How to Paint An Ombre Wall

Master two variations with simple instructions from the pros
Rainbow Penthouse

Photography by Ingrid Rasmussen

Not all of us will be so bold as to paint an ombre wall in all the colors of the rainbow, but monochromatic rooms, incorporating tone-on-tone colors are hot right now.

And while there are lots of wallpapers that achieve the ombre effect beautifully, we decided to ask Chris Richter, senior paint merchant for Home Depot and Emily Kantz, senior designer at Sherwin-Williams about DIYing this trend. Here, two techniques—both quite simple actually—to get the intentionally imperfect flow of graduated shades on your wall.

The Tools You Need For an Ombre Wall:

  • Quality paint + primer
  • Spray bottle of water
  • Natural sea sponge
  • Drop cloths, brushes, rollers

DIY How To Guides:

Option 1: Fading one color to white

1. Choose a dark paint color, and paint the bottom half of the wall.

2. Spray tap water on the top quarter of the paint while the wall is still wet.

3. Using the sea sponge, pat the paint up the wall and blend as you go.

TIP: Pick paints in the same sheen for the prettiest effect.

Option 2: Taking a monochromatic approach

1. Select three tones—a light, medium and dark—in the same color. “Or choose colors that naturally transition well such as green, teal and blue,” Chris explains. Emily chose a yellow, tangerine and coral for the sunrise-like effect she created in her 2-year-old daughter’s room.

Ombre Wall

Photography by Emily Kantz

2. Though lots of online tutorials advise painting the entire wall the lightest color, Emily suggests painting three measured-out bands of color. Paint the top section the lightest hue, the middle one the medium color and the bottom band the darkest color.

3. Emily employed her husband’s help for this step. Starting with the darkest color, Emily’s husband rolled on additional paint to create a wet edge. He did the same with the medium hue, and Emily followed with a dry brush blending the sections together. Repeat this step to blend the middle and top sections together.

Ombre Wall Complete

Photography by Emily Kantz

Categories: Home Design