How to Use Colored Paint to Create the Ombre Effect in Your Home

Kevin Brown

Using Colored Paint to Create the Ombre Effect in Your Home

Ombre, a French word meaning shade or shadow, has gained popularity in home design and fashion. In art, design, and fashion, ombre refers to the gradual change from a dark to a light shade of a color or the transition between colors. Ombre colors create a soothing yet dramatic effect and serve as a striking backdrop for wall art.

These walls can be left undecorated for a more minimalist aesthetic.

The Evolution of Ombre Effects in Home Design

How to Use Colored Paint to Create the Ombre Effect in Your Home

Ombre techniques have been popular in textiles, ceramics, and block printing. Interior designers have incorporated ombre options into home design, including wall shading, glassware, tilework, and soft furnishings like throw pillows and curtains.

Ombre wall effects are only limited by imagination. Traditional ombre effects blend color from light to dark either from the bottom or top. Vertical ombre effects blend colors from one side to another.

Vary the look depending on how much you blend the colors. A bolder ombre look will not blend the sections as much, creating distinct color variations. Use ombre ideas to create wall murals like mountains and forests.

Steps for Painting Ombre Walls:

This article will guide you through creating the ombre effect on your walls and provide color palettes you can use for this look.

The first step in creating an ombre effect on your walls is to select a color palette. You can choose two colors to blend together or three colors that complement each other. Many ombre effect walls use variations of the same color, but you can also opt for similar tones that work well together.

Next, determine the direction of your color blend. Starting with darker colors at the top will create a cozy atmosphere and make the ceiling appear closer. Conversely, starting with a dark color at the bottom and transitioning to a light color at the top will make your ceilings appear taller.

Step Two: Prepare the Walls

Before you start painting, check your walls for any necessary repairs. This may include patching cracks or holes. Lay down a drop cloth.

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To create a smoother surface, prime the walls with an even coat of primer using a paint roller. Before painting, protect the baseboards, crown molding, and window trim with painter’s tape. Wait for the primer to dry.

Step Three: Divide the Walls.

Using a measuring tape, divide each wall into three equal sections vertically. Create two horizontal lines to serve as guides. These lines don’t have to be perfectly even; they’re just there to roughly separate each section for the different paint gradations.

Open and stir the paint. If you’re using three colors, divide them into three separate trays. If you’re using a two-color option, you’ll need to create a third color. Open each color and mix equal amounts of the other two colors in a measuring cup and extra bucket.

This will create a pure blend of the two colors that you’ll use in the middle to transition between the colors.

Now it’s time to paint the top and bottom sections.

Using a paintbrush, paint the upper and lower areas of the wall that meet the trim before rolling the big sections. Use the darkest or lightest color on the lower or upper section, depending on the direction you are painting the tones. Protect the molding with painter’s tape if you are a beginner painter.

Step Six: Painting the Sections

Begin painting the lower section first. Take your darkest or lightest paint color and paint the lower section, stopping one inch below the penciled horizontal line. Work quickly and paint the middle section starting one inch above the horizontal line and ending just an inch below the top line. Paint the top section last.

When finished, you should have three distinct paint sections with a two-inch band between them of the bare primed wall.

Tip: You can paint the ombre effect on multiple walls, but it is best to work one wall at a time, as this effect is best created with paint that is not fully dry.

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Step Seven: Blending the Sections

Working quickly while the sections are still wet, use a paintbrush or sponge to blend between each section. Use a dry paintbrush to create “X” marks by drawing the paint from the toned sections to cover the pencil line. Keep making marks to blend the sections together.

Continue to work with each section to blend them as much or as little as you like.

You can use a sponge to blend the sections together. Start with the lighter section and dab towards the middle to blend the sections. Work towards the dark section, blending it with the lighter section.

Add water to the sponge if the sections dry too quickly. Repeat this process with a new sponge for the other sections.

Step back and assess your progress from a distance to see how the blending looks overall. You may need to blend one area to match another area better.

Remove painter’s tape and allow the whole wall to dry.

Ombre Color Palettes

How to Use Colored Paint to Create the Ombre Effect in Your Home

For the subtlest ombre effect, use colors with a similar hue but varying tints. Colors with different hues also create a striking but distinct look.

Misty Blue Ombre Palette:

This blue palette is serene and quiet, with ample gray undertones to mute the overt blue color. The palette includes Benjamin Moore’s Mount Saint Anne (1565), Beach Glass (1564), and Quiet Moments (1563).

Blush Pink Ombre Palette:

This blush pink palette from Benjamin Moore contains balanced and subtle shades of pink. The palette includes Conch Shell (052), Precocious (051), and Pink Moire (050).

Forest and Sky Ombre Palette.

This ombre palette blends green and blue hues from Benjamin Moore.

  • October Mist (1495)
  • Quiet Moments (1563)
  • Morning Dew (OC-140)

The Sunrise Ombre Palette features peach tones with yellow undertones. The brown undertones mute the color, creating a nuanced orange hue. These colors are also from Benjamin Moore.

  • Orange Appeal (124)
  • Citrus Blossom (123)
  • Orange Sherbert (122)

Dusk Ombre Palette

This palette features a deep violet transitioning into a pinky mauve, creating a daring ombre effect with varying color saturation. To achieve a more subtle blend, you can mix the colors to create transitional hues. Benjamin Moore colors were used to create this palette.

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– Mink Violet (1252)

– Sequoia (1245)

– Sonoma Clay (1242)

For a textured and nuanced look on your walls, ombre techniques can be used with shaded neutrals. Even if you prefer a less dramatic effect, these subtle gray/greige paint colors from Benjamin Moore can add depth to your walls.

– Baltic Gray (1467)

– Smoke Embers (1466)

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