Painted Arch Accent Wall -

Painted Arch Accent Wall

· ·

A painted arch accent wall can make a plain stretch of wall into a real show-stopper, and it can be done freehand or even easier with Cricut.

Painted Arch Accent Wall -

Our upstairs hallway is a little wonky. Half of it is a catwalk that connects the guest bedroom to the rest of the house, and half of it is a more-or-less traditional hallway. But there is this section of wall just outside of Baris’s room, that had been a desolate wasteland for almost a year.

Here’s a half-painted look at the wall in question. This was my “oh crap!” version of a “before” picture that I only remembered a quarter of the way through painting the wall a few months ago. I was a little overzealous with my painting, as these upstairs walls were (almost) the last walls left to be painted in the house, not including (at the time) the guest bedroom, the master bath and the master closet.

half painted hallway wall

Anyway, it’s a pretty big chunk of wall space in a weird neighborhood of our house. Directly across from that wall is the doorway to the master bedroom and the staircase downstairs. Since it leads to the unoccupied guest bedroom, that section of hallway and the adjoining catwalk don’t get a lot of foot traffic. But since it is directly across from our bedroom, it gets seen several times a day.

The wall needed something. The white paint was just a new beginning.

half painted wall in a hallway

In our staircase makeover post, you can spy a cabinet that we pushed against this wall and flanked with a couple of faux trees.

Staircase Makeover -

It was a start, but not only did that IKEA cabinet need doors (the subject of next week’s post), but the wall was still looking a little blah.

Handan’s solution was to add a painted arch.

Ahhhh, the arch! What better symbol of humanity’s evolution from hairy louse-pickers to hairless mouse-clickers! The arch has been used in construction for at least 6000 years and as a design element for nearly as long. There is something so familiar, inviting, comfortable and exotic in an arch.

I thought it was a perfect idea for that space.

Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock (or under an arch bridge, perhaps?), you’ve seen painted arches all over Pinterest and Instagram. There is nothing new about them (6000 years, remember?).

At it’s most basic, a DIY accent wall painted arch can be eyeballed and free-handed, and bugger the lopsided consequences.

Those with a more discerning eye can take the added step of taping a nail into the wall, tying on a length of string and scribing a pencil-line arch onto the wall before taking up their brush or roller and attempting to paint inside the lines.

Look, madam – you couldn’t paint inside the lines in kindergarten (at least I couldn’t), so what on earth makes you think you can do it now??

Fortunately for shaky-handed and non-nearsighted folk like us, Handan has a better way.

Painted Arch Accent Wall -

But isn’t that always the case? It’s too bad my babes is so bukbukbuk chicken about being on video, because she could have her own show called “A Better Way with Handan Navage,” and I think it would be a hit.

Anyway, Handan’s Better Way for this project was to use Cricut Design Space to make an arch from a circle and then cut it with our Cricut Maker 3, so we could turn it into a stencil. Maker 3 has the ability to cut up to 12 feet in one go using Smart Materials, so the length of our arch (about 40 inches) was covered. But because Maker 3 still only cuts about 12 inches wide, we had to cut our arch in sections and assemble those sections later to achieve the 18 inch height.

Here’s how our stencil looked after trimming it, lining it up and attaching it to the transfer sheets. Why two colors? Well, we’re never going to use that pink vinyl, so we used it for a stencil. We would have used it for the entire stencil, but we didn’t have enough. What we did have enough of (all 75 feet!) was black, so black and pink it was!

arch made from cricut vinyl

We made this stencil specifically to fit the IKEA cabinet we’re using as a linen closet. It is 40.5 inches wide, so that’s how wide we made the stencil. As for how tall the entire accent wall would be, well, we just eyeballed that and came up with 68.5 inches. That would be high enough for us to put a tall-ish vase on the cabinet and not have it stick up above the arch.

As I mentioned, the arch is 18 inches tall, so to get a total height of 68.5 inches, we needed to make straight sides 50.5 inches tall. We used blue tape and a level to put the tape on the wall. Penny was a big help while we taped the wall for our painted arch.

Big help.

putting blue tape on a wall before painting

Here are the sides all taped and level.

putting blue tape on a wall before painting

Working together, Handan and I positioned the stencil so it met up with the blue tape on the wall. It doesn’t have to look pretty, it just has to work!

stencil on a wall for a painted arch

Next up was the easy part – painting! We chose a pale blue/green called Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams.

painting an arch accent wall with sea salt color paint

It’s a beautiful and subtle color that’s perfect for our painted arch accent wall.

painting an arch accent wall with sea salt color paint

After 20 minutes, we removed the stencil and the blue tape.

painted arch accent wall

Now here’s the new and hip thing to do with these painted arch accent walls. Instead of doing things the old-fashioned boomer way and centering the furniture or decor item within the arch, like this plant, for instance…

plant centered within an arch accent wall
Oh my god. I’m centered. This is so embarrassing! I am such a boomer tree!

…the cool cats these days are offsetting the furniture.

Observe, madam.

furniture offset from a painted arch accent wall
Oh Em Gee, I can’t even right now. I’m so on fleek!1

1 “On fleek” = awesome. This was a popular term among the younger set, though I think it’s already on the outs. Try substituting GOAT2 to sound more up-to-the-minute.

2 “GOAT” = Greatest of All Time. Note: do not try to “dad joke” around this one by calling yourself the BOAT (Best of All Time), or you’ll risk injuring every teen within earshot as their eyes roll dangerously back into their heads where they may possibly get stuck, consigning them to a lifetime of staring into a dark and empty void.

And that was it, madam. Once our IKEA linen cabinet was in place (with the custom doors I’ll be writing about next week), all that was left was to decorate the top of the cabinet – something that my babes has done now no less than four times. I will stick with showing you Number 2 in this post. You’ll see more current decor in coming posts, as this once-forgotten part of the house is now a hotbed of boho activity!

Painted Arch Accent Wall -

Here’s a short and sweet stop-motion time-lapse of the process.

Painted Arch Accent Wall -
TNP Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Hi, so you used sea salt and it looks good? I used it in my laundry room and it looks like a baby’s room, I guess it is all about the lighting… The cricut comes in handy for so many things, I love the arch! With the off-set you get the whole look of the arch instead of just the top. Oh, and those cabinet doors are killer. Good job as always!

    1. Hi Jean, yes! Sea Salt is amazing – not baby blue at all or we would have immediately painted over it, lol! I’ll be writing about those doors next week! πŸ™‚

  2. Personally, you had me at the nail, pencil, and a string but I’m sure you will use that stencil again! Love the styling on top, but I’m afraid I’d center the cabinet in the arch–I call this making OCD (obsessive compulsive disease) work for me!!!. Love Penny’s photobombing! She looks like my idea of a great dog!

    1. LOL, thanks, Kathy! I know, I know, the offsetting can be off-putting for some! Penny is everyone’s idea of a great dog – seriously just the sweetest thing.

  3. Everything I have seen you do is awesome!!! My only question is….Do you have a single brother just like you???!!!???!!!

  4. Love it! Yes there’s something calming and soothing about an arch! I would love to see a shot from it visible from downstairs? While the chest is offset the plant balances . Another hit! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘‹πŸ‘‹

  5. I love it! I also like the color. One thing that bugs me, and no one said a thing! The electric outlet doesn’t match the cover. I always my husband change them. He hated doing them but anything to pleas his Angle.

    1. LOL, it bugs me too, and I’ve been slowly replacing the outlets all over the house. I haven’t reached the upstairs hallway yet (and truth be told, I haven’t changed one since late last year. Eventually though! At least that one is completely blocked by the linen cabinet. πŸ™‚