In this post I will walk you through how to paint a scalloped wall – it’s so much easier than it looks!
A few months ago I purchased a beautiful half flower shaped mirror from the thrift store. I loved it so much, but couldn’t decided where to hang it so it sat in the closet for a few months until one day I had an “aha” moment. I should totally hang in my dark, boring stairway landing!
So I roped my husband into helping my hang it up – that sucker is heavy – and then stood back to admire it. And, while standing back to admire it I realized that the walls in the stairway looked awful! They were dirty and several shades darker than I would like.
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So, hanging a mirror turned into painting the two story stairway.
And, if you’re going to paint a two story stairway it should at least be fun, right? I decided that it was a great time to attempt to paint a scalloped wall. It was an idea I’d been thinking about for a long time anyways and here was my chance to go for it. And, I’m so glad I did!
This wall turned out so fun and adorable. And painting the scallops was so much easier than I expected. I love, love, love it!
I also build that sweet little modern bench and have free woodworking plans for you! Check it out here.
How to Paint a Scalloped Wall
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- bowl or round object to trace
- painter‘s tape
- angled paint brush with short handle
- paint roller & tray
- tape measure
- long level
The first thing I did was create a half circle template for my scalloped wall. I traced around a medium sized bowl onto a piece of cardstock. Then, I cut the circle out. Next, I folded it in half and cut along the crease to get the half circle template to trace onto my wall.
Draw Outline on Wall
Before drawing the outline of my scallops onto the wall, I spent a little time figuring out just how tall I wanted them. I decided 48″ inches was a good height and used my tape measure to mark 48″ from the ground in a few places on the wall.
Next, I took my long level and lined it up with the 48″ marks. I checked for level and then drew a line across, connecting the marks. Once I had my horizontal line, I found the center and marked it with a dash.
Then it was time to trace the half circle template. I lined up the flat side of my half circle with the horizontal line on the wall to around. I started in the center of the horizontal line by matching up the center of my half circle with the dash in the center of the wall. I worked my way out from the center, lightly tracing around the half circle template.
Now that I had my outline drawn it was time to paint!
The painting looks intimidating, but I swear it’s pretty simple. I am not a great painter by any means, but after a few attempts at painting curves for my Watercolor Inspired Wall Circle and Big Yellow Oval on the Wall I can tell you that using a brush to paint circles is way easier than it looks.
How I paint curves
Using a good quality angled brush is the key to painting curves with smooth edges. It’s much easier to keep the bristles together as you go paint around the edges. I recommend getting a short handled brush because I find them easier to control and it’s easier to use them in corners or other tight places.
To paint the scallops outline, get a good amount of paint onto your paint brush, but not so much that it’s drippy. Then, place your brush on the wall below the scallops outline. I find it easier to hold the brush vertically with the shorter side of the bristles on top. Keep your brush against the wall and slide it up the edge of the scallops outline. Follow the outline with your brush, keeping it against the wall the whole time.
Each time you go to paint around the edge of the outline, start with your brush against the wall near the outline and slide over to the outline. Placing your brush directly on the outline to start tends to get a little sloppy.
My painting did not turn out perfectly. I’m sure that my scallops are all a little bit different, but I love the hand painted look! If you’re stressed about painting it perfectly, just remember it’s only paint and it’s temporary. If you mess up, you can always correct it once the paint dries. Have fun with it.
After finishing the scallops, I painted below with a roller. I did two coats of paint for this area.
Time to Decorate
The hard part of this project was not painting the scallops (surprisingly!). It was painting the rest of the stairway – it’s so tall!! So after what felt like an eternity, we were finally done painting the rest of the walls and I got to decorate!
The thing that prompted this whole project was the pretty, half flower mirror that I scooped up from the thrift store a few months ago. Doesn’t it look perfect here? I love that the scallops mimic the shape of the mirror. And, having a big mirror in the stairway makes it so much brighter. This is probably the darkest spot in the house, but it’s much, much brighter now with the big mirror reflecting light from upstairs and downstairs.
I built a small modern bench to go in the middle of the landing and it looks so sweet in front of the scalloped wall! I also added a rainbow pom pom garland because how can you have this fun wall without pom poms?
Eventually I’d like to add a plant or small shelf to the corner, but for now I am so happy with how this impromptu project turned out! It is a huge improvement.
How to Paint a Scalloped Wall
Learning how to paint a scalloped wall is not nearly as difficult as it looks – I hope you believe me on that now! This little project only took me a couple hours and the result is pretty stinking adorable.
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I want to hear from you!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this project! Let me know what you think in the comments below. Will you be attempting to paint scalloped wall in your home? Share your projects with me on Instagram and Facebook.