3/4 painted walls

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Hey friends — and welcome to my new office!

three quarter color block walls

Excuse the mess and wires, but I’m still working on the full reveal! The room might look a little familiar to those of you who have been reading the blog a while, since it has been my dining room for the longest time. But when I kicked myself out of my old office upstairs in favor of turning it into Ellis’s nursery (which miraculously stays WAY cleaner even though there’s a full toddler in there now)…

old office becomes the new baby's nursery

I realized that the best place for me was the room we used least. We hardly ever used the dining room before baby, and after? HA! Not happening. And after all the work I’d done of removing the old wallpaper, painstakingly repairing the walls, adding picture frame moulding, and finding one of the few rugs in the house I’m not already tired of, it deserved a little more love in the form of actually being useful. So, it seemed like a natural fit (if not my only option left in this small house).

old dining room becomes my new office

Even though I’d moved most of my things in the room quite a while ago, things like the fireplace mantel, the exterior, the nursery, etc. had all fallen higher on the priority list. What finally bumped this onto the “do this now” list was having a friend come into town. You may know her as Anika’s DIY Life!

Sarah from Ugly Duckling House and Anika from Anika's DIY Life working on a project together

I’ve really been wanting to do more collaborations these last few years but haven’t been able to do much traveling (for obvious reasons). So when Anika and I were talking about her visit to Atlanta for this year’s WorkbenchCon, I convinced her to come a few days early so we could film a new build together for my YouTube channel. That build will be revealed in a separate post (so excited to share that soon!), but that meant it was also the perfect time to get a fresh coat of paint on the walls. I wanted to do a fun color block look based on a beautiful design by Leann Ford that I’ve had in my phone for ages (the portfolio looks like it has since been removed but here’s another link — which, ironically, was a dining room design). While I couldn’t find any info on the exact color used, I found a similar color that I love on my own walls — Sherwin-Williams Newburg Green.

I didn’t want to do the same style of paint that I’d done before where I’d painted the bottom half of the wall and trim white and the upper half a contrasting color (for anyone that asks, the old color was Olympic Smoke Blue). Instead, I went with a 3/4 color block look. Want to try this paint trend? Whether you want to do a 3/4 wall, half-painted walls, or other type of two-tone walls look, here are the basic steps:

You Will Need:

Oh, and just a quick reminder: make sure you scrub your walls before painting! If there’s a high gloss, you might want to use a deglosser or even a sanding sponge to scuff up and help the paint stick better.

scrub walls and degauss before painting trim

How to Do a 3/4 Painted Wall (same method for a half-painted wall)

  1. Paint the top section of the wall

    With an 8-foot wall, the math works out to the top 2 feet (24 inches) being painted a different color than the bottom. I eyeballed this and painted the top section of all 4 walls in the room with white paint (custom color match, which actually didn’t match to my liking but I painted it anyway because I just wanted it done). Ellis hasn’t been sleeping well, so I tend to work on methods where I can paint just a little at a time. Since I was painting over a darker color, I did two coats.painting top quarter of walls white

  2. Add painters tape along the dividing line

    Once dry, measure down from the ceiling and mark 24 inches every few feet for the next step.* Place painter’s tape directly above the line where the new paint is going to go. A laser line might make this step a little faster, but I checked my pencil marks against a regular level to make sure it stayed in a straight line. I’ll call myself out on this since I made a mistake with my eyeballing and realized after 2 coats that I had only painted (on average) 22 inches and not 24 like I’d thought! But, I went with it; no one (other than you, ha!) will ever really know. Be mindful on this step to use painter’s tape that is meant for delicate surfaces — it’s designed not to pull paint from freshly painted walls (it needs 24 hours dry time minimum though).

  3. Paint the first color and then the second

    If you’ve never seen it done, you may find this a bit odd, but trust me, it’s a great trick! Paint the same top-section color over the tape to seal it against bleed-through. After it dries, you can then paint the bottom color on top. Be sure to peel the tape off (at a slight angle) while the paint is still wet for best results. Don’t rush it and be gentle as you peel. You should be left with a nice crisp paint line!using painters tape to paint color block walls

I chose to continue the dark paint color along the baseboards and shoe moulding as well; the all-over depth of color looks super chic to me! It’s just as beautiful as I’d imagined. I also painted all of the outlet and switch covers to match so it all blends into the deep hue. LOVE.

painted office walls with matching painted teal trim and shoe moulding and outlet covers

So there you have it — one recently refreshed room that’s ready for new crown molding (K insists this is my next step because I deliberately left the top of the walls sloppy in anticipation of covering it over with crown; it’ll drive him crazy if I leave it like this). I’m also thinking of adding an accent color or two. Maybe blush? Or black? Stay tuned for the window project. Here’s a sneak peek:

sneak peek of the new office so far with dark teal color block - SW Newburg Green

Want more paint ideas? Here’s what to read next:

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  1. Looks terrific and I especially love the window treatment! Additionally, count me on Team Kyle as the lack of crown molding is making my eyes twitch 😂😂.

  2. Sarah, i love the office color!!!! Even more, i love what you did in the windows!!!!! could you please tell me how you did the shelves, as i would like to copy this in our breakfast room.
    Thanks so much.

    1. I’ll be sharing the window tutorial soon! The plans will be premium (for sale) but I’m getting both the post and YouTube video ready to go live soon. Stay tuned!

  3. As usual what a beautiful job, Sarah. I have also Anika in mail and follow her on my Pinterest sight she is amazing, down to earth as well, very detailed and easy to follow instructions, just like you, especially from her variety of wood work, a me thing! Sarah you always do such an amazing job at all you do, 🙌🏻 Thanks, Brenda