How To: Paint a Half Round Shape on a Wall.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

paint half round painted finish artistic
Or a circle.  Or an arch.  Or a quarter round.  Bubbles.  Or an S shape!  Or arc-shaped stripes!  Right?!   Trust me, this is a fun DIY you can do!

Have you been on the Instagrams lately?

If so and if you're like me, you follow people who paint or interiors or whatever related, you've seen oodles of folks painting shapes on their walls.  If not, no worries.  That's why I'm here with this splendidness today.

As we know, I am not trendy, I do not follow trends, aaand I know, this leans trendy.

But, see, I love paint.  I love what paint can do and I love what you can do with paint.  Paint is one DIY that is practically universal.  Anyone can learn to paint.  And anyone can learn to use paint for more than slathering a wall.

wall before half circle paint
Before.  Wah wahhhh sad.
Recently Mike said to me, “babe, no more major projects until you get the stairs done.”

Oh sh*t.  Well.

Hm, I don't have any major projects in the hopper buuuut why limit myself plus we’ve now lived here seven years as of this past June and the main stair has been in an ugly state of disarray nearly as long.  Pathetic.

So who can blame him?  Not me.

Honestly it’s because I haven’t been able to figure out what to do, how much to rip apart, how much can I rip apart, how to accomplish anything stair related in a budget-friendly yet stylish and also slip-free safe manner but also function while I'm working on it.............ugh.

Hand forced, I have a path forward now and while I’m not entirely gaga over my plan, it is a plan nonetheless, one that will be an improvement and budget-friendly, even if it doesn’t jazz me to the core.

So we’ll see.

Part of that plan involved repainting the walls as I wanted the upcoming color values to align.

before paint and carpeted stairs
Stair where I last left off, sorta.
I needed to inquire with Mike about a color change as he picked the color originally; I’m not that much of an a**hole to just thoughtlessly coat over his opinions.

Okay given, I went with Classic Teal, a Valspar color.  And holy sh*t people, what a color, omg.  Like omg, my eyes cannot soak it in enough, what a visual feast!

(And by the way?  A great way to test samples is with Samplize* as they're peel and stick, super easy to use, move 'em around, made with real paint, delivered overnight, and you're not jacking up your wall with lots of patchy spots.)

paint by numbers Hailey
Here's a teaser of how magnificent this paint color is, myyyy goodness.  Doesn't Hailey look wonderful next to Classic Teal?!  She was always a jewel-tone dog.
It's not often I come across a color (other than black) that I think, well, hot damn, this color is coming with me everywhere for the rest of my damn life somehow some way, but this is one.

The color is stratospherically stupendous.

My cut off edge game between the stair paint and the hall being weak, see above, I randomly concluded a half-round shape would make a better transition.

Ok.  The only hitch in all of this is that you need a steady hand.  Like, the day of, skip the caffeine.  Or drink a little less of it.   Or have some, do this project early enough in the day....ok, never mind.  Steady, careful hand.

The only other major thing you need is a quality angled sash brush* that tapers to a fine point, not a thick edge.

To start, determine where you want the center point at, where center would be if you did a whole circle.

Grab a tape measure and stretch it out, see what size radius fits.   Swoop the tape around using your center point as the axis, see if you clip anything, and note where the end points are, if the size works for you.
measuring radius for half circle
I picked center vertically then my tape measure helped me clear the light switches.
Next, grab a lightweight piece of wood, strip of wood lath like I used (you can usually buy one loose slat), or a yard stick, something easy to maneuver.  Drill a small hole on one end and sink a sharp pointy something through, a screw or nail.

Measure from the center of that point out to your radius end, in my case 2’-7”, mark it and then drill a 1/4” hole for a pencil.  You may need to wiggle the drill bit around to widen the hole if you have trouble stuffing the pencil in.  Avoid making it too loose; you want the pencil to be firmly trapped in that hole.
creating wood lath guide to draw arch on wall
Top left, my screw pivot point.  Bottom left, my drawing utensil.  Right, the whole shebang.
Make sure both the pencil and your screw/nail are sticking out about the same distance, just for ease of use.

Now yes, you can do this with string and a pencil, a technique I’ve used in the past, but I find the pencil is too free to wobble around resulting in an imperfect shape no matter how tight you pull.  The stiff wood stick gives you a true shape and easy range of movement, especially if the high end is out of reach.

So trot over to your future half circle location, hold the sharp point firmly but not too hard on your radius center point, you don’t want to punch a hole, then swoop the wood across the wall drawing your shape.  Voila!

drawing arch half round shape to paint on wall
See, you can do this one handed whilst holding a camera.  Haha!  I know, tripod and remote next time.
drawing arc with wood slat as a guide on wall
See, and the pencil doesn't move, it's consistent.
Step back, see if this makes you happy and if not, erase using a white rubber eraser* or barely damp melamine eraser* and start over.

Now go grab your paint and brush and sloooowly, go slow, be extra patient with yourself, and paint the edge.  If you’re feeling hesitant or unsure, practice first until you feel confident.
using sash angle brush to hand cut in paint
The top is not how I hold the brush when I edge; I hold it more like a pencil which provides (me anyway) more control.
Beeeecause, it's tough to use painters tape* on curves.  You can but you'd spend more time taping it out than actually painting it plus you'd end up with a jagged edge anyway.

Granted, I don't use painters tape very often, in fact rarely unless I'm creating a crisp edge between colors in the field area of a wall.  Personally, I find it a waste of time, money, and materials.

Then again, I've been painting things since the dawn of time so I have engrained habits on my side.  You can do this too though, I promise, it just takes practice and patience.

So cut in all your edges then with a roller, fill in the remaining areas.  See a hot paint tip here.

painting half circle on wall in progress
Well isn't this taking shape nicely!  Ha ha, shape, pun!

half moon circle painted on wall
Tada!  Horrible photo, sorry.  The light is tricky here.

Instagram influenced half circle arc painted on wall
Fun, right?  Makes the connection between the stair and hall muuuch better.
After I wrapped up my lil’ half moon shape, all dancin' around proud of myself at this swanky, way super cool success and it did exactly what I wanted it to do, a day later I asked Mike if he happened to see it, ya know, if maybe he liked it:

half circle painted wall technique finished
Here's my Pinterest-y staged photo with a plant that does not live there.  Heh!
“I did.  I do.  But ya know what would be really cool….....”

...To be continued!  Jump to the hallway update here!

*The paintbrushes, rubber erasers, melamine erasers, and painters tape are Amazon affiliate links.  The Samplize link is a well, Samplize affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. Who sells the stratospherically stupendous paint? That’s a color I’ve been looking for all my life!!

    1. Thanks! It’s Classic Teal by Valspar but you can take the chip to any retailer to match. Click the link in the text near the top for the color’s info. It really is the perfect color!

  2. I want to know where you got the painting of the German Shepard!!

    1. Thank you! I created it myself and here's the tutorial:

  3. Has the “to be continued” been done yet? I’d love a link if you did please🙂

    1. Ah great catch, thank you! I added the link above at the end but it's here too:


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