Why choose one colour when you can have two?

Colour blocking, or two-tone paint schemes, is a simple and stylish way to add personality to an interior space.  Colour combinations are endless, as is the colour blocking design you choose.

By keeping your designs simple however, you can still achieve a stunning effect.

What height works best?

There is no set rule for this, as it’s more a case of personal taste.

You may be tempted to opt of the halfway point, but we suggest taking the divide a little bit higher to stop the split in half look.  Another method is painting the line at shoulder height, or two thirds up a wall.

Which colours should I choose?

Select colours that complement each other and create the desired visual impact. You can choose contrasting colours for a bold look or subtle variations of the same hue for a more harmonious effect.  Consider the room’s lighting and the overall atmosphere you want to create.

The most common combination for a two-tone wall is a darker shade on the bottom of your wall, and a lighter colour on the top.

By painting a darker colour on the bottom and a lighter one at the top that blends into the ceiling, can make the room seem taller as there is no abrupt finishing line.

Similarly, painting the skirting boards in the same colour as the lower shade prevents there appearing to be a border between the walls and floors, therefore making them seem longer.

You could even mix and match paint finishes to add texture i.e. a matt finish of the upper half with an eggshell sheen on the lower section.

Why not add a third colour and paint around windows to create a border and frame the view?

Before committing to the colours, test them out on white paper and sticking them to the wall with masking paper to check out how the colours will look together and in the room’s lighting.

What is the method?


First things first, you will need to prepare your surface but wiping down and filling any holes.  If walls have existing paint that is dark or uneven, it may be necessary to apply a coat of primer. This will help create an even base for the new colours.

Meeting point

Decide where your meeting point will be for the two colours.   Mark this point at various intervals across the wall using a pencil.  Bear in mind that houses are very rarely 100 percent level so use your eye as well as a tape measure.

Apply the first colour (lighter colour)

Begin by cutting in around the edges of your wall using the lighter of the two colours.  Fill in the rest of the space using a roller.  Painting slightly over the dividing line.

Apply the masking tape

You should only apply the masking tape when you are sure the first paint colour is completely dry.  This may take up to 48 hours, so check the info on the paint can.  Run a line of masking tape flush above the pencil line to create your dividing line.

Smooth the tape down thoroughly to prevent your paint colours from bleeding.

Apply the second colour (darker colour)

Start by cutting in with a paint brush as before.  Paint along the line, slightly overlapping the masking tape.  Then continue to fill in the space with a roller.  Then do the line a second time.

You can then pull the tape off and finish the second coat on the rest of the wall. If you wait until the paint is dry it will form a seal with the wall and the tape so pulling it off is really difficult.

Removing the tape

You should always remove the tape when the paint is still wet.

If you wait until the paint is dry it will form a seal with the wall and the tape so pulling it off is really difficult.

When pulling the tape off don’t pull it out from the wall but along the wall at a 45-degree angle.  And do it slowly.

You should now have a crisp line between your two colours.

Remember, practice and patience are key when painting a two-colour wall.  Take your time, use high quality materials, and enjoy the creative process!

Image:  Tikkurila

Colours: H320, M354, J356, F392