Archway painting problem

aunteemomAugust 17, 2009

I am painting the interior of a home that has many thick archways (about 12" deep) dividing each room to the hallway. Do you paint the archways the color of the room you will enter or do you paint it the color of the hallway that connects the archway to the room? Ex. Hallway - archway - dining room,

hallway - archway - living room.

I am worried that if I paint the archways the colors of the rooms and not the color of the hallways, it will look like a circus.

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Lori A. Sawaya

There is a rule of thumb for this. Like a lot of color rules I have experimented with breaking them or you could say coloring against them. Breaking this one rule of thumb didn't work out so well for me, it felt weird and I had it undone to 'the way it's supposed to be'.

It's actually very easy to understand and do.

Start at the front door. As you move thru the house and enter a room, the color from the room you are leaving spills thru the thresholds or archways and stops at the edge of the wall for the room you are entering.

Color changes/breaks should always follow the flow of foot traffic as it would flow from the front, formal entrance of the house. Flooring materials often follow this same rule of thumb and is another case where I really do think it's a good rule to follow.

It feels weird if you try to *spill* from the back of the house to the front. I swear it feels REALLY weird and disjointed if you mix it up meaning some color spilling from the front and some spilling from the back.

And it doesn't matter if the archway, threshold is a fat chunky wall or just a skinny few inches.

I have been in some houses where the first thing I noticed was the inconsistent or *wrong* spilling/transitioning of color room to room. Mentioning it to homeowners means they'll either look at me like I have two heads, or some will have been just fine with it, didn't even notice it until I pointed it out.

Seems like such an insignificant issue doesn't it? But it really is not.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 2:47AM
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I saw OP's post on the Homedec boards, but didn't answer because I painted the archways in two different styles. Didn't know why at the time, just seemed right.

Reading FC's explanation, maybe I wasn't so far off, after all. From the formal entrance, I pulled that color through the kitchen archway then dragged those room colors through to the informal hallway, in the back of the house.

Kitty picture is just to show the archways, the others show the paint transition.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 11:26AM
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The entry color, putnam ivory, is painting in the hallway, through the archway and into the living which is also putnam ivory. Then the putnam ivory is painted on the arch of the dining room which is painted decatur buff. Because all of the edges of the archway are rounded, can the decatur buff turns the edge slightly onto the arch. there is really no happy medium. either the putnam turns the edge or the decatur. same goes with other archways in the house. so, is this the way it should be? Should I be able to see the dining room color at all on the archway?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 1:47AM
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