3 Tips to Paint Rounded or Bullnose Drywall Corners with Different Paint Colours
Who invented rounded drywall corners anyway? Clearly is wasn’t a Designer or anyone with common sense, as they are a royal P.I.T.A when you want to use 2 different paint colours! I figure it must have been a drywaller who decided that it was easier to create a curved line than a clean 90-degree angle.
So, I’m going to share with you some ideas on how to change paint colours when you encounter these blasted things. Now, this post is not photo heavy and is more detail oriented, so you better get ‘yer big girl (or boy) panties (and reading glasses) on!
Tip #1 Decide which wall is primary and which wall is secondary
What does this mean? This means that when you’ve got 2 walls that meet at a 90 degree angle with a curved edge you need to decide which room is the primary room (wall) and which is the secondary room (wall).
The Primary Room
This is the most important room of the 2, for whatever reason you decide.
- If you want to paint your living room green and paint your hallway walls cream – yet they meet with a rounded corner, you will likely choose your living room as the primary room
- If your want to paint your kitchen blue and your dining room red and they meet at a rounded corner, you will need to decide which one is the more dominant/important space based on it’s position in your layout
The Secondary Room
This is the room that comes in second place in the pecking order.
- This is often the smaller of 2 rooms, a hallway or stairwell
In the above area, we’re dealing with 2 transition type areas – a stairwell and a hallway. If we WERE to paint 2 different colours, the stairwell area would be the PRIMARY space with the hallway being the SECONDARY space. Now the shadows MAY want to whisper in your ear and tell you otherwise, which we will talk about below, but remember that those shadows may also change as the day progresses.
So, now that you’ve decided which is primary and which is secondary, you will bring your ‘primary room colour’ around your rounded or curved corner and you will start your secondary colour where the wall resumes it’s flatness.
The reason for this is that it’s better to have a weeee stripe of the primary room colour in the secondary space, rather than the other way around, as one way or another you will get a bit of a ‘stripe’ where the one colour ends and the other begins.
The higher the contrast is between the 2 colours (ie: one is considerably lighter and one is considerably darker) the more likely it is that you should do this NEXT tip instead (to avoid a drastic, shocking stripe in one room or another).
Tip #2 Divide Your Bullnose or Curved Corner in Half
This one is tricky, but if you’ve got a good eye and steady hands it’s a GREAT solution (in otherwords not me, 2 glasses deep on a Friday nite…). It’s also the best choice if your colours are quite contrasting.
Take your Frog Tape (mucho better than regular painters tape) and run a vertical line right down the center of your curved corner. What this does is it creates the ‘illusion of a 90-degree sharp angle’. Of course, your corner is still rounded, but when you look at it from 4′ away it looks more like a standard corner and you also reduce the risk of having a ‘stripe’ of another colour in your primary or secondary space.
I am not a pro-painter, but a ‘pretty darned good one’ and this is almost always what I do with my rounded corners.
Tip #3 Follow Your Shadow
And try to step on it…
Okay seriously. In the middle of the day, take a look at how the shadows fall on your walls. Often you’ll see that the natural light and shadows will help you to define where to stop one colour and start another. Usually, the natural light flows entirely around the rounded corner and then falls into a bit of a shadow where the flat part resumes. Now, this is certainly a way to figure out what goes where, but keep in mind that this can change quite a bit as the day progresses, so make sure that your shadows stay somewhat consistent throughout a 12 hr period.
The person above did NOT follow the shadows and you can see that they actually created quite a distinct ‘3 colour palette’ as the gray paint colour turns lighter when the natural light hits it. This can be hard to avoid to a degree, however with the type of contrast that is shown, they would have been better off doing one of the following:
- Taking the cream colour around the corner as the highlighted corner would have made more sense in the lighter colour
- Taking tape, and cutting that corner right down the middle
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