How to Get Half Painted Walls in 3 Easy Steps • Ugly Duckling House

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Hey friends — and welcome to my new office!

Excuse the mess and wires, but I’m still working on the full reveal! It may look familiar to some of those who have been following the blog for a while as it was my dining room for the longest. But when I kicked myself out of my old office upstairs in favor of turning it into Ellis’s nursery (which miraculously stays WAY cleaner even though there’s a full toddler in there now)…

It was the one I most used. Before baby was born, we rarely used our dining room. HA! This is not going to happen. And after all the work I’d done of removing the old wallpaper, painstakingly repairing the walls, adding picture frame moulding, and finding one of the few rugs in the house I’m not already tired of, it deserved a little more love in the form of actually being useful. This seemed to make it a perfect fit for me, even though I didn’t have any other options.

Even though I’d moved most of my things in the room quite a while ago, things like the fireplace mantel, the exterior, the nursery, etc. These items were all higher up on the priority list. What finally bumped this onto the “do this now” list was having a friend come into town. You may know her as Anika’s DIY Life!

I’ve really been wanting to do more collaborations these last few years but haven’t been able to do much traveling (for obvious reasons). So when Anika and I were talking about her visit to Atlanta for this year’s WorkbenchCon, I convinced her to come a few days early so we could film a new build together for my YouTube channel. The build is coming soon in separate posts.It was the ideal time to paint the walls. I wanted to do a fun color block look based on a beautiful design by Leann Ford that I’ve had in my phone for ages (the portfolio looks like it has since been removed but here’s another link — which, ironically, was a dining room design). While I couldn’t find any info on the exact color used, I found a similar color that I love on my own walls — Sherwin-Williams Newburg Green.

I didn’t want to do the same style of paint that I’d done before where I’d painted the bottom half of the wall and trim white and the upper half a contrasting color (for anyone that asks, the old color was Olympic Smoke Blue). I decided to use a 3/4 colour block instead. Do you want to experiment with this trend in paint? Here are some basic steps to get you started with this paint trend:

What you will need:

A quick reminder to remind you: clean all walls thoroughly before applying paint. If there’s a high gloss, you might want to use a deglosser or even a sanding sponge to scuff up and help the paint stick better.

How to Paint a 3/4-Painted Wall. The same method as for a painted wall that is half-painted.

  • The top portion of the wall should be painted. With an 8-foot wall, this means that the top 2ft (24in) will need to be painted in a different colour than the bottom. I eyeballed this and painted the top section of all 4 walls in the room with white paint (custom color match, which actually didn’t match to my liking but I painted it anyway because I just wanted it done). Ellis hasn’t been sleeping well, so I tend to work on methods where I can paint just a little at a time. Because I was applying paint to a darker shade, I applied two coats.
  • Place painters tape on the dividing line. When dry, measure to 24 inches from the ceiling.* Place painter’s tape directly above the line where the new paint is going to go. Although a laser line may make this easier, I checked the lines with a regular level so that they were straight. I’ll call myself out on this since I made a mistake with my eyeballing and realized after 2 coats that I had only painted (on average) 22 inches and not 24 like I’d thought! It was okay, and I did it anyway. You will never know. Be mindful on this step to use painter’s tape that is meant for delicate surfaces — it’s designed not to pull paint from freshly painted walls (it needs 24 hours dry time minimum though).
  • Paint the first color and then the second If you’ve never seen it done, you may find this a bit odd, but trust me, it’s a great trick! To prevent bleed-through, paint the top section of the tape the same color. The tape can be removed once it has dried. You then have the option to paint the top color. To get the best results, make sure you peel the tape away at an angle and while the paint’s still wet. Don’t rush it and be gentle as you peel. Leave with nice, crisp lines.
  • The dark color I used for the shoe molding and baseboards was also kept. It looks so chic! It’s just as beautiful as I’d imagined. To make it blend into the rich hue, I painted the switch and outlet covers. LOVE.

    So there you have it — one recently refreshed room that’s ready for new crown molding (K insists this is my next step because I deliberately left the top of the walls sloppy in anticipation of covering it over with crown; it’ll drive him crazy if I leave it like this). I’m also thinking of adding an accent color or two. Perhaps blush? Maybe blush? Keep an eye out for more information about the window project. Here’s a sneak peek:

    Do you want more painting ideas? Here’s what to read next:

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