How to Paint a Room & Contrast Color for One Wall

Painting is the quickest way to completely transform any room or any house.

Contrasting Plain Wall-For Drama

Bright contrasting wall.Bright contrasting wall.
A little color can go a very long way. A popular recent trend is painting a contrasting wall. This adds depth, drama and an interesting focal point to the room. When doing this method of painting, try to use a larger room that already has a focal point such as a fireplace or large piece of art.

Step 1

Tape off walls, floors and ceilings.

Tape all the edges of the wall with painter's tape, including the floor and the ceiling.

Step 2

Prime walls  first.

Prime the walls with a regular primer, using a roller. It is especially important to prime the wall that will have the darker, contrasting color so the color will take easier to the wall.

Step 3

A light green wall will contrast dark sage very well

Paint the walls the color of your choice. It's best to go with either a neutral color or a much lighter shade of the contrasting color. For example, if the contrasting wall will be dark red, the other walls should be a medium shade cream or beige. If the contrasting wall will be dark sage, the other walls should be a light green.

Step 4

Wait 24 hours for paint to dry.

Allow 24 hours for the color to dry.

Step 5

Tape off the corners of each wall

Tape the corners of the "normal" walls so the contrasting color will not leak through.

Step 6

Red paint can take four to six coats for the perfect finish

Paint the contrasting color onto the wall. Several coats may be needed. Allow 24 hours between each coat (for dark colors such as red, four to six coats will be needed to get the desired color).

Step 7

Enjoy your lovely room

Remove all tape, and enjoy the new room.

Contrasting Striped Wall-For Less Drama but More Elegance

Step 1

Tape all the edges of the walls using painter's tape

Tape all the edges of the walls as usual.

Step 2

Prime walls with a regular primer

Prime all the walls with a regular primer. Paint the entire room the same flat color. Allow 24 hours to dry.

Step 3

Apply tape from the ceiling to the floor directly on each pencil marking

Measure the length that you would like each stripe to be (1 to 1 1/2 ft. works well). Mark a tiny dot with a pencil at each point. Apply tape from the ceiling to the floor directly on each pencil marking.

Step 4

Mark every other space with the pencil

Mark every other space with the pencil. Those will be spaces to paint.

Step 5

Paint the marked space with the same color as the walls but in a high-gloss paint

Paint the marked spaces with the same color as the walls but in a high-gloss paint. Remove the tape. The wall will have unique and elegant painted stripes.

Things You Will Need

  • Painter's tape, 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide
  • Paint rollers
  • Primer
  • Neutral or light wall color
  • Contrasting color
  • Optional for rooms with a striped wall:
  • Contrasting color (flat)
  • Contrasting color (high gloss)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil


  • Taping the ceiling is extremely important when using a dark color. It will create a perfect straight edge between the wall and the ceiling. Without taping the ceiling, the color from the wall will look jagged and sloppy.
  • Remember to paint the walls using a "W" shape. This will help saturate the wall and even the color out.
  • For a tutorial on wall stripes, visit:;=related

About the Author

Andrea Griffith has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been published by the "Western Herald," Detroit WDIV, USAToday and other print, broadcast and online publications. Although she writes about a wide range of topics, her areas of expertise include fashion, beauty, technology and education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Western Michigan University.