Paint an Accent Wall in an Afternoon

Want to add decorating impact to a room in a fast and affordable way? Paint an accent wall using a bold color. 

This post has been sponsored by KILZ®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Back in the spring I showed you how I made over the upstairs bath and one of the guest rooms in my home. Right before the holidays I did a quick makeover to the other guest room by using paint to create a bold accent wall in the room.

Here is the room BEFORE

It is a very bright and comfortable room that just needs a few decorative tweaks.  I did the other guest room using feminine colors. For this room I am going in the opposite direction. I am using more masculine colors. Dark greens and blues taken from nature since the best part of the room is the…

… stellar view out to the lake.


I updated the fan and added some art to the walls that I will show you in another post, but furniture wise I am not buying anything new for the room. Using paint to create an accent wall is the least expensive way to makeover a room, painting one wall using a bold color makes it doable in an afternoon. You can see how the Simple DIY Headboard is hung on the wall with the bed moved away.

Painting an accent wall in any room can add a dramatic touch by creating a focal point that demands attention. It’s an inexpensive do-it-yourself painting project that is one of my favorite ways to add color to a room without overwhelming it.

I used KILZ Complete Coat® that I purchased at Walmart to paint the accent wall.  It is the same paint I used to paint a faux woodgrain effect on my front doors,   The paint is a paint + primer in one, but since I was painting a dark bold color over white walls, I first primed the walls with KILZ 2Latex® primer that I bought at The Home Depot. This is a pre-mixed “grey primer” that is good to use when painting dark colors over light. It will lessen the need for multiple coats while enhancing the dark color of paint.

The paint can be made up in many colors. I picked all the navy blue paint chips that the paint can be made up in and taped them to the wall so I could see how each looked at different times of the day.  I kept whittling the choice down until there was only one on the wall.  The winning color is called Saxophone Solo. 

I like the contrast of a bold accent wall against white walls. It adds a very modern touch to a space. But you can use any neutral color on the other walls.  Your neutral walls can be gray, beige or whatever works best with your accent color. You can use any sheen of paint, but remember the higher the sheen the more wall imperfections will show up. You can never go wrong using a flat finish. If you want to up the drama like I did, a satin finish will add a subtle sheen to wall.

Here is the AFTER. I love the contrast of the dark blue against the crisp white and black accents.

Reasons why you should paint an accent wall in room:

  • Let’s you try out a trendy color you are not sure about yet.
  • Can be done in an afternoon.
  • Creates a focal point in a room when there isn’t one.
  • When you leave the other walls a neutral or a different color it plays up the wow factor of the accent wall even more.
  • Create decorative impact for plain walls where no art is hung.

What Wall In a Room Should Become the Accent Wall?

  • Where do you want to draw attention? Are there any distinctive architectural features in the room like a fireplace, a built-in bookcase, a large window, or behind a bed’s headboard.
  • If you don’t have any of these elements in the room, the wall directly across from the doorway of the room is a good choice.
  • Adding an accent wall color can accentuate a part of the room as well as continue color schemes from an adjacent room, which serves to bring two spaces together.

How to Paint an Accent Wall in a Room

Guest Room AFTER with Accent Wall

supplies needed:

  • KILZ Complete Coat®  
  • Optional: KILZ Latex2®
  • 1″ – 2″ wide angled paint brush
  • Paint roller and roller tray
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint Edge tool

When painting an accent wall in a room my #1 tip is to use an inexpensive paint edging tool like this. You can buy one at a paint or home improvement store.

It will make creating crisp edges along the adjacent walls, ceiling and baseboard easy.

The other thing I do before I start to paint an accent wall is to place painter’s tape on the adjacent walls, baseboard and ceiling. I do this to ensure that no paint gets on these walls as I roll the paint on the wall that will become the accent wall.

If using a bold color of paint over white, first prime the walls with grey-tinted primer.

I applied 2 coats, letting the first one dry before adding the second.

Let the second coat of primer dry and then roll on the accent color of paint. I needed 2 coats for full coverage.

This room is very sunny making it a good room to add a bold color accent wall.

Have you ever painted an accent or focal wall in any of the rooms in your home? If so, what color did you use? If not, what color would you like to paint an accent wall in one or more of the rooms in your home?

KILZ Complete Coat®  can be purchased at Walmart & Amazon. To find out where you can buy KILZ® paint products:

Walmart Store Locator

Home Depot Store Locator