Introduction: DIY Ombre Wall Paint
When I first decided to paint an ombre wall I made a research. There are some tutorials on the internet. The problem was that the results didn’t meet my expectations.
In this instructable I will show you what I learned from my experience and:
- how to achieve smoother transitions between colors;
- different technique of blending;
- some additional tips;
- I will tell you about my mistakes, so you can avoid them.
- wall primer (and sealer, if needed);
- interior paint/latex (use this calculator to see how much paint do you need from each color);
- latex extender (optional, but highly recommend);
- paint brush;
- paint roller handles (minimum two);
- ultra smooth (high-density) foam roller covers (one for each color);
- smooth foam sponges (about 4x5 inches);
- paint trays (minimum two);Precision Defined Supreme 9-Inch Paint Roller Tray Set (2-Pack)
- paint tray liners/inserts (one for each color);
- masking tape;
- plastic drop cloth;
- disposable gloves;
Step 1: Choosing the Right Colors for Your Ombre Wall.
Before starting your project you need to decide how many colors you will use. In my case I used six shades of blue, plus white for the ceiling and a couple inches of the upper part of the wall for more natural transition (1st picture). If this is your first try with ombre paint technique I recommend to use only three colors (2nd picture). It’s better to use different shades of one color (ex. light blue, blue and dark blue). If you want to use different colors, like pink and blue, keep in mind that the transitional color will turn purple. If this is not the desired effect, I suggest to transition from pink, through white to blue. And remember, the closer shades you choose, the easier they blend.
Step 2: Prepare the Materials.
When you clarify the idea,it’s time to get the materials you’ll need.
Step 3: Preparation of the Wall.
Cover the floor and all other surfaces, which don’t need painting. This step is often neglected, but thrust me, it’s better to spend some time masking, than cleaning the mess after painting.
Apply one or two coats of primer to prevent the absorption of paint. If the wall has some stains use a sealer (1st pic.).
Measure your wall. Divide it into equal parts (one for each color). Mark the sections on the wall (2nd pic.).
Step 4: Apply the First Coat of Paint.
Apply colors in their sections with a paint roller (1st pic.). Doesn’t need to be perfect. Use a brush for the corners and edges. This step can be skipped, if your paint has good coverage with only one coat.
Step 5: Painting and Blending.
After the first coat is dry you can apply the second one. Work with two colors at a time. Start from top to bottom to avoid accidental paint splatters. Mix the paint with the extender according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This way you will have enough open time for blending. It will also help with brush and roller marks. This product isn’t available in my area, so I had to figure out how to slow the drying. I had the chance to paint in a rainy day. The humidity was high and this gave me extra time for blending. I sprayed the paint with water when it started to dry before I was ready.
In other tutorials the blending is made with a brush. It is hard, if not impossible, to achieve a smooth transition and the brush strokes are visible. For this reason I decided to use a sponge. I started to blend with one, but sometimes there were accidental lighter or darker spots at the wrong places. For better transition I used three sponges. The first one is for mixing the two colors. The second one is for blending the mixed color and lighter color. The third is for the mixed color and darker color.
Apply thick coat of paint to upper section and to half of the second section (1st pic.). Start blending the colors by making repetitive tapping motions up and down with the sponge (2nd pic.). At first the sponge will quickly absorb the paint. If needed, you can apply more. When you are ready with vertical blending go back and forth with the sponge for smoother transition (3rd pic.). Repeat, if needed.
When you are ready with first two colors continue to blend color 2 and color 3. This time apply paint to the lower half of the upper color and to the upper half of the lower color (6th pic.).
Continue with the next colors. When you have to blend the last two colors, apply paint to the lower half of the upper color and to the entire lower color.
Step 6: Additional Tips.
- You can buy only two colors of paint and make the third yourself. Mix 1/3 of the first color with 1/3 of the second. This way you will have the same amount of paint from each color.
- Before starting you can try the technique on piece of cardboard.
- Try to paint a larger sections at once. It’s hard to match the colors, if you need to stop in the middle of the wall. It's better to use a corner, or a more invisible space (ex. behind furniture, painting, plant, etc.).
- Hold the sponge at the same angle while working, to avoid unwanted marks.
- Painting the corners is little tricky. To blend the paint, cut a triangular piece of sponge. In my opinion it's better to paint one side at a time. Use a piece of cardboard to cover one side, while painting and blending the other.
- Note, that the paint is darker when is wet. It is difficult to predict the final result before the paint dries.
- If you are not satisfied with the end result, don’t worry! Apply new coat of paint and start over.
Step 7: Finishing.
Now you are ready and it’s time to remove the masking tape and the plastic drop cloth. Arrange the furniture and enjoy your new ombre wall!
I hope I've been helpful. If you decide to make this project, please post a picture. I look forward to seeing your creations!
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