Highlight a Shelf
Accentuate an arrangement of knickknacks by painting a bold geometrical pattern behind the shelf where they're displayed. Armed with a measuring tape, pencil, painter's tape, and careful attention to detail, you can create a decorative element that will become a dynamic focal point of the room.
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Stripe Your Walls
Painting walls in vivid stripes, whether vertical or horizontal, can make a room look more spacious. Be forewarned that the key to a successful striping project is the prep work—measuring, marking, and taping the wall takes time and patience.
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Go High Contrast
Nothing looks quite so classic as traditional wood wainscoting, especially in an entryway. To modernize this old-school feature, consider using paint to achieve contrast and an illusion of volume. A darker color on the bottom grounds the space, while a lighter color above makes the room feel taller.
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Divvy Up an Open Floor Plan
Everyone's familiar with the idea of enlivening a room by painting individual walls in different colors, but have you considered taking this trick a little further? You can make a small space look bigger by using color to define portions of a room. Painting the floor, walls, and even ceiling of one section of a larger space in a different color creates the impression of a room within a room. The effect is especially striking when the contrasting colors meet in the middle of a wall, instead of at the corner of two intersecting walls.
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Add Texture with a Patterned Roller
You don’t need to be an artist to create an intricate and elaborate paint design on a wall. Instead, you can seamlessly apply an artful pattern to a wall using a patterned paint roller; it's much easier to handle than, say, stencils, which require working in smaller sections. For satisfying results, however, you must carefully follow the previous line rolled and match the pattern. Patterned rollers are reusable and interchangeable, making them ideal for DIYers.
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Stick Up Painter's Tape for a Custom Pattern
This buffalo check pattern, created with painter's tape, is a simple concept with a big impact. Start by measuring, marking, and taping to make a grid, then use three different colors to paint the pattern. With so many colors and patterns to play with, the options are practically endless. So, the next time you decide to paint an accent wall, go grab a roll or two of painter's tape and get creative.
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Accentuate High Ceilings
Chalkboard paint has become wildly popular over the past decade or so, and it’s easy to see why. Not only does the black paint contrast beautifully with lighter wall, trim, and ceiling colors, but it also allows the wall itself to come to life with messages, artwork, or doodles. In this kitchen, a chalkboard wall unites a cozy corner with the rest of the room and emphasizes the space's high ceilings.
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Color Outside the Lines
Inject character into a boring wall by painting a graceful arch around a plain-Jane doorway. For best results, create a kraft paper template, tape it around the doorway, then trace the outline in pencil. Use a small artist's brush to paint the outline to ensure a smooth, clean edge, then proceed to fill in with a wider brush. Incorporate accents throughout that echo the archway's color and pull the room together.
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Don't Forget the Ceiling
Look up! Is your celling white? This “fifth wall” constitutes a significant portion of the surface area surrounding a room, and although it's typically painted white, you can add interest and character by painting it a different color. Generally, a ceiling that is lighter than the wall feels higher, and a darker ceiling feels lower, cultivating a cozier, more intimate vibe.
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Brighten Up Your Floor
Transform a tired, worn-out floor into something far richer and warmer, without the cost and mess of refinishing. Whether you opt for a solid color, like the peaceful blue shown here, or a decorative pattern, updating your floors with paint is a great way to enhance a room.
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Trim Doesn't Have to Be White
While white trim does strike a crisp contrast against colored walls, there are some many other hues worth considering for trim. One option is to paint your trim a shade or two lighter or darker than your walls. Or, for a more minimalist, streamlined look, unify the trim and walls with a single color.
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Add Color in Corners
Odd corners present a splendid opportunity to try something a little different. Seemingly awkward spaces are prime real estate for angular patterns and bold stripes that elevate these forgotten areas.
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Paint a Fake Crown Molding
The perfect finishing touch for almost any room, crown molding offers that polished look that homeowners covet. But if you want that look without the expense and labor of installation, fake it by painting on a faux crown molding. Not only does this project sidestep the time and money associated with putting in real molding, but it's easily customizable—you get to decide the height that works best for your space.
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Have Some Fun
Let your true colors show by getting creative when it comes time to paint a room.
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