How to paint a feature wall

How to paint a feature wall

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A feature wall is a good way to inject some colour into a room without feeling overwhelmed by it.

It can also be a way to highlight features in a room or a way to have fun with interior design. So whether you’re on the fence or have made your mind up, here’s some tricks to deciding on a feature wall and how to paint one. 


Feature wall paint ideas

To get the best out of painting a feature wall, there are a few things you can take into consideration.

A feature wall draws the eye to a central focal point. So you should use it to emphasise features in a room that already exist. This could be something like a fire place, a TV, headboard or even an architectural feature like an archway.

If you choose to paint a completely different wall, you run the risk of the room feeling chaotic.

Feature walls work best in rooms that aren’t already overcrowded with furniture or patterns. A room that’s crowded and has a lot of statement features vying for attention will be overwhelmed by a feature wall.

They can also be a useful way to emphasise and divide living areas. If you have an open plan living room and kitchen, feature walls can help divide spaces and make it clear where the cooking space ends and the living room begins.

If you live in a small space, a feature wall will only serve to make it feel crowded. You’re much better off using one entire colour for the whole room – even if it’s a bold one.

Feature walls don’t have to be bold colours. If you’re unsure, use the same colour as the rest of the room but a few shades darker or lighter. This won’t feel too dramatic but still achieves everything a feature wall does. You can of course choose a contrasting colour too, just make sure it’s of the same intensity or hue as the rest of the room or it will be drowned out. 


What you’ll need

  • Decorator’s tape or masking tape
  • Dust sheet
  • Sandpaper
  • Sugar soap and sponge
  • 2” paint brush
  • Paint
  • Roller and roller tray


How to paint a feature wall

  1. Put down a dust sheet
  2. Lightly sand down the wall with 80 grit sandpaper. This will smooth it out and help the paint stick.
  3. Use sugar soap and a sponge to wipe down the wall. Let it dry.
  4. Apply masking tape or decorator’s tape just below the wall to protect other features from getting paint on them. Do the same with any plug sockets or light switches too.
  5. Dip half the bristles of a paintbrush in your chosen paint colour and wipe off the excess on the rim of the tub.
  6. Use a 2” brush and cut in around the edges of the wall, overlapping the paint slightly with the decorator’s tape for a crisp line.
  7. Put the paint into a roller tray and load the roller with paint until the roller is completely covered with paint.
  8. Apply the paint to the wall with light pressure in a V motion to evenly spread it around.
  9. Wait 4 hours for the first coat to dry.
  10. Apply a second coat.
  11. While the second coat is still wet, slowly remove the tape at a 90 degree angle. This will give you a crisp finish.