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Painted arch above desk and kid's bed

How to paint an arch using Dulux Colour of the Year 2021

Looking for a wall painting technique that can update any room and create a stylish zoned area at the same time? Try painting an arch. Follow our simple steps for creating the perfect painted arch using Dulux Colour of the Year 2021, Brave Ground.


The launch of Dulux Colour of the Year 2021, Brave Ground, is the perfect opportunity to think about being bolder with paint in your home. Want to update a tired space or add a bit of visual interest to a room? Painting an arch can help you achieve both. Not only is it a wall-painting technique that allows you to experiment with a two-colour combination, it’s also a clever way to zone your space, creating an interesting focal point. Think it’s hard to achieve? Think again. Our simple step-by-step guide makes it easy. 

Required tool for painting an arch

To paint an arch on your wall, you will need:

  • Tin of each of your chosen paint colours, with a contrasting shade for the arch
  • x1 large roller and tray
  • x1 small roller and tray
  • Spirit level
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Ball of string
  • Keys
  • Chalk
  • Masking tape
  • 1.5” paint brush
  • Pins
  • Scissors


  1. For an instant preview of what your colour choices could look like in your room, download the free Visualizer app.
  2. Narrowed it down to a few shades? Try them out with our mess-free and easy-to-use testers to discover your perfect color combination.
  3. Apply your background colour first, using a roller to cover a large surface area. Create M and W shapes as you roll to achieve an even coverage. Once the paint is completely dry (this can take from 2-4 hours), you’re ready to start your arch.
  4. First, cut a long length of string and attach keys to one end.
  5. Use masking tape, stick the string to the wall at the right height for the side of your arch. Cover the string with chalk and ping against the wall to make a chalk-line guide. Mask along this line with tape.
  6. Decide on the width of your arch and, using a spirit level, make a mark for the top of the the other side at the same height. Repeat the process above.
  7. Measure the gap between the two sides and mark the mid-point.
  8. Attach a pencil to the end of a length of string. Pin the string at the mid-point between the two sides so that the pencil reaches the top of both side lines. 
  9. Draw a semi-circle to form the top of your arch, then carefully paint the outline using a paintbrush. Fill in the rest of the arch using a roller.
  10. Gently remove the masking tape while the paint is still slightly wet.
  11. Looking for more inspiration on clever wall colour ideas using this technique? Here are four ways you can bring a beautiful arch into your home:

1. Simple and stylish zoning with a paint-effect arch

Painted arch above desk and kid's bed

Creating a simple arch using a paint colour a few shades paler than your wall colour is an effective way of defining the area above a desk or sideboard. Mixing the warm natural tone of Dulux Colour of the Year 2021 with a lighter, complementary shade makes for a smart and subtle two-tone look that would work anywhere.

Which colours?
Brave Ground
Pressed Putty

2. A tailormade headboard for the cost of a can paint

Painted arch behind bed and window

Wondering what to do with your bedroom walls? Here’s an idea that’s easy to achieve and very effective. Create a dramatic feature wall in the bedroom, by painting an oversized arch behind your bed in Dulux Colour of the Year 2021, Brave Ground. Divided with a stripe the same colour as your wall, it creates a stylish and inexpensive paint-effect bedhead.

Which colours?
Brave Ground
Tissue Paper

3. Combining colours and curves with a repeat arch pattern

Spiced Honey colour on the wall and a dining table and chairs

Don’t want a conventional arch on your walls? Get creative with this wall-painting technique. Paint a series of side-on arches on your wall in toning Timeless colours – one of our ready-made paint palettes that make it easy to experiment with complementary color combinations. Creating interesting and graphic curves on your wall, this paint effect will give a graphic, modern look to any room.  

Which colours?
Brave Ground
Spiced Honey
Tissue Paper

4. Clever paint effect idea for an open plan living room

Open dining room with wooden table and high windows

Once you’ve mastered this wall-painting technique, why stick at just one arch? In a large, open space, a series can make a real impact. Here, arches in Dulux Colour of the Year create a feature between floor-to-ceilings windows. Offset against warm ochre walls, they make a striking backdrop for a contemporary kitchen. You can create the same effect using a range of different colours, so be bold and experiment.

Which colours?
Brave Ground
Spiced Honey
Treasure Chest

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