picture with a wall with 2 tone

Giving different rooms in your home a personalized look is easier than you might think. Typically, people believe that they can’t paint the room more than one color because it is hard to accomplish, let alone look good when you are done. Well, get ready for your perspective of two-toned painting to change!

Using two different colors on one wall, divided either horizontally or by vertical stripes, creates visual interest. This technique allows for creativity, and even neutral colors can be made more interesting by using different shades of the same hue.

Here are five easy steps to follow to get an attractive, two-toned paint job, brought to you by your premier Painters Rockford IL!

Step One: Pick your colors

While this might seem easy, for some, this is the most challenging step in the whole process. Put some thought into what color scheme you’d like to use on your walls.

Monochromatic color schemes use different shades of the same hue. This method has a subdued effect, while also standing out more than using just one color. This is a safe option to take, because colors from the same color family will always look good together.

Analogous colors are colors that are related, or next to each other on the color wheel. Usually, one color is dominant, while the other color is used to enrich the effect. Examples of analogous colors include greens and blues, or oranges and reds.

The most obvious color scheme is using complementary colors. This method pulls two colors that contrast each other without clashing. These are colors that complement each other, and are found opposite each other on the color wheel. When using the complementary color scheme, it is important to remember that one color needs to be the dominant color.

Colors can either make a space feel larger than it is, or they can make a space feel smaller and cozier. Lighter and brighter colors give the illusion of space, while darker colors give the illusion of a smaller area. When doing two-tone divided horizontally, it generally works better to use the darker color on the bottom portion of the wall.

Not only do you need to decide what color scheme you want to use, but you also have to consider how your color choices might look in your room. Paint samples on your walls, or tape up swatches to see how they will look in the space. Consider the furnishings and accessories that will be in the room to find paint colors that will not clash with furniture colors and patterns.


Step Two: Prepare the room

Preparing the room prior to painting will help to ensure that your paint job looks flawless when finished. Remove all furniture from the room if possible, or, if not, move it to the center, away from the walls. If you are leaving furniture in the room, make sure it is fully covered to protect it. Cover the floors with a drop cloth or tarp, and secure with painter’s tape. Remove all light fixtures, window coverings, light switch covers, and outlet covers. For the things that you can’t remove, mask them off with painter’s tape to protect them from getting painted.

It is important to wash your walls, and repair holes prior to applying your first coat of paint. This is important because paint doesn’t adhere to dirt or damaged areas of the wall. Allow time for the walls to dry after washing or repairing holes.


Step Three: Mask the wall

To achieve the two-toned effect, you will need to have some sort of visual dividing line between the two different colors. If you don’t have molding or any other sort of permanent feature that creates the divide for you, you can easily create a distinct line by using painter’s tape.

Use a level or a yard stick to ensure that you are getting a straight line when applying your tape to the wall. Ideally, the middle of the wall horizontally (36 – 40 inches) is an aesthetically pleasing location for a horizontal divide. Measure up and make a mark, using a pencil. Hold your yardstick with one hand while placing your level against your mark. Adjust your level until your guide is level, and trace a line with a pencil. Continue this process across the wall. Place painters tape along your pencil lines when completed. Remember, if you started from the bottom of the wall, you’ll want to place the tape above your pencil mark.

Once you have the tape applied to the wall, use your fingernail or the dull edge of a knife and go along the edge of the tape. This will keep the color from going under the tape and bleeding onto the other color.


Step Four: Paint!

Now that all of the prep work is done, you are ready to start painting! Starting from the top of the first section, go down in a “W” shape. Once you have reached the bottom, refill your brush with paint, and start from the top again, working to fill in the “W” shape. This process will ensure that all of the paint has been applied in the same direction, providing even coverage across the whole wall. An angled brush is ideal for painting in corners, and other areas where attention to detail and smaller strokes are required. Allow paint to dry the recommended drying times before applying additional coats.

Once you have completed painting your first color, carefully remove the painters tape at a 45-degree angle. Let the paint fully dry before painting the second color. Once you have let the paint completely dry, apply painters tape on the other side of the line, following the same technique that you used the first round. Once the paint is back in place, you are ready to begin painting the second color! Paint just like you did for the first color, in a “W” shape, and use an angled brush for corners and other details.


Step Five: Clean up

Congratulations! You’ve almost finished painting. You are now on the last step before you can sit back and enjoy all your hard work. Now, replace all lids on paint cans, and pick up drop cloths. Clean all brushes and other tools that were used with warm, soppy water. Wash your brushes and rollers until the water runs clear, and then hang them up to dry. Carefully pick up drop cloths, and be extra careful to not spread around any paint that might have been spilt on the cloths. Finally, remove the last of the painter’s tape at a 45-degree angle.


Now that you are done, step back and admire your handiwork! For those of you who are still too timid to try doing a two-tone paint job yourself, painters Rockford IL are professionals who can get you the perfect two-toned paint job guaranteed.  Contact us today!