DIY: How to paint a wall arch to jazz up your interiors

Jazz up your interiors with some paint and a steady hand (Picture: rubyreds_semi/retrojo5)

Spend any time deep in the world of interiors on Instagram or Pinterest, and you’ll see one big statement wall art: the painted arch.

Whether accenting a fireplace, providing an ideal base for a pretty mirror, or just standing alone to jazz up a wall, the arch is the ultimate indicator that you know what you’re doing when it comes to creating an Instagram-worthy interiors space – and that you’re confident in your design skills.

Taking a brush to your wall can be a bit daunting, though.

But good news: creating your own arch really isn’t as tricky as it might seem.

We chatted with the experts at Valspar paint for their step-by-step DIY guide.

‘Painting an arch on your wall is an easy and affordable way to totally transform a space while injecting colour into any room,’ they say. ‘The overall idea is pretty straightforward – choose an area in your home that could do with a bit of colour, trace the arch carefully, and paint it in any shade your heart desires!

‘When it comes to where to paint the arch, your options are endless.

‘Do you have a tired doorway in desperate need of colour? A large wall within an unusually open space? A lifeless area above your bedroom headboard? A painted arch is ideal for all of these – and really great for framing pieces of furniture, whether it’s a bulky sofa, or trendy bar trolley.’

Here’s how it’s done.

terracotta wall arch with plants

Earthy tones look great (Picture: @at.home.with.the.marchants)

What you’ll need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Masking tape
  • Angled Paint Brush
  • Roller brush
  • Scissors
  • String

How to paint a wall arch:

Choose your colours

A contrasting colour will work a treat, but you can really go wild here. Go for earthy tones, monochrome, pastels, or something super bright.

Coordinate with any wall art you’re planning to add on top.


Make sure you have a smooth surface to work on, so your walls take the paint evenly. It’s best to paint an arch on a smooth wall, as the edges won’t look as neat on a bumpy area. Don’t forget to cover up your skirting boards (using masking tape), or doorways if you’re painting the arch around these areas

Decide on your arch size

This can be done by marking the two outer edges, and then placing a pin or tack in the centre of those points

deep red orange painted wall arch by head of the bed

How about using an arch instead of a headboard? (Picture: @arghmybeans)

Trace your arch shape

To trace your arch shape, you’ll need to tie a knot of string tightly around the tack (the string’s length should be equal to half the desired width of your arch, so measure that accordingly).

At the other end of the string, secure your pencil to the string. This can be done with tape or by tying a knot. From here you simply pull the string as far as it can go, to gently trace the outline of your arch. The string is your guide to create a perfectly symmetrical arch shape at the top

Top tip: Do this very lightly in case you make a mistake: it will be easier to erase.

Once you have the top of your arch drawn out, extend the ends of the arch straight down to the baseboard by marking the straight lines with painters tape.


If your arch is lighter than the colour of the wall, you will need to use a primer, to prepare the wall for its new pop of colour.

To stop the new colourful paint from bleeding through, Valspar’s top tip is to actually paint over the tape with the original wall colour first (if you can).

Paint the edges

Use a small, angled brush to paint the edges of the arch, this will seriously help you achieve a neat outline opposed to using an ordinary paint brush.

pink painted arch on wall, orange rectangle, mirror, and pink chairs in living room

Go for bold colour (Picture: @retrojo5)

Paint the inside of the arch

Once you’ve carefully done the edges, paint the inside of the arch (using your roller brush), and fill in the rest. Wait for the paint to dry before adding a second coat

Top tip: Sometimes, brand new roller brushes have a light ‘fuzz’ that can come off into your paint. Before you paint, get some packing tape and use it as a ‘lint’ remover on your roller brush – this will remove the fuzz and prevent bits of material going on the wall

Remove the tape

Next you can remove the painters tape around the arch and if necessary, touch up the edges with existing wall colour paint for a super crisp finish

Top tip: Don’t wait for the paint to dry before removing the masking tape – if you remove it while the paint is still wet, you will get a much more crisp line.

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