Post details: Focal-Point Walls


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Focal-Point Walls

These painting techniques help you create focus exactly where you want.

Golden OpportunityGolden Opportunity

With three color washes and careful measuring, you can create colorful geometric shapes. We taped off squares and rectangles for the color blocks, then created movement along the wall by combining three glaze colors: pale yellow, gold, and a scarlet hue blended from pale yellow and red.


Geometric shapes create a striking

What You Need:
- Acrylic paints in four colors (we used cream, pale yellow, gold, and red)
- Paint rollers and trays
- Tape measure
- Carpenter's level
- Yellow colored pencil
- Painter's tape
- Buckets with lids
- Clear decorator's glaze
- Good-quality 2- to 2-1/2-inch paintbrush
- Sponge
- Dishwashing detergent or shampoo

Golden OpportunityInstructions:

1. Create the focal point. Paint the focal-point wall cream and remaining walls pale yellow; let dry.

2. Determine height and width of wall. Measure height and width of focal-point wall. Using a level and yellow colored pencil, draw four equal-width columns across the wall with 2 inches between each (see Photo 1).
Photo 1

Golden Opportunity3. Section off columns. Divide columns into three different-size rows. Allow for 2-inch spacing between each section and for any baseboard or trim. On our 8-foot-high wall, the top block is 18 inches tall, the middle is 20 inches tall, and the bottom 46 inches tall. Extend measurements horizontally using a level and the colored pencil.
4. Tape each section. Tape off each section with painter's tape (see Photo 2).


Photo 2

5. Mix color. In buckets with lids, mix color washes with 1 part acrylic paint to 4 parts glaze. Store, covered, until ready for use.


Golden Opportunity6. Experiment with color combinations. Use the following directions to experiment with different color combinations on a piece of primed plywood before tackling the wall. Open all buckets and use a paintbrush to apply one color to one taped-off section (see Photo 3). Add a second color and even a third, if desired, all with the same brush. Blend all colors using the brushstrokes for texture. Repeat on the wall.

Photo 3

7. Evaluate progress. Before starting a second section, stand back and look at your wall to determine which mix of colors to use on the next section. Altering the mix of colors gives a sense of movement along the wall. Repeat with remaining sections.

8. Let painted sections dry. Let all sections dry; remove tape.

9. Wash lines. Wash colored pencil lines with a sponge and dishwashing detergent or shampoo. Touch up bleeding spots with the background color.

Tape Tip
When pressed firmly, quality painter's tape helps prevent paint from bleeding to unwanted areas. Brush the taped-off area with clear decorator's glaze to further prevent bleeding.

Better Homes and Gardens



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