A color blocking technique for walls uses the process of applying shapes in varying sizes onto your walls or other types of surfaces.

A color blocking project tend to include geometrical shapes that are done with the help of a pencil, ruler and painters tape.

Some designs may also be accomplished using a template.

Once the blocks are drawn they are usually painted in with three or more contrasting and complimentary paint colors.

For the best results use one of the template descriptions that follow to assist you.


Doing a color blocking technique on one feature wall as oposed to two or more walls, should keep the room from looking exsessivly busy.

Most people prefer to apply squares and rectangles but for a different look, why not use other shapes such as various sizes of triangles.

Keep in mind though, more intricate shapes, when doing a color blocking technique for walls, are usualy not selected as your first blocking project do to the added difficulty when taping or creating a template.

Before begining your color blocking technique for walls, practice your design ideas on a few sheets of paper (one inch equals one foot). If your wall is 8' high for example, draw on your practice paper a few rectangles 8'' in height by 2'' wide then fill in the rectangles with smaller blocks.

Try and have the top, middle and bottom sections look different from each other. After drawing your shapes on paper, use pencil crayons or felt pens to color in the blocks.

Crayons can give you a basic idea for the shades of color you might like to use. When picking shades, tones and hues for your color blocking technique, choose colors from items or furniture in the room your painting.

Using your drapes, chairs, or rugs to select colors, for example, will make all the items and surfaces in the room flow together and look balanced. Also, choosing colors that are a few colors apart on a paint store color strip, is a good decorating tip to follow.

For a bolder look, shades that are across from each other on a color wheel and primary colors, work well for a kids room.

Once you have a design idea for your color blocking technique for walls, you might want to try building a template out of wooden sticks. Your template should fit between the ceiling and baseboards. Your stick template should be flush against the wall (sticky tack works if needed).

Use 1" by 1" square sticks for the best results. Cut the sticks at the same height as the wall you will be painting, (usually 8' but not always).

Now, place one 2' long stick at the bottom, glue (wood glue) it on both ends and attach the sticks using nails or small screws and a drill. You may need to make a pilot hole for the screws. Do the same to the top sticks. You should now have a big flat 8' by 2' rectangle frame.

With the screws and glue in hand, while using the design you drew on paper, (remember 1" meant 1'), cut shorter sticks to fill in your wooden rectangle. The shorter sticks will represent your drawn paper designs.

Use a tape measurer and start by placing your first stick, somewhere close to the middle of your stick frame. Working from the middle, will make your template sturdier as you attach the rest of the wooden sticks.

If you would rather not use the stick template, board templates work fine. Using your paper drawing of color blocking technique for walls designs, apply the drawings or shapes to some bristol board or thick cardboard. A utility knife and a strait edge, will work well to cut out the designs that represent your drawn geometric shapes (remember 1'' meant 1' ) so be sure to cut in feet not inches.

Have a backer of some type under the bristol board, to protect whatever your cutting on. In most cases, all you will need to cut out, is three or four shapes. Use your shapes, to trace (pencil) designs onto the wall. Paint your tracings.

A story board is a stick that has measured numbers marked on it. Story board templates works best with simple rectangles and squares.

Two people to mark out the walls, are also needed in most cases. With your drawn design, transfer the measurements (remember 1'' meant 1') onto two or three 1'' by 1'' square sticks.

The length of the stick has to be the same as the height of the wall measured, top to bottom, between the ceiling and baseboard ( usually 8' high or so).

A smaller stick may be needed, depending on the hight, position of your walls and the design you've made. One stick will represent the horizontal lines, the other stick represents vertical lines, smaller sticks represent any special design situations you may have.

What your trying to accomplish, with your color blocking technique for walls, is to create a checker board.

Except in the case of your checker board template, the distance of the marks on the board used for the bottom are different for the one used for the top, resulting in different sizes of squares and rectangles painted on your wall.

Everything you don’t want coated in paint, needs to be covered and protected. Cut and roll the wall with two layers of a darker shade. Use a color that will compliment the shades you paint inside each block (semi gloss or eggshell).

This first color, (with the help of the tape), will represent the borders of each block that you will be painting. Now, let your color blocking technique for walls dry (48 hours is best).


Stick Template
With the stick template in hand, begin your color blocking technique for walls, hold it flush to the wall surface in a corner, then trace the inside of each block lightly with a pencil.

Do the other corner in the same fashion, or flip the template (up, down or sideways) and proceed on towards the next corner.

Make sure you have the template lined up from one block of geometric shapes to the next, it all depends on how far away your corners are from each other. You don’t want to end up with big blocks in one area then smaller ones in the next.

By making sure the top, middle, and bottom of the stick template is different, you can move the template in whatever direction you want, even side ways. Just be sure it all looks balanced before you start painting the walls.

Also, depending on your walls, you may need to make a smaller template to fit into certain areas.

Board Template
Use your three or four board templates on the walls in the same way as the stick template.

You need to hold your three or four bristol or cardboard shapes on the wall, one at a time, drawing around each shape with a pencil, matching up with the design you drew on paper.

Just keep moving along from corner to corner, till your done. To assure your design will look balanced, try starting at the top close to the ceiling, then stand back and see that all your shapes are going to fit together on the wall.

If your shapes aren't fitting, cut out and add a few more shapes from the bristol board for your color blocking technique for walls.

Storyboard Template
Using two ladders and some extra hands, hold the first story board your going to use, flush with the ceiling. Move around the room marking the wall with a light small pencil line.

Mark just below the lines on the story board. Now, while using the other story board mark the wall up and down at each end and in the corners. Once that's done you can use the board to draw strait lines vertically and horizontally using the marks you made as a guide.

Your color blocking technique for walls project, should look like a checker board, but instead of a bunch of identical squares, you will have an assortment of different size squares and rectangles.

Using the pencil marks (and blue low tack painters tape) tape off your color blocking technique for walls project. Press the tape down firmly on both edges to insure a strait uniform line.

Try and make sure the tape is just on the outside of the pencil marks, so that when the wall is painted, it will cover the marks. Also, by marking the wall lightly, you should be able to erase, with a clean eraser, pencil lines you may have missed once the tape is removed. Keep in mind though, the less erasing the better.

With everything protected from drips and splatters, roll each block with two coats of paint (an eggshell sheen is best) using the colors you have chosen. Remove the tape just before the last coat is dry.

Touch up if necessary. Other than the clean up you are now finished your color blocking technique for walls project.


Good quality paint will give you the best job, along with blue medium tack, painters tape.

Your tape lines need to be strait, even and pressed down firmly against the walls surface and you should not be able to see pencil lines after the tape is removed.

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