A Simple Trick to Get a Pro Paint Finish on a Feature Wall

2 Materials
1 Day
When the site manager decides she's now so grown up and no longer likes pink and wants something more like what 'Elsa' would approve of which turns out to be a complete colour change .....
Update some of the furniture, bedding and some artwork? Possibly a few decorations and photos...

Why not do the whole room over?
Original Baby to Little girl room needed updating to reflect the first year at school and change of taste.
Awful cut in line
A big concern I had after originally painting the feature wall was the poor finish to the edge of the cornice (Crown Moulding) and the wall, it looked terrible even after using painter's tape it still looked awful and had way too much bleed through; plus I didn't get around to fixing it.... so this time around I did it properly and had absolutely no bleed through and it looks fantastic.
Prepping the wall for a new feature colour
Step 1

For a perfect cut in line, paint over the existing colour with the adjacent wall or ceiling colour for at least the width of a brush. I suggest a minimum width of 12mm (1/2") to 19mm (3/4"). I used an artist's brush as a 'Fitch' brush but any quality brush will work.
Sealing the wall
Whilst waiting for the cutting in colour to dry I put an undercoat of the new feature wall colour over the existing colour to get an idea of how it would look.
Get the tape straight and no wrinkles
Step 2

This is VERY important the tape needs to be placed onto the wall or ceiling exactly where the transition of colour is to be, in this case it's the Right side of the tape line.
Tape in place and nice and snug against the wall, with a clean line of the main colour on the left and feature colour on the right.
Sealing the edge with the main wall colour
Step 3

By leaving a small area of the wall colour showing then painting over the exposed edge with the main or non feature wall colour -, this step seems strange or a bit weird and feels like you're doing things in the wrong sequence but it needs to be done this way to seal the edge of the tape - it prevents bleed through of the other colour under the edge of the tape. Trust me it will all make sense in the next couple of photos. (Just clarifying)The main wall colour is on the Left and I've painted a small section of main wall colour onto the feature wall on the right AND placed painters tape over this and painted the exposed edge on the right to seal it - with the main wall colour, so the tape is stuck over the main wall colour with the sealed edhe forming the end of the feature wall colour.
Wall cut in and taped ready for finishing
Step 4

Wait about an hour to a maximum of 2 hours for acrylic wall paint to dry - don't leave it too much longer before painting the wall up to the painters' tape with the NEW wall colour as the paint will harden and the tape won't pull off the wall cleanly.
Step 5

Now paint the feature wall colour up to the painter's tape edge, you should be able to get a sharp clean non bleed edge, it may need a couple of coats (this one did due to the existing wall colour).
Finished cutting in and ready for the 2nd finish coat (3rd coat) to even out the colour
Step 6

When the paint is about 2 hours dry and the cutting in has hidden the original wall colour remove the painters' tape, you should do this now as if you wait a day or two the paint will harden too much and may chip off, plus the tape will tear and leave marks or take chunks of the other paint off the wall, so by pulling the tape directly away from the wall - maintaining constant pressure and not letting it touch any of the freshly painted wall or existing wall will reveal a sharp straight bleed free paint finish!
All off in 1 bundle and no marks on the wall
Finished and look at how straight the line is with no bleed through, it looks 1000% better than the first time it was painted!
More to come

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Suggested materials:

  • Feature wall paint   (Wattyl Paint Warehouse)
  • Painter's tape (Low stick)   (Wattyl Paint Warehouse)
  • Paint Brushes   (Hardware Store)
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8 of 44 comments
  • Mumandp Mumandp on Nov 22, 2017
    Amazing!!! I wish this post had been done a year ago before We repainted the entire downstairs..........I took a look at all the corners after reading this post and now realize just how much I need to redo over the Winter....Especially along the ceiling........Good thing I have lots of time on My hands........
    Love the new feature wall colour in Your Daughters room too.
    xo Michelle

    • See 2 previous
    • Andrew Bounader Andrew Bounader on Apr 11, 2018

      Hi Mumandp,

      Did he read the tips?

      Hope all went well with the painting?


  • Swinnen Lisette Swinnen Lisette on Nov 26, 2017
    Thanks for the tip. I will try it for sure ! It makes perfectly sense to do it like that..

    • See 2 previous
    • Andrew Bounader Andrew Bounader on Apr 13, 2018

      Hi Swinnen,

      That's part of how it works well, you should remove the painter's tape when there is enough paint on the wall and the final coat is touch dry, otherwise the tape will pull the paint off the wall and mess up your paint finish. Can you touch up the spots with a small child's water colour type of brush? They sometimes work very well.

      Good Luck, more practice will improve the finish!.