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The Easiest DIY Painted Accent Wall

Learn how to paint an accent wall with this super easy DIY painted accent wall tutorial that works great for ANY room!

We are starting our next room makeover in our home, my son Jackson’s bedroom! Although this will be a toddler boy bedroom makeover, I am beyond excited about the beautiful and cozy design I have planned and that it’s going to be a design that will work great for all ages!

The first project we have started with is the paint, more specifically the DIY painted accent wall! When we moved into our new home last year, all of the walls were white and had not been painted in at least 20 years. The walls in Jackson’s room needed to be painted desperately as they were all scuffed up.

I knew that painting the wall with the arched window and vaulted ceiling, two pretty architectural details, a darker color, with three other white painted walls, would look stunning, and be perfect for a DIY accent wall.

DIYer and DIY painted accent wall

Plus, painting an accent wall just one solid color is by far one of the easiest, affordable accent walls you can do! You don’t need any stencils, wood, or wallpaper or anything extra, just one can of paint.

DIY painted accent wall with vaulted ceilings and arch window

But this how to paint an accent wall tutorial can be used for any kind of accent wall or wood accent wall.

I’ve used this method for all of my different DIY wall panels, like DIY board and batten and DIY vertical shiplap. Note, I have a detailed tutorial on how to paint shiplap walls as well if you want to do a painted shiplap wall.

DIY board and batten painted accent wall

How to choose an accent wall to paint

Painting an accent wall is an easy way to create a feature wall.

If you are trying to choose an accent wall to paint, I would suggest going with the main wall in the room that you want to be the focal point.

Typically, this works well for a wall with a large piece of furniture like a bed, couch, entertainment center, or built ins. Or if you are adding any other molding or DIY wall panels to a wall.

But, it doesn’t have to be! It can also be a wall you want to display beautiful artwork or something else that’s special to you!

Or in my case, if you want to enhance the character or architectural details of your home, like windows or vaulted ceilings.

In my last home, we actually did a black painted bedroom accent wall for our master bedroom makeover. Not only was the wall the focal point for our large bed, but it had an angled ceiling and the combination of the angle, the black paint, and our bed looked great!

DIY painted accent wall with black paint in master bedroom

One of the best parts about accent walls is that they look beautiful in any room, like a living room, dining room, craft room, guest room, home office, play room, etc. It’s the perfect way to add a pop of color to a boring wall!

They also work great in rooms of all sizes, including a small space like a small bathroom.

How much does it cost to paint an accent wall?

With a painted accent wall, you only need enough paint to cover the one wall. If you have a smaller wall like us, you can get away with just a quart of paint, which can cost about $15-$35, depending on the brand.

If you have a larger wall, a gallon should be enough and that costs about $25 or more, depending again on the brand of paint. If you buy your paint at Home Depot or Lowe’s, it is usually less expensive than buying more brand name paints like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams.

Although Sherwin Williams often runs sales on the paint!

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more info see my disclosures here.

How to Paint an Accent Wall

What supplies do I need to paint an accent wall?

Here are the supplies needed to paint an accent wall:

1. Test paint colors and pick an accent wall color

Just like I shared in my 7 tips for picking paint colors, it’s really important to get actual paint samples of different paint colors you are considering for your DIY painted accent wall.

You can either get sample pots at the paint store or order samples online. Samplize is where I bought mine!

It’s best to place the samples on the accent wall you want to paint and look at them at different times of day since paint can look totally different based on the lighting in your room.

testing paint samples on wall

If you need some paint color ideas, here are 10 of my favorite paint colors with real life photo examples!

Consider adjacent wall paint colors

It’s also important when picking an accent wall color, how the accent wall paint color will look next to the adjacent walls, as well as other decor and furniture finishes in the room.

You can’t go wrong with white paint next to an accent wall!

Based on my two accent wall samples, I decided to go with Millstone Gray by Benjamin Moore as my accent wall color and Soft Chamois by Benjamin Moore for my other three walls. It’s a very soft, creamy white that looks beautiful with the Millstone Gray, which is a dark green/gray!

testing paint samples on wall

Pick a paint sheen

Decide what paint sheen you want for your accent wall. Lower sheens are less shiny and reflect less light and are harder to clean.

Example sheens include flat, eggshell, stain, and semi-gloss.

I choose eggshell for all of my walls. It’s my favorite for walls because it’s not too shiny, but it’s still wipeable and easy to clean.

2. Prep the accent wall for paint

To prep the accent wall for paint, move furniture out of the way and cover your floor with flooring paper or a drop cloth to protect it from small paint droplets and other paint splatters.

Also, cover any furniture nearby too with an old sheet or drop cloth.

prep floor for paint with flooring paper and drop cloth

Note, this tutorial assumes you already have painted walls like most people do. But, if you are starting with bare drywall first or bare wood, make sure to use primer first before painting!

