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How to Create a Subtly Dimensional Accent Wall

Follow this step-by-step tutorial on how to use high-gloss medium mixed with standard wall paint to create a dimensional accent wall that is both subtle and modern.

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Gather Supplies gloss accent wallPhoto: Courtesy of Teresa Odland

Gather Supplies

For this project, you will need the following supplies:

  1. Latex Wall Paint – After painting the base color on the walls, you will use this exact same paint for the contrast design. Tip: Flat, Eggshell and Satin finishes work best.
  2. Gloss Medium – You’ll find this at art and hobby stores
  3. Heavy cardboard and craft knife or a pre-cut stencil
  4. Light pencil, chalk
  5. Mixing cup
  6. Detail paint brush or small roller
  7. Level, painters tape (optional)
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Create or Select a Stencil High gloss accent wallPhoto: Courtesy of Teresa Odland

Create or Select a Stencil

For this example, a stencil is created by printing out a design and tracing it on a piece of heavy cardboard. Then cutting it out with a craft knife and tracing a repeating pattern onto the wall with chalk and light pencil marks. Be mindful as you trace the design to keep straight, level lines. Alternatively, you could use a pre-cut stencil. Choose a design that has less painted area than non-painted area.

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Mix Paint and Gloss accent wallPhoto: Courtesy of Teresa Odland

Mix Paint and Gloss

Mix the wall paint and gloss medium in a 1:1 ratio in a small cup or paint roller pan. The paint will become semi-transparent. Flat, eggshell and satin finishes work best because they create greater contrast behind the gloss stencil pattern.

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Trace and Paint Design high gloss accent wallPhoto: Courtesy of Teresa Odland

Trace and Paint Design

In this example, the cardboard cut-out shape is traced onto the wall with chalk and light pencil marks in a repeating pattern and then painted over with the paint/gloss mixture using a small artist paintbrush. This gives the design an imperfect, hand painted look. For a more precise pattern, try using a pre-cut stencil sheet and a small roller or sponge brush to apply the paint/gloss mixture. Keep in mind the paint/gloss mixture will become semi-transparent, so all tracing and marking lines should be made lightly.

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high gloss accent wallPhoto: Courtesy of Teresa Odland

Finished Product

Work your way across the desired area until you have completed the accent wall and let the surface dry according to the wall paint’s directions. This project requires some patience, but will be worth the time and effort when you have completed a modern, beautiful accent wall. This effect looks great during the day and really shines in lamp light at night.