tool like this paint calculator to estimate how much paint you’ll need to buy for your project. Calculate the square feet by multiplying a wall’s width by the height. Generally, one gallon of paint will cover approximately 350 square feet.

Paint swatches to choose an accent wall color

Prep the Wall for Painting

Before you being painting your accent wall, you’ll need to do some prep work. First, you need to remove the outlet covers from all the electrical outlets on the wall. This is easily done with a screwdriver. It would be much harder to meticulously paint around each outlet cover.

Remove outlet colors before painting an accent wall

Tape off Edges

Next, you can make your painting job cleaner by taping off all the edges around the wall. This includes corners and the edge along the ceiling and baseboards. Painters tape is designed to provide a good seal on the wall to minimize paint from seeping beneath it. By properly applying painter’s tape along the edges of the accent wall, you will reduce a lot of touch up work you’d otherwise have to do later.

How to paint an accent wall - use a consistent painting technique

Use a Consistent Painting Technique

When painting an accent wall, it’s helpful to use a consistent painting technique that provides good paint coverage and doesn’t create noticeable edges. General painting tutorials recommend to paint in a “W” zig-zag pattern, going over the paint roller’s edges as you paint using diagonal motions. This painting technique will help cover the entire wall efficiently and minimize paint drips and paint edges left by the ends of the paint roller.

If you are painting a textured wall, you will need to be thorough to cover all the tiny textured indents with paint. If you quickly paint over white texture, you may notice later lots of white specks where the paint didn’t quite reach. Painting an accent wall may require 2 to 3 layers of paint, depending on the paint color or original wall color.

Tips for how to paint an accent wall

How to Re-paint a Dark Colored Wall

If you are re-painting dark colored accent wall, you may need to prime the surface before applying the new color of paint. Kilz wall primer and stain blocker is an excellent product to use because it effectively covers dark paint and prevents the old dark color from bleeding into the new wall paint as it dries. Your new wall paint may look great at first, but if you don’t cover old dark paint (or dark wood) with an effective wall primer, the old color may start to show through over time.

Decorate! Mix Timeless Classics with Trendy Accents

Choosing to paint accent walls in your home is a great way to refresh the style of your home and infuse new life into your living spaces. Once your accent walls are finished, you can embellish your home with coordinating furniture, lighting, curtains and rugs! We recommend choosing timeless styles for couches and larger furniture to maximize your investment. You can add trendy flair to your home with less expensive decor such as wall planters, chic rugs, side tables and decorative lamps.

How to choose an accent wall color for your living room

We enjoy changing up our accent colors based on season and stage of life. Because we have young kids, our living room has mostly dark furniture and a dusty blue accent wall. The blue paint provides a pretty backdrop for our white home decor. The dark blue color also hides dirt and fingerprints in the doorway; general wear that comes along with a busy family life.

We can change out throw pillows and wall art seasonally to incorporate different colors and styles that coordinate with our blue accent wall. Our blue wall is a simple by effective way to break up the white interior of our home without being too overwhelming.

living room with blue accent wall

Choosing home decor to match the accent wall color is my favorite part of home renovation. This geometric metal gem and modern decorative pot incorporates seamlessly into our modern country home design.

How to choose an accent wall color - coordinate decor with paint colors

Succulents are pretty to use in planters in every room of the house. We use a combination of live and artificial succulents to add a little greenery to our decor.

These cool planters from Umbra can be used in any corner of your home. They come in two sizes and several metal finishes including nickel, brass and copper. I love their simple yet trendy design that catches the eye and easily fills an open wall space.

Umbra wall decor succulent planter - how to paint an accent wall

Umbra’s modern LED picture frame is an innovative personalized accent for a shelf, home office or desk. This photo frame lights up around the edges. The two pieces of glass un-clip from the base, so you can slide a photo between them. It takes a little precision to re-assemble the photo frame, but once set up, the floating photo effect is pretty cool.

Umbra LED photo frame review

Princess Sensory Kit creative kids activity

Umbra was born out of passion for original design and the desire to create products for every home. Umbra’s team of international designers bring thought and creativity into everyday items, using innovation and inspiration from the global marketplace.

Umbra modern wall planters with succulents

Which color would you paint an accent wall? What are your favorite colors to decorate with? You can be as creative as you’d like when styling your home. It’s always fun to redecorate a living space or renovate your home to implement an entirely new design.

How to choose an accent wall paint color plus essential painting tips

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Nicole BertrandKatie WallaceAryaNatural Beauty And MakeupMarysa Recent comment authors
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Nicole Bertrand

Nicely done! I think I did too many accent walls in my old house, so when I moved to my current one I left every wall very light and very neutral! Maybe it’s time to add a pop of color though.


I had one of these walls and I painted it red, big lesson learned, too much red can make you tired after a while lol

Natural Beauty And Makeup

Gosh, this is such a helpful and informative post on painting! We are planning to renovate our living room and see, here we got such amazing tips 😍 Thanks for sharing 💕💕


Our house has such an open floor plan – it would be neat to paint an accent wall. Otherwise all the rooms just run into one another, so our whole house is pretty much the same color.

Jasmine Hewitt

i’ve been thinking of doing accent walls here in the new house. love the pop of color!


This couldn’t have come at a better time. We’re about to start refurbishing, and haven’t yet decided on paint colours.


This is such helpful info! I love the color that you chose for your accent wall. Succulents are so pretty have around the home.

Claire Lee

I love how it turned out and how you decorated it. Looks modern and calm. When I get my own home, I definitely want to paint my walls!

Mama Maggie's Kitchen
Mama Maggie's Kitchen

Wow! I am so loving this ! Thank you for the tips. Can’t wait to try this at home.


awesome tutorial. I also have an accent wall in my apt (it’s jet black) and I personally think it will always be nice

Yeah Lifestyle

These are some fantastic tips for choosing paint colours. I’ve always wanted to do an accent wall but never been confident enough in choosing the colour.


This is excellent!!! I love accent walls, i mean who doesn’t but i really love them. Thanks a lot for the tips.

Kalyan Panja

Thanks for sharing these nice tips which will help those who are looking to repaint their walls as your tips certainly looks attractive with some unique tips.

Cynthia | What A Girl Eats

We’ve been doing a lot of work and painting around our house. We are thinking about painting the wall behind our bookshelves a darker accent color. Thank you for the inspiration!