Remove wall outlet covers

Remove all wall outlet covers from the wall with a screwdriver.

wall outlet covers removed

Remove hardware on wall (optional)

If you have any hardware on the wall, like curtain rods, or a light fixture, it’s best to remove them, it makes the painting process easier. But you don’t have too.

We choose to leave our curtain rod hooks up since they were in the exact spot we need them, so we just cut around them with the paint brush carefully (step #4).

white wall before paint

Fill holes on the accent wall

If you have any nail holes or other small holes on your wall, fill them with spackle, let dry, and sand smooth with some 120 grit sandpaper. Make sure to remove the dust with a shop vac or wiping clean with a damp rag after sanding.

filling holes with spackle

3. Paint the ceiling and trim first if desired (optional)

If you are painting your ceiling, baseboard, window trim, or any crown molding (that will be a different color than your accent wall), do this before starting your accent wall.

Allow the ceiling and trim paint to fully dry.

4. Cut in accent wall with a paint brush

Begin your DIY painted accent wall by cutting in the paint with a Paint Brush along the baseboard, corners, and all edges of the entire wall you are painting.

For this step, I like to pour my paint in my Handy Paint Pail and use a Short Angle Brush. But, you can also just use a Paint Tray and standard size Paint Brush, which Brandon likes to do.

cut in DIY painted accent wall with a paint brush around edges of wall

If you are painting the window trim the same color as the accent wall, like we did, cut that in as well with a paint brush.

cut in accent wall with a paint brush and paint on window trim if desired

For cutting in, you can either use painter’s tape or just do it by hand if you have a steady hand! Brandon use to work for a painter in college so he got very good and fast at cutting in by hand.

cut in accent wall with a paint brush and paint along baseboard and wall edges
edges of DIY painted accent wall cut in with dark paint

Let the first cut coat dry and then cut in again with a brush for a second coat of paint.

Using two coats of paint, especially with a dark color, looks best. It’s what we used for our black painted accent wall in our DIY bedroom makeover!

5. Roll the DIY painted accent wall with a paint roller

Next, roll the paint onto the accent wall.

Use a 9 in. Paint Roller and paint tray and paint extension pole to make the process easier.

how to paint an accent wall using a roller
rolling paint with paint roller on DIY painted accent wall

Let the first coat of paint dry. Then roll a second coat of paint onto the DIY painted accent wall.

This is the easiest and fastest step!

6. Paint adjacent walls (optional)

If you want to paint your adjacent walls as well, like we did, and you are painting them a lighter color than your accent wall, it’s best to paint them after your accent wall.

This is because if you have to do touch ups on your accent wall, it’s easier to do one touch up coat of dark paint over white or a lighter paint than, white paint over dark paint which would need two coats to cover darker paint.

7. Paint wall outlet covers and reinstall on the DIY painted accent wall

Finally, paint your wall outlet covers and screw heads the same color as the accent wall paint. Again use two coats of paint.

wall outlet cover painted same color as accent wall

Let them fully dry then reinstall with a screwdriver back on the DIY painted accent wall.

I love how this painted accent wall turned out, it has made the room feel so much more defined and even taller!

DIY painted accent wall painted millstone gray by benjamin moore
DIY painted accent wall

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest way to add an accent wall?

As I explained previously, the cheapest way to add an accent wall is a one color painted accent wall.

With a painted accent wall, you only need enough paint to cover the one wall. If you have a smaller, you can get away with just a quart of paint, which can cost about $15-$35, depending on the brand.

If you have a larger wall, a gallon should be enough and that costs about $25 or more, depending again on the brand of paint.

How do you paint an accent wall for beginners?

Whether you are a beginner or not, painting an accent wall is the same steps. First, prep the wall for paint. Second, cut in the wall with a paint brush and the paint along the trim and edges. Next, roll the paint on the wall.

See my detailed tutorial above!


how to paint an accent wall

I hope this how to paint an accent wall tutorial has been helpful for you! Painting an accent wall is a great way to create a fun accent wall on all white walls or if you want to add a bold color but not to the whole room.

Again if you need more ideas for paint colors, check out my 7 tips for picking paint colors and my 10 favorite paint colors.

Also, this DIY painted accent wall tutorial works great for painting other kinds of accent walls like DIY wall panels and DIY board and batten. Check those tutorials out for more accent wall ideas.

Make sure to follow along on Instagram stories for sneak peeks of the progress of this boy bedroom makeover and follow along on YouTube for video tutorials of all the DIY projects I’m doing!

Sharing is caring!

Lindsey Melland

Wednesday 17th of January 2024

Love the finished look! What color paint did you use for this accent wall?

Angela Marie Made

Thursday 18th of January 2024

Thank you! It's Millstone Gray by Benjamin Moore!


Sunday 24th of September 2023

I have followed you for the last several years. I never thought about painting the outlet covers. Thanks for that. I am going to remedy the problem those ugly outlet covers created next weekend.