Painting One Wall a Different Color

Why paint one wall a darker or lighter color than the rest?

By Dorothy Robinson from Minneapolis, MN


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May 11, 20090 found this helpful

Just for a change. I just painted 1 wall of my living room. The other 3 walls are an off-white and I wanted something to perk it up. I like the off-white but just wanted ...something. The wall I painted faces east and has 3 floor to almost ceiling windows each 4 feet wide. I painted the small part above and beside the windows a pale sage green. Now it looks like the outside is almost in my house. That's why I did it.

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May 11, 20090 found this helpful

I think it makes that part of the room the focal point.

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful

To create visual interest.

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful

My house is really dark, with few windows. Back when I wanted everything to match, I painted all walls the same, noticing that the one the only window was on looked much darker when dry, so I simply painted it two shades lighter and it's great. Also, rather than to paint any wall in the house a medium or dark color, I painted it (years ago, needing painting again) the whitest white I could find, ("ceiling white", I believe?), added lightest beige in ceramic 12" tiles on floors, lightest beige carpet, and kept the brick around the fireplace unpainted and it's natural


salmon color, letting it be the main color of the rooms. I bought off-white poly/cotton sofa/love seat set, and it has served me for over thirty years! Of course I'd love to replace everything, but I'm cluttered and it doesn't matter so much until I can de-clutter. Yet, The one wall I finally painted a different color was a soft butter-cream yellow, and it has just been wonderful behind my off white sofa set to keep it looking whiter as it ages.

You know, on Extreme Makeover they frequently paint every wall in the main part of the house a bold color, BUT it works mainly because the room is so very large. Remembering that dark colors will make the wall seem closer to you, two dark walls will make the room seem much smaller. Dark ceilings will seem to be falling on you, and dark walled hallways are awful, believe me. My tiny entry was a creamed coffee brown, and I can't wait to make the whole house fresh and light at last with the OOPS paint I got almost for free at Home Depot and the free paints I kept picking up curbside and at the recycling center curb, placed there illegally.


In my humble opinion, a single "decorator colored" wall is nice if the rest of the house is relatively new, but for a really outdated home and furnishings, it's not so great. Yet, I'm truly impressed with a neighbor's toast colored wall trimmed in white as looking the freshest I've seen anyone's. Good luck and God bless and help you. : )

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