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How to Paint Wall Edges Two Different Colors

Eric Jonas
Cover the entire corner in your light-colored paint to make the job easier.

Whether you are going to paint the adjoining walls of your dining room and kitchen, or you simply want to add an accent wall, painting walls with different colors may seem like a tedious project. After all, wobbly and messy lines aren’t going to enhance the decor of any room in your home. Differently colored walls do have their own allure and with the right combination can be a creative display of brilliant color contrast.

Step 1

Paint the wall with the lighter color first. Paint carefully around floorboards and ceilings, taping off these sections with painter’s tape and using a corner or edging paintbrush for these areas. You can afford to paint over the adjoining wall in this initial step. Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 2

Tape over the painted wall along the corner crease to make a clean, even edge for the second color. Take your time to ensure that you create a line that is as straight as possible. Ask for help in placing the tape or verifying that it’s straight, if necessary.

Step 3

Paint over the tape using the first wall’s paint color with an edge brush or roller. This will seal the tape, and any paint that escapes under the tape will be the lighter color so it can blend in easily. Allow the paint to dry.

Step 4

Paint the second wall, covering right up to the tape line. It’s OK if the paint overlaps the tape a little. The lighter coat applied over top of the tape has sealed any gaps beneath the tape. Let the paint dry. Apply a second coat of paint, if necessary. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

Step 5

Peel off the tape once the paint is dry. While you might feel inclined to rush and get the tape off right away, the wet paint from the darker wall can bleed into the formerly taped section. The tape should peel off easily after the paint dries, leaving a sharp and crisp line between adjoining walls of different colors. However, to ensure a perfectly clean, even edge, score along the corner gently with a utility knife to separate the paint over top of the tape from the paint on the wall, and then pull the tape off quickly but with firm, even pressure.


If some parts of the adjoining walls have rounded-off edges instead of the usual sharp edge and you’re having a hard time placing the painter’s tape, use a drywall compound first to refill and refine the corner. Keep it as smooth as possible and sand it once it dries. This will ensure that the resulting paint lines will be crisp and not wavy. Apply a primer before painting any sanded sections.