Half-Painted Walls Deliver All the Color, Without All the Effort

Half-Painted Walls Deliver All the Color, Without All the Effort

Nancy Mitchell
Mar 14, 2018
(Image credit: Little Greene)

Nothing can transform the look of a space quite like paint. But we get it: painting a whole room is a whole lot of work. That's why we're so into this unique look that's been cropping up on design blogs all over: painting just half the walls. It's a great way to do less work, use less paint, and create an interesting, architectural feature that will add character and color to your space.

Above: Little Greene's Tuscan Red makes a gorgeous faux wainscot in a traditional bedroom. This is a great way to add color to a room in a way that feels sophisticated and doesn't overwhelm the space.

(Image credit: Viv Yapp)

Half-painted walls add a colorful, geometric element to the bedroom of this London home. Usually a bold, bright color like this is a bit of tough sell, but only painting half the walls and keeping the rest of the items in the room to a neutral palette means that the look is energizing without being overwhelming.

(Image credit: Design*Sponge)

This is a particularly easy choice in a room that already has a chair rail, like this one from Design*Sponge. Painting half of the door (and expanding the color up the stairs) enhances the look.

(Image credit: Hidden Edinburgh)

It's a good idea to connect the height of your 'wainscot' with a feature in the room, like the fireplace in this room from Hidden Edinburgh. Painting the floor the same color gives this blue hue an immersive feel: painting half the portrait is a fun and funky touch, which enhances the color-dipped look.

(Image credit: Sketch42)
(Image credit: Sketch42)

Half-painted walls give a stylish look to a monochromatic room from Sketch42. If you love the look of black walls but are afraid of the room becoming too cavelike, this is a great compromise.

(Image credit: Domaine Home)

If you really want to commit to the style, you could do something like what we see in this space from Domaine Home, where both the bottom of the painting and the bench below are painted to match the wall. The effect is colorful and a little unusual, almost like an art installation.

(Image credit: Lonny)

In this room from Lonny, the dark lower half of the walls mirrors the black painted ceiling and the dark tones of the furniture, for a moody, sophisticated look.

(Image credit: Domino)

Here's a soft, dreamy take on the look from Domino: a half-painted wall with a whimsical, wibbly-wobbly upper edge. (This is best in a room that's fairly minimal, so it looks like a conscious design decision and not just an accident.)

(Image credit: Metro Mode)

Although it does remove the whole 'less work and less paint' aspect, I couldn't resist including this photo from Metro Mode, which shows a room with black paint layered over mint green. This is a particularly nice way to give a lighter color a bit of an edge — or just add a little excitement to your room with two colors rather than one.

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