6 May 2024 By Jonathan

Mastering the Art of Dual-Tone Painting: Expert Tips for Avoiding Colour Bleeds and Achieving Professional Results


Painting two different colors on the same wall can give depth and character to a room. However, it is essential to master the technique to avoid overflows or “bleeding” between the two shades. In this article, we explain how to paint 2 colors without drooling by giving you tips and tricks to successfully complete this delicate operation.

Surface preparation

First of all, it is essential to properly prepare the surfaces to be painted. Here are some key steps:

  • Clean the wall: Remove any traces of dirt, dust or grease with a damp sponge and a little mild soap.
  • Repair imperfections: Fill holes and cracks with a suitable filler then lightly sand the surface to obtain a uniform finish.
  • Clear the corners: Temporarily remove switches, electrical outlets and other items that obstruct access to areas to be painted.
  • Hide: Protect baseboards, moldings and other elements that you do not want to paint with masking tape (also called painter’s tape).
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Choice of tools and paint

To successfully paint 2 colors without drooling, it is essential to choose the right tools and quality paint:

  • Roll : Choose a roller with a short or medium nap, suitable for the type of paint you are going to use.
  • Brush: Use a flat, wide brush for corners and areas close to hidden elements.
  • Paint : Choose a matte or satin acrylic paint, which will allow you to obtain a homogeneous result with less risk of smudging.

Tip: dilute the first color slightly

Dilute the first color slightly with a little water (about 5%) so that it spreads more easily on the wall. This will also make it easier to apply the tape later.

Tracing the lines separating the two colors

One of the crucial steps to avoiding smudging is to correctly draw the lines that separate your two colors. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Carefully measure where your line should be (for example, if you want to divide the wall into two equal parts).
  2. Draw marks with a pencil at regular intervals, taking care to respect the measurements taken.
  3. Using a spirit level and a ruler, connect these marks to obtain a straight, perfectly horizontal or vertical line depending on your project.
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Applying masking tape

To paint 2 colors without bleeding, it is essential to apply the adhesive tape correctly:

  1. Choose quality adhesive tape (“painter” type) to prevent it from leaving marks or damaging the existing paint.
  2. Apply the tape to the line drawn previously, taking care to position it on the side where you are going to apply the first color. Be sure to press down on the edge of the tape to prevent paint from seeping underneath.
  3. Leave a piece of ribbon protruding at the ends to make it easier to remove later.

Tip: check the tightness of the tape with the first color

Before applying the second color, apply a thin layer of your first shade to the edge of the tape. Let this undercoat dry: it will seal any infiltrations and thus guarantee a clean, burr-free result.

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Application of paints

You are now ready to apply your two colors:

  1. Start with the first color by painting the wall down to the tape. Use a roller for large areas and a brush for corners and areas close to the tape.
  2. Let the first color dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions (usually 24 hours).
  3. Then apply the second color to the other side of the tape, taking care not to overlap the first shade. Proceed in the same way as with the first color.

Removing the adhesive tape and finishing

To remove the adhesive tape without damaging your work, here are some tips:

  1. Allow your second color to dry long enough before removing the tape (approximately 24 hours).
  2. Gently pull on the protruding end, maintaining an inclination of approximately 45° to avoid tearing off the fresh paint or that which has already dried.

If necessary, touch up with a small paintbrush if you notice any imperfections after removing the tape.

Tip: protect your work with a protective finish

To ensure better durability of your paint and facilitate its maintenance, you can apply a protective finish (varnish or wax) adapted to your type of paint.


Painting 2 colors without bleeding requires a little rigor and organization, but by following our advice and tips, you will obtain a professional result that will highlight your interior. So don’t hesitate to dare with bold combinations to give character to your rooms!