Stairwall before and after
Jenna LaFevor portrait

Modern Stairwell

Modern, Bright and Bold Black and White Stairwell

Jenna LaFevor

Rain on a Tin Roof

Behr Color Palette

This color is Limousine Leather

Limousine Leather

MQ5-05

This color is Snow Fall

Snow Fall

W-F-600

I’ve never met an accent wall I didn’t like. I’ve got multiple accent walls in my home and I love every one of them. They each bring a whole new feel to the space. Accent walls are a great way to bring a little pattern or color into a space without the commitment of wallpaper.

A while back, I painted my stairwell a crisp white – Snow Fall by BEHR. The stairwell is enclosed on both sides and it needed some definite lightening up. Snow Fall did just that. After a couple months though, I realized the stairwell needed something more.

It seemed to be just a white space of nothingness. This was by far one of the easiest accent walls I’ve ever made, but makes a huge impact on the space.

Start by painting your entire space with BEHR PREMIUM PLUS® Interior Satin Enamel paint in Snow Fall and let dry. Be sure to cover your floors with a drop cloth.

Paint the handrail an accent color

Next, be sure all the railings or moldings you are going to paint are clean. Using BEHR MARQUEE® Interior Satin Enamel paint in Limousine Leather, and a paint brush, paint your railings and/or other moldings.

Usually, when you are covering one color with another color on the opposite end of the spectrum (like I did covering white with black), you can bet on a minimum of two coats - sometimes three. MARQUEE covers anything in one coat. It’s a huge time saver.

For the next part of this project, you’ll see that I had to be on a really tall ladder. I’m not a fan of those. That was another reason I went with MARQUEE – I didn’t have to be on the ladder for longer than I wanted to be.

Use a ladder to tape and paint accent wall
Create accent wall frame using tape and craft knife
Paint accent wall frame

The Accent Wall

Now comes the fun part - the accent wall!

I promise--you can’t mess this up! I opted to "frame" in my accent wall. I was worried that if I didn’t contain it somewhat, it might take over the whole space, which I didn’t want.

To create a "frame", first run painter’s tape all along the inside edges of the wall you are turning into an accent wall, then run another line of painter’s tape 1" out from the tape you first applied. Use a craft knife to clean up the edges of the tape.

Run a fingernail or credit card firmly along the tape edges to seal it, then using BEHR MARQUEE® Interior Eggshell Enamel paint in Limousine Leather, paint between your tape strips.

Remove the painter’s tape immediately after applying your last coat of paint. Let the paint dry. You can also use this framing technique to frame a gallery wall of art or prized family photos. It would even be a great solution for creating faux molding along walls if the real stuff isn’t in your budget right now.

There really is no rhyme or reason to your circles. Just paint all different sizes at all different angles. Overlap them however you wish – just don’t paint any outside the frame.

Paint the circles on the accent wall.

Working in 2’ x 2’ feet sections and using BEHR MARQUEE® Eggshell Enamel in Limousine Leather, make about 3-4 large circles with a 2" paintbrush. Come back with the smaller, 1" paintbrush. Continue this until you have filled the space within your frame.

Visualize It

Accent wall visualization

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The Big Reveal

Full image of the finished stairway.
Furniture accents to complement the abstract wall
Hand-painted circles contrast with the straight-line border

Let your paint dry and accessorize!

Since the stairwell is a small space in terms of width, but very large in terms of height, I didn’t want a bright color taking over the whole space, therefore I stuck with a classic black and white combination.

I brought in red and green shades, other colors that are throughout my house, with the artwork and pillow on the bench. The other great thing about going with a black and white combination is that you can throw any other accent color into the mix and it works. If I get tired of green or red, I can toss in accents of coral or yellow or anything else and it still works perfectly. The black handrails help to tie in the black and white accent wall. Any abstract accent walls in your future?

Jenna LaFevor portrait

Jenna LaFevor

Jenna LaFevor is a mover, a shaker, and freak flag flyer. She loves pearls with t-shirts, Conway Twitty, a good accent wall and 80’s rock. She’s never met a leopard print she didn’t like and always prefers to go bold or go home. Check out her blog, Rain on a Tin Roof.