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  • vicky8276

How to create a colour block feature

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

Colour Blocking in fashion has been around since the 1940’s. As a girl born at the end of the 60’s my late teens and early twenties were a riot of 80’s colour block fashion. The use of colour blocks in homes has seen a regeneration in the last few years and can be used in both a contemporary and traditional homes. You only need to search and you’ll find a lot of inspirational ways in which it can be applied in the home.

Check out this colour block feature that I recently completed in my daughter’s bedroom. I have been trying to convince her for some time to let me add some colour to her walls as she currently has three white walls and one a very light grey.

Colour Block paint feature using Farrow & Ball tester pots
Colour Block paint feature using Farrow & Ball tester pots

If you want to find out how I tackled this, then read on.

Getting Started

Before deciding on the size of the colour blocks I purchased a set of 3 black metal shelf boxes. These were from La Redoute but I have also seen similar ones in Matalan. I only planned to use two in the bedroom as there was already a glass photo frame with a black metal chain for hanging up. This made up my set of three.

The colours chosen for the blocking where Farrow and Ball Brassica (no 271) and Peignoir (no 286). I bought a tester pot in each colour and for the Brassica used it all. If you are only creating a small block of colour tester pots are perfect.

Here's the step by step guide that I followed plus a few top tips at the end.

Step 1

Position the metal box shelves on the wall then loosen off the screws to allow them to be lifted off the wall. The photo frame had already been hung.

Step 2

Mark out in pencil the size of the boxes to be painted. I opted for the same size border around each of the shelf units, but you could use any shape, get your creative juices flowing.

Mask the outside of the two boxes that are not connected. I used green multipurpose frog tape. I had been recommended Tesa low tack pink tape but was unable to get any locally with the lockdown in place. The green worked well.

Masking applied to walls around the shapes
Masking applied to walls around the shapes

Paint the inside of the boxes being careful not to lift the edge of the masking tape. I used a small foam roller and made sure to work in even ‘rolls’ from top to bottom, and side to side.

I put two coats on each box.

Step 3

Once the second coat of paint was dry carefully remove the masking tape. You need to take your time so as not to pull away any existing paint on the wall. I found that pulling the tape very close to the wall and taking my time produced the best results. Don’t treat it like a band aid and rip it off quick, although its very tempting.

Step 4

Now its time for the contrast colour. Mask up the box sizes in the same way. As I wanted my boxes interconnecting, I masked over the first colour taking extra care to come up to the edge.

With the power of hindsight, I wish I had painted the lighter colour first. I could have then hidden any errors with the darker coloured paint. As it was I just used an artist brush to touch up a few minor blemishes.

Paint, using the same technique, the newly masked up shape. Again two coats.

Once almost dry then remove the masking tape.

Step 5

This is the fun part. Pop the shelves back up on the wall and create your display.

Display Shelves with colour block backdrop
Display shelves with colour block backdrop

My Top 5 Tips

1) Get all your tools ready first. I know this sounds so obvious, but I went up and down the stairs a fair few times.

2) Use good quality masking tape.

3) Paint the lighter colour first!

4) Its time to remove the tape when the paint is almost dry, if the paint is too dry then it may crack. Its a fine balancing act.

5) Give the paint time to dry before applying the next layer of masking tape. This is not a job to be rushed.

The Final Result

I am pleased to say my daughter loved the result, and I am looking for my next colour blocking project. I’d like to either take on triangles as straight lines are simple enough, but what about a circle.

If you are looking for some design inspiration for your home then get in touch here. I can provide a room design – with or without a colour block feature – that represents both you and your home.

If you'd like to get more great tips why not check out my Ask an Expert blog series, click here for more detail.


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