Home compromise starts with colors. As simple as it sounds, color is actually a very difficult tool to work with, especially when walls are involved.

Before you know it, you’ll be drowning in an ocean of colors and shades, and you’ll eventually understand that using two tone walls in your interiors is perfectly enough.

Decorating a room with two tone walls adds dimension to your space, and it compromises both of your favorite colors without having to compromise.

Two tone walls painting ideas are inspired by horizontal molding, meaning that you could even do them yourself instead of asking for professional help. How to decorate with two tone walls? Let’s check:

A wise choice of colors

Image source: Luxury For The Home

The most important thing is to choose complementary colors that go well together, otherwise the entire concept of two-toned walls won’t make sense. You can always choose a neutral couple in order to stay on the same side, and enrich the looks with playful curtains, bold pillows, or other interesting accents.

A braver solution is to use one neutral and one bold color, while a subtler effect can be achieved by applying two close shades of the same color. You’re perfectly allowed to make brave contrasts, and even to choose two completely opposite colors from the color wheel.

These bold parings look very sophisticated, and they are a very common solution in children’s bedrooms full of bright accessories.

Keep the upper layer lighter

Image source: Seattle Staged to Sell and Design LLC

If you divided your wall horizontally, paint the upper layer lighter than the lower one. This tactic is awesome for small rooms with low ceilings, because it makes the room appear visually larger.

You can even make crisp transitions (two-thirds to three-quarters, for instance), or to get even more creative and to install picture rails as your own sophisticated touch.

One color, two shades

Image source: M Design

These are probably the most appealing color couples you can apply on two-toned walls. We recommend navy blue bottoms contrasted with baby blue tops, or chocolate browns combined with warm taupe for a cozier feel.

Different trims

Image source: Ana Donohue Interiors

Painting the trim differently is a very simple, yet very effective way to use two colors without involving the entire wall. Instead of keeping trims completely equal to the walls, you could obtain the two-tone look by painting the lower/upper trim differently.

The trim color could spread to doors and window trims, and skirting boards. You will be surprised to see the difference this tactic can make, being the most affordable and least time-consuming one you can find.

Ribbon stripes


The ribbon stripes idea was inspired by wrapped gift boxes, and it can actually resemble one. While living in a wrapped gift sounds too brave for some of us, others seem to enjoy it.

All you’d have to do is to coat the entire wall with your favorite color, divide it in two equal parts (horizontally), and mark a band in the middle, ideally 2-6 inches wide.

This part is supposed to be the ribbon, and you can paint it with a color contrasting the background of the wall. The stripe will be even more appealing if you leave a little bit of white space on both of its sides.

In order to make the gift idea even more realistic, you can add texture with a sponge or brush, preferably on the background (this procedure will be explained too). Wouldn’t it look amazing?

Blurry transitions

Not everybody likes crisp lines, and that’s perfectly OK. Instead, you can go for a blurry transition between the two colors in order to make them look softer. This technique looks the best when using two contrasting shades of the same color.

Give faux patina a try

Image source: James Glover Residential & Interior Design

If you really want the room to appear bold and striking, choose two strong colors and create a faux patina appearance. The idea is to replicate aged metal shine and metallic texture. There are many popular options to choose from, but the most popular one is definitely cooper.

The reason is that copper takes on greenish blue with time, and you can achieve this effect by using teal or turquoise bases. Once the walls are completely dry, take a damp sponge and apply the shiny metallic glaze randomly in order not to make it too smooth.

After the glaze has dried, ditch the sponge, and apply the second layer of glaze with a brush or a simple cloth. The two textures will look amazing when they mix.

Calculated chevron

Image source: Judith Balis Interiors

Already decided for a Mid-Century contemporary look with molded plastic elements? There is nothing that goes better with this style than exuberant wall chevron!

Firstly, you need to measure slanted angles meticulously, or hire a carpenter to divide zigzags evenly and to ensure that all parallel lines are even. The colors of zigzags should be alternated (pairing tone on tone, mostly dove gray and medium gray).

Strong chevrons juxtapose bold contrasts: black and white, mint and red, or grape and pumpkin. The chevron should be applied on a single wall, while one of its colors should be used to paint the other walls. The ceiling and the trim should remain white, or at least light and simple in order to avoid busy and claustrophobic effects.


Image source: Parker House Inc.

Colorwashing refers to two colors again, this time used to achieve a soft and textured appearance. The first step is deciding on the basic color (preferably a light one) and applying paint the usual way.

Once it is completely dry, take the second color you’ve chosen, and mix it with glaze to create the so called colorwash. Cover the wall with the colorwash, take a cloth, a sponge…and your imagination! Start wiping in circular motion, or use a brush for a crisscross texture.

Stencil class

Image source: Home Staging

Stencil class is a technique applied for a classy, urban wall appearance, and it can be achieved quite easily: first of all, chose a basic color and paint the wall (ideally with a light color, but darks are acceptable too).

Secondly, take a stencil cut out design with the specific shape and size you want (there are all sorts of stencil design, such as floral, geometrical, or leaf motifs), and fix it on the wall following a specific pattern. You can even tilt it, or rotate it in order to achieve a more scattered look.

Image source: Jules Duffy Designs

The next step is to paint the inside carefully (or only the edges, if you prefer so), either with a brush or a spray gun. The artists among you can do some additional shading for depth and dimension. Once the color is dry, remove the stencil design. Voila!

Faux finishes

Image source: Colorado Media Systems

A more traditional way to give rooms high-end appearance is to polish their walls with faux finishes. This ancestor of two-toned painting looks amazing with appropriate décor and smart color choices.

Faux finishes are in fact the conventionally used base coats, this time covered with a topcoat additive called glaze. There are many techniques that use faux finishes: feathering, marbleizing, leather and suede effects, ragging, etc.

The good thing is that you can always get more creative, and obtain a ‘wrinkled’ result using brushes, sponges, plastic wraps, or whatever similar tool that comes to your mind.

If you’re not an experienced painter that tried something like this before, test your skills on a small board before moving to the entire wall. Finally, faux finishes are applicable both to single-color plans and split walls.

Think about the rest of your space

Image source: Sophie Azouaou

Two-toned walls are a heavy solution, and you have to think of ways to adjust the rest of your décor to them. Assuming you’re really inspired by your wall palette, you can use the same colors for furniture and accessories, picking a dominant one which will appear more often than the others.

Had you decided to use different colors for your valences, upholstery or rugs, make sure those colors match the colors of your walls. We will leave that to your imagination.

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