Should I paint an accent wall?

People often ask if they should paint an accent wall or how to know which wall is best for an accent paint color. An accent wall can look stunning, or it can look odd.

The decision of whether to paint an accent wall should be based on the architecture and the answers to these 4 questions:

  1. Does the room have one wall that is begging to stand out? A wall that just “makes sense”?
    This is an example of when a painted accent wall made good sense.
    The deep gray color adds depth to make the room feel bigger.
  2. Will the accent wall compete with another focal point? 
  3. Is the ceiling shape odd (not appealing)? For example, if it has low ceilings or lots of cut out dormers,  it’s best to not draw attention to it.
  4. Is the room small? If so, adding two different paint colors can create a chopped up look. So it might be best to add color in other ways, such as custom window treatments or huge art. It’s rare for a small room to look better with an accent wall. An exception would be if you can create an accent wall with unique style, such as in the niche below, as a surround to the bed. This “accent wall” looks amazing!
The architecture in this bedroom allows a partial section
of the wall to have an accent paint, what an ideal situation!


The deep rich paint on this accent wall works well, due to the art that compliments the
wall color. Also, notice the repeat of the color in the niche. This room is very
large with high ceilings, so a dramatic wall color is a nice addition.


If you would rather not paint an accent wall, consider an accent paint color on
cabinets or bookcases (either the back wall only or the entire bookcase).


In this room, not only does the accent wall have a rich
red paint, but the window frame has the same color as well. This is nice
because it doesn’t make it look chopped up….like when you have several different paint colors.
The back wall of this room has beautiful architecture,
an accent paint color would have been a nice touch, to draw attention to the architecture.
Accent walls can be subtle, such as a soft aqua or gray,
it’s nice to repeat a color that is in a fabric or rug.

To decide if you should paint an accent wall, discuss the questions above. In just the right room it can add drama, but if it’s done in a room where it doesn’t belong, it will look odd. Worse yet, it can make the room seem smaller or chopped up. We rarely see a room that is “begging for an accent wall”, but when we do, it’s an obvious great choice. It draws attention to architecture, gives the room personality, and allows you to enjoy a favorite color!

Comments or a thought you’d like to share? We love hearing your feedback!  Just click the word “comments” below….

Do you need help with an accent wall? If you’re in North Carolina, contact us for a quote today.

0 thoughts on “Should I paint an accent wall?

  1. After reading your article, I now know why some accent walls look jarring and others look great.

    You gave me two ideas I'm going to use in my home:

    1) Paint the window trim the same color as the wall

    2) Paint the built-ins around the fireplace instead of the entire fireplace wall

    Thanks for the tips!

  2. My bedroom is 16ft 5" x 15ft with 10ft ceilings. Bedhead wall is the 16ft 5 wall, no window or doors and is the bedhead wall. I am going to have a bedhead made about 5 1/2 feet high which will be a feature, but am thinking that a deeper colour paint behind the bedhead will really help accentuate it. Comments?

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