Are you wondering what is the best way to paint a room with two colors? Painting a room with more than one color is a great way to change up the look of your space, but it can be tricky to get right.
If you need help with how to pull off this look, don’t worry. I have all the tips and tricks you need for a beautiful DIY paint job using two colors in one room.
Keep reading to learn how to paint a room with two colors, plus get some ideas for choosing colors that work well together.
Why Paint a Room with Two Colors
Why limit yourself to one color when you could paint two colors in the same room?!
Paint is one of the quickest, easiest, and most affordable ways to dramatically change the look of a room.
Whether you want to make a significant change or update your space with a different style, painting a room with two colors is a great way to create a fresh new look.
Here are several reasons why you should consider painting a room with two colors.
Paint is a simple and inexpensive way to add interest to a space. Using two colors can add interest subtly or more dramatically, depending on what colors you choose and how you use them.
Using two similar colors is an excellent way to add interest in a subtle way. If your room has a lot of neutral colors, using two similar, neutral colors adds an interesting element to the space while still keeping a neutral color scheme.
If you’re aiming for a more dramatic look but don’t want to go too extreme, painting a room with two colors is a good way to accomplish that. You could use a neutral color as your primary color and then add a secondary color in a more dramatic shade on the bottom half of a room or as an accent wall.
If you’re going for drama, painting a room with two bold colors in contrasting shades definitely makes a statement.
Highlight a Particular Area of the Room
Using a second color on the walls is one way to highlight a specific part of a room.
One wall painted differently from the rest stands out and draws your eye to that area.
Using two colors to make a pattern in one area also draws attention to that spot.
Using a lighter color on the top and a darker color on the lower half draws the eyes up and focuses on the top part of the room.
Divide the Room
Painting two colors in a room can help define the space and create distinct areas.
This works especially well in homes that feature a large, open-plan space. Color can help provide the illusion of separation even when there is no obvious division between spaces.
Even in a smaller room, using two colors can help define different areas and purposes for the space.
Create the Illusion of More Space
Painting a room with two colors can define space and create the illusion of more space in several different ways, depending on your approach.
Painting a darker color on the bottom half and a lighter color on the top half of your space can make a room look bigger.
Using a lighter color on two parallel walls and a darker color on the other walls can give the illusion of a wider or deeper room.
Ideas for How to Paint a Room with Two Colors
Use an Accent Wall
An accent wall is when you paint one wall a different color from the other walls in your room. Accent walls are a classic choice for how to paint a room with two colors.
Accent walls highlight specific areas, add interest, and are perfect for adding more color.
With an accent wall, you can use colors that you might not want to paint on an entire room. If you love a bright, bold, or dark color, using it as a secondary color on an accent wall is the perfect way to bring the color into your space.
Even if you want a monochromatic color scheme, accent walls are a good way to add interest and style to the space. Simply choose a color in a different shade rather than a completely different color.
Bring Color to the Ceiling
Whoever said that ceilings have to be white? To add interest, why not use a different color for the ceiling? Painting the ceiling can also create a different feel for the space.
A darker color on the ceiling brings in the space and makes the room feel cozier. A bright sunny yellow or other cheerful shade brightens and energizes a space giving it more life and vibrancy.
Create a Pattern
Using two colors to create a pattern is a fun way to add some personality and interest to your space. An unexpected or trendy pattern could be the perfect way to bring in some detail and incorporate your own unique sense of style into the room.
It may sound intimidating if you don’t have a lot of experience painting, but painting a pattern like stripes, chevrons, or polka dots actually isn’t too complicated.
For a dramatic look, use complementary or contrasting colors in bold shades. For a more subtle look, use two similar, neutral colors or even two different shades of the same color.
Use Different Colors on the Top and Bottom
Painting two different colors on the top and bottom of a room is a simple and elegant look that creates some added interest.
Use a chair rail to divide the room and create a smooth line, or have the two colors meet near the middle of the wall.
If you like the idea of using two colors in one room this way, it usually looks best to paint the lighter color on top. Using a darker color on top can make the room look smaller. Of course, if that’s what you’re going for, you may prefer to use the darker color on top!
How to Choose Colors that Go well together
You’ve decided on a plan for how to paint a room with two colors, and now you may be wondering how to choose two colors that go well together.
As you’ve seen above, color is powerful. The colors you choose and how you use them in a room can greatly impact the overall look and feel of the space. Here are some tips for choosing colors that work well together.
Start with a Base Color
If one color is more prominent in the room, choose that color first. Then you can add a secondary color that works well with the base color.
If two colors are equally present in the room, start by choosing one you like and then go from there to choose a second color.
Choose the Secondary Color
When choosing your second color, think about the look and feel you want the room to have. Something classic or funky? Subtle or dramatic?
You can’t go wrong with a monochromatic color scheme in a neutral shade for a classic look. Choose two colors in the same color family, such as two different shades of gray.
For a dramatic look, choose colors on opposite sides of the color wheel, like blue and red. Contrasting colors (those that are on opposite sides of a color wheel) stand out more than complementary colors (colors next to each other on a color wheel).
How to Paint a Room with Two Colors
Once you decide how to use two colors and which colors to use, you’re ready to start. Here are some tips for painting a room with two colors.
Paint One Color at a Time
Start with one color and let it dry completely before moving on to the second color. You don’t want the colors to blur in some spots because the paint is still wet.
You also need the paint to dry before applying painter’s tape.
Use Painter’s Tape for Clean Lines
Painter’s tape is inexpensive but invaluable for getting clean lines while painting. When painting two colors in one room, painter’s tape is one of the best ways to get clean, crisp lines between colors for a professional look.
Measure Carefully Before and After Applying Tape to the Wall
If you’re creating a pattern or dividing a wall with paint, measure and check that the tape is level before and after applying the tape for the best results. Mistakes can happen when you apply the tape, and even if it looks straight, it never hurts to double-check before you move on to painting.
Wrapping up How to Paint a Room with Two Colors
Now that you’ve learned how to paint a room with two colors, you’re ready to get started on your project! Check out 21 Best Living Room Paint Color Ideas if you need some color inspiration. Don’t miss the Interior page on the blog for more interior painting tips, tricks, and ideas. You’ll find helpful posts there to make your DIY painting projects easier and look more professional.
I started painting in 2001 and have seen just about everything in my painting career. I started in production and commercial painting, then moved over to new construction and remodeling during the boom of the early 2000s. Post 2010, I niched down into residential painting where I have done everything from exteriors, decks, interiors, furniture and more. Over the last few years, I’ve had a focus on kitchen cabinets.
I started the DIY Painting Tips blog in 2015 to start sharing everything I’ve learned over the years and help all the people who’d rather tackle their painting projects themselves.
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