Jazz up your walls by painting them not just in a single color, but using a combination of two colors, or using special decorative techniques.

1. Two-toned Wall

If you have trim or molding that divides your wall in top and bottom sections, painting your wall in two shades is a great idea. Even if the trim does not exist, you can decide where you want the dividing line, measure accurately, and use painter’s tape to section the areas off. Paint the bottom area in a darker shade than the top to ground the space and make the room feel larger. Paint the top section first to avoid unwanted staining or dripping on the lower section.

2. Color Blocks

Good quality painter’s tape is essential for this method to work. Place the tape on the walls so that they form square or rectangular blocks. You can decide on the size of the blocks and how you want them to be arranged. Painting within the tape boundaries will produce clean blocks of a different color than the background when the tape is removed. The idea is to have two complementary or contrasting shades on your wall.

3. Paint Your Own Design

Express your individuality by painting your very own design, whether it be a pattern of circles or swirls on a section of your wall, or a simple landscape scene that covers an entire wall. The great thing about paint is that if you don’t like it in the end, you can always paint over it. For those who are not as adventurous or artistic, try using stencils for clean shapes and patterns. You can choose any motif that fits the room, from flowers and leaves to animals or sailboats.

4. Vertical Stripes

Another technique requiring high quality painter’s tape, painting vertical stripes on a wall can add a whimsical or formal vibe to a room, depending on your color choices and the width of your stripes. Paint your first color on the entire wall and let it dry. Then measure your stripes carefully and use a level and T-square to ensure that your painter’s tape is placed in straight lines, and add your second color between the lines of painter’s tape.

5. Trim

The trim or molding on walls is often painted in a shade of white when the wall is painted a different color. Often the neutral white looks just fine, but consider painting it a shade that coordinates with the color scheme of your wall and room. For instance, a soft gold can add warmth and brightness, while painting the trim black can enhance the clean, modern look of a room.

6. Sponging

A decorative technique that creates a textured look, sponging is easy to do and requires only a sponge or rag. First apply a base coat of paint to the walls and let it dry. Then apply another lighter or darker shade on top with a rag or sponge in a gentle dabbing motion. The second color should be subtle and you can experiment with an inconspicuous area first, having a clean rag ready to wipe away any mistakes.

7. Combing

The combing technique involves the use of a squeegee with teeth and requires a little more skill to apply effectively. As with sponging, a base coat should be painted and left to dry before painting on a second layer. Comb through the second layer of paint to create pattern such as waves and zigzags.
When trying a decorative technique such as sponging or combing, you may find it helpful to practice first of a piece of scrap drywall. This will help you perfect your design and assess how you will like a particular color combination.

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