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How to Paint an Arch Accent Wall

What do you think about all of the geometric shapes that seem to be creeping into  home decorating and accessories? I personally love how they feel like a fresh take on a 1970’s theme. One thing I’ve noticed is arch accent walls popping up all over on Instagram. I decided to add one into my new home studio space to really add some dimension to the plain white walls. It was pretty easy and I wanted to share how to paint an arch accent wall. If you’ve missed the earlier posts about converting our garage into a studio space, you can see that in this post.

Dark olive green painted cabinets

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I decided to add it right over the painted cabinets. I thought it would add some nice drama and make the converted garage seem not so “garage-y” especially since I am going to be spending a lot of time in there. Plus, it makes plain wood floating shelves that were going to be installed seems a heck of a lot cooler than just some plain lumber on a wall. In painting the wall, You will see me climbing and painting on my cabinets, and I will advise you not to do that. I am a trained professional. As a short girl at 5’2″ tall, I have had a lifetime of properly learning how to climb on cabinets to get to the highest one to find the hidden chocolate and grab the “good” plates we use once a year.

You can watch this video to see the process, or skip to the information below for how to paint an arch accent wall. Find painting supplies here.

Measuring base for arch wall

I started by measuring my length of cabinets and then marking the center point. Luckily, I did it in pencil because I mismarked the first time and my arch became an off-center half circle. Thank goodness for re-do’s. I had to grab some screenshots from the video below. I completely forgot to stop and take pictures!

This technique would be for the arch itself. If you want to to a more “doorway” taller style of arch, use painter’s tape to mark out your vertical lines and then use this string method way of marking it from the top to make the half circle/arch part.

Use a string to trace out your arch for your arch accent wall

After marking my center, I placed a push pin in the center of my mark (You can use tape if you don’t want to put a hole in your wall) and tied cotton string to it. I led the string to the far end of one side of the cabinets and tied a pencil on that end so it lined up with the edge of my countertop.

From there, I carefully used the pencil on the string to make the “arch” keeping the string taught, but not so tight that it pulled out of the wall. After I videoed the project, and posted it on Facebook, people not only commented on how my shirt matched the wall (that was totally unintentional), but wanted to know how I got paint on my arm. I always end up with paint in random places when I do a project. It’s like a special talent. All I could think is why do I clench my butt so much when I paint? Maybe sweatpants wasn’t the best choice. 🙂

Jennifer Rizzo painting an arch wall

After I traced out my arch, I painted it in with my cabinet color, using a angle brush to trim it out and then a small roller to fill in the rest. I ended up doing a quick second coat as well, and used the base wall color to touch up any stray marks outside of the arch.

Painted arch accent wall in dark green wall paint

After It was dry, we hung open shelving in studs with sturdy L-brackets. I opted to have the shelving kind of “follow” the arch and did an 8 foot shelf on the bottom and a 6 foot shelf as the top shelf. They are just common boards on the brackets and cost about $40 total to make them. I painted the bottom of the L-brackets the same as my wall color so they blended in.  The best part was when I could put all of my pretty supplies on them (The ugly stuff went into the cabinets.)

Paint L brakets the same color as the wall to help them blend in

I styled those a little before we even had the storage pod unloaded. You know there are priorities. 🙂

OPen shelving in a painted arch wall

I’ll share my full styling post with you once we get the storage pod unloaded. We have our work cut out for us!

How to paint an arch accent wall easliy with string


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