25 Jul 2012

Let's Paint a Half Wall

One day while perusing blog land I ran across a post on the Benjamin Moore Colour Chats blog about modern half walls.  These weren't your traditional half walls with wallpaper and a chair rail. Nope. These half walls had no chair rail, they were bright colours, and they broke the rules.  Check out this half wall that goes across the door.

Maybe one day I will be bold enough to paint half of a door.

I fell in love (that happens a lot, doesn't it?).  I wanted a modern half wall of my very own.  Luckily, with the new kitchen plan of attack in full swing, I had the perfect space - our dining area.

The brown accent wall was good for a while, but it just wasn't working any longer with the fresh white cabinets.  The brown wall made that part of the kitchen feel dark, which wasn't what I was going for.  I wanted a kitchen that felt bright and cheery.

Since I already have some yellow accents going on in the kitchen (like a bright yellow cuckoo clock) and was loving it, I figured a yellow half wall was in order.  I've ordered this fabric for the window coverings, so I set about on a mission to match the yellow of the vintage truck in the fabric.  

I find yellow a challenging one to match. I seriously went to every paint store in Sherwood Park to find the right colour.  I had paint chips taped up on our wall and examined them in every possible light.  I himmed and I hawed. In the end, I went with Sherwin William's Midday (the colour that Chip It picked when I uploaded the fabric swatch).  It was bright, but still had a softness to it....I doubt that will make  much sense to anyone else but me.

The first order of business was priming the brown wall.  Two coats of primer later the dining area was looking like this.

Already much brighter than it was before.

Then we got to work taping off the nice straight lines.  I find straight lines stressful.  It's a lot of pressure to get a perfectly level straight line.  We tried a bunch of methods including measuring from the floor, and using the laser level, but after much trial and error we found the easiest method was to use our giant yellow level and a pencil to draw the line right across the wall (pencil will erase after painting).

I've mentioned before how our house has some strange builder issues.  Well, apparently getting a level floor is one of them.  When we measured from the floor up to the line, the one side of the line was a half inch higher than the other.....and that's only on a 4 foot wall! Seriously....

Since having a clean line was uber important (after all, there was no chair rail to hide a messy line) for this project, I splurged and spent the $12 on Frog Tape.

I taped off the sides (the middle wall would be taped off later) and painted on 2 coats of the yellow.

And then.....

I started totally freaking out.  What the heck was a doing? This was yellow....really freaking yellow! You can see the yellow from our living room, which I was not at all expecting (hadn't taken that angle into account) and I wasn't sure I liked it.

Did I want to see yellow from the living room? Ack! 

Ok...calm down...it's only paint. Paint is easy to fix.

I decided to keep going and finish what I had started.   Once the yellow was dry, I taped off the centre wall and then painted the top Benjamin Moore Rockport Grey to match the adjacent walls.

Phew....it was looking better.  I wasn't hyperventilating quite as much any more (but still a little). I think the primed upper against the yellow was throwing me off.

Two coats of Rockport Grey later and I was able to remove the tape.  The Frog Tape was amazing by the way.  The lines are super crisp.  Well worth the extra money.

I started to sort of like it.  It's pretty bold right now without much else on the walls, but I know once the window coverings are added and we add some new furniture in the space it will tone down.  Some beefed up baseboards will also help balance things - just another thing on the to-do list.

What do you think?

psst...did you catch a glimpse of our next project? It's so big I couldn't get it out of the pictures.


  1. I love yellow, but my husband really dislikes it - so itll never see the light of day in the main part of our home. So Im already envious.

    I think that the clock + that fabulous automotive fabric will really help tie things together, but I cant help thinking you need a chair rail or some other piece of trim to tie the two paint halves together.

    A really heavy piece of dentil moulding or scored moulding perhaps - maybe not your average chair rail trim?

    But as you said, once you change out the baseboards that will change the look too. No matter what you decide to do - I look forward to seeing the changes.


    1. Thanks so much for your comment! I know what you mean. I am really waffling on this one. I have committed to leaving it until we have more furniture in the room and the draperies are up. We have quite a bit of dark furniture planned for the space, so I think that will really change the look. I have tossed around the idea of adding a 1X3 or a 1X4 piece of wood (stained to match our new farmhouse table) as a rail. Will wait and see what it looks like once all the pretty stuff is added.

  2. That looks really cool! And I totally get what you mean by "softer" with the yellow.

  3. Jeff Patterson7/26/2012 7:56 pm

    Thanks Kelly for the nice post. Im struggling with doing a half wall with glass but dont know if it will look good. Id like to get your opinion- the half wall is in a bath and would be behind the existing vanity.

    1. Hey Jeff,
      Do you mean a sheet of glass, or glass tile? I think a sheet of frosted glass behind the vanity would look good...sort of a high back splash? I also love glass half walls to separate rooms, although its a pretty modern look and would show a lot of kid fingerprints....

  4. I think it looks cool!! Way to go (:
    Christina (:


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