Tutorial on how to build these SUPER sturdy and adorable Mod Kid's Chairs... a Land of Nod Knock-off! {Sawdust & Embryos}

Budget Kitchen Updates! {Accent Wall and Faux Painted Backsplash!}

The daunting lighting situation was finally resolved and cleaned up, and I had a glimmer of an idea to paint something special on this one wall! I toyed around with lots of different ideas. But in the end, I decided on this subtle swirly pattern. I chose flat paint for this one wall, and bought the same color (Pittsburgh Paints in Deep Emerald) in high gloss… I’m sure you could use a clear urethane and get the same effect. I just love the way it turned out. And it was super easy… took an afternoon to complete.

I photocopied a swirly pattern (stock photo) onto a transparency, and using an overhead projector, blasted the image up onto the wall and traced it with a pencil! If you try this, be sure to use a pencil that’s close in color to the wall paint. Otherwise you’ll find yourself having to do several coats just to cover up your blasted pencil lines. Does it sound like I learned that the hard way? Well your right.  Below is a copy of the swirly image I used! Feel free to copy!

And I only used this much paint for the whole project. Too bad they don’t sell paint by the tablespoon!

 Okay Okay, here are the after photos. It may not be a ‘remodel’ since all we did was paint the walls and backsplash and put in new lighting, but we feel like it’s a huge transformation! The cabinets, appliances, flooring… all the same as they were before. But man, changing the lighting to recessed can lights made a HUGE difference. Yes? I feel like my kitchen glows!  

If you decide to try out a tone-on-tone pattern project, be sure to send us pics! We love to see what other creative minds come up with!

You can click on these pics to see the ‘before and after’ larger!

TV Stand
Kitchen Lighting
  • Abbie

    I love it!!!!!

  • Stacey

    So cute! I love how the lighting makes the kitchen looks so much brighter! Love it!

  • Sarah@Life in the Parsonage

    Beth, it is AMAZING! Can I take pics of my rooms and you can just tell me what to paint them!?! PLEASE. :)

  • Sharon T.

    L-O-V-E I-T!!!!! We recently added can lights to our 70’s home. Changed the look and the feel completely. Your walls are fabulous!

  • Regan

    It loox amazing girl! I LOVE it!!!

  • Hannah

    It’s freaking awesome. I love that teal color so much! (The contrast with the orange chair is great too.)

  • Lora

    I’m in love witht he swirls you painted on the walls! Did you use a pattern or did you free hand?

  • Kathy@ Gone North

    Absolutely FABULOUS!!!!
    Amazing work!!! (stopping by from “Better After”

  • mom2jope

    I found your blog on better after. Wow how amazing, painting backsplash! Ok that is the blue I want though for my accent wall, the main color you have, please please tell me what it is! Thank you!!! Love your kitchen, I wish my husband would let me do that!

  • Vonda

    It’s gorgeous. I love the paint color and the scroll work. It looks like you free-handed that. Or did you use a pattern? I’ve done diamonds using a flat and high-gloss of the same color. I LOVE that effect.

  • Heather P.

    Did you freehand those swirls? AMAZING and totally FAB!

  • Jenn

    Hi – just visiting from Remodelaholic…I LOVE LOVE LOVE your paint job! The color is awesome, too! Love it!

  • Lauren

    I LOVE the swirls. How exactly did you do that? Did you use a stencil, etc.? I would love to do that in my office/yoga room…

  • Mandy

    YES! This is what I want! Thank you soooooo much for posting the idea on my blog! This is so perfect, I can’t wait to go buy the paint and get started! This is exactly the type of thing I was trying to think up, but my interior design challenged brain was having troubles getting there. Seriously, can you tell how excited I am!!!

  • Deb

    I have to show this to my husband! We both complain about the lighting in our old farmhouse kitchen all the time. And since he’s an electrician, I would think he can do it….

  • Anonymous

    This is beautiful!! I love the vibrant color scheme.

  • Steph

    I just came over from a comment you posted on YHL, and well I’m a little late, but your kitchen is GORGEOUS! The swirls are my favorite part! I just did my bedroom with flat/gloss stripes and now I’m trying to refrain from using that technique all over the house!

  • Steph

    I just came over from a comment you posted on YHL, and well I’m a little late, but your kitchen is GORGEOUS! The swirls are my favorite part! I just did my bedroom with flat/gloss stripes and now I’m trying to refrain from using that technique all over the house!

  • Anonymous

    I love the swirls as well….are you for hire to do that as well?? 😀

  • Dayeseye

    I think the painting of gloss on flat is brilliant. Looks so nice, subtle and lovely. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lulu Lane Designs

    Love it! I’m a new follower and I found you on Pinterest! :)

  • K.D.

    That paint is the coolest idea ever. And ditto lulu on how I found you

  • Anna

    What a GREAT idea! I love it! Saw this on Pinterest and I’m going to FB/Tweet it.


  • Staci

    I love your kitchen/paint. Great idea. I will be linking you to my blog tomorrow. Grab a button from my side bar if you want. Good luck with the babies! I am excited for you.

  • Justin Goodwin

    So I’d heard Nick at work talk about the stuff you guys had done, but hadn’t seen pictures. I am IMPRESSED. Both the tile and your kitchen jobs are awesome.
    Oh, and Nicole is dying to get you over to our house to save us from the 1970’s.

  • Rhiannon

    Beautiful! What a great idea!

  • rkane

    hey! I read your blog all the time and i was looking throug pinterest and recognized your handy work! hopefully it will generate lots of traffic to your blog!

  • Anonymous

    Just saw this on pinterest. LOVE IT!!!
    I see all the chrome in your kitchen and had just been on and thought you might like to know you can paint all your appliances stainless. Your house looks fabulous!!

  • Mary Ruth

    Saw this on Printerest. Great look, can be done with non-yellowing polyurethane too (gloss or semigloss, a gloss level up from wall paint) no color to match. I did this with stamping on a wall.

  • taylor

    do you have any suggestions on how to do it without the light projector, i dont have one but i would really like to do this.

  • Emily @ The Diligent One

    ekk! I love it!

  • Jamie @ Sew Rockin’

    Looks beautiful! I have a wall I am contemplating it with. I decided to paint it as an accent but it is kind of blah…

  • Anonymous

    I saw a photo of your walls on pinterest and had to come see your blog for myself! I have been raving about this to any one that’ll listen and have decided I’m going to do some glossy swirls on flat paint as well (but in brown). Hoping mine turns out just as fantastic as yours! :)

    • Anonymous

      Just curious if you tried this & how it turned out :]

    • Anonymous

      I love the color u choose…i love stuff like that but sometimes im worried it won’t turn out the way i invision it…thats cool though..u dont always have to stay in the lines. Stuff still turns out cool

  • Anonymous

    Did you name/brand of the paint color?

  • Anonymous

    never mind I found where you posted it-Thanks

  • Susan

    Your room looks beautiful! I did large diamonds in my dining room several years ago. I spent a lot of time taping off the pattern, and was surprised to find out that not all paint colors could be mixed in high gloss, so by default I ended up buying CLEAR high gloss polyurathane and it worked great.

  • Anonymous

    I just did this in my Dining room and I must say it is amazing. Thank you!!!

  • Julie Bagamary

    That’s impressive and simple!

  • Anonymous

    A M A Z I N G!!!!

  • Liz F

    That’s beautiful! You can usually get smaller samples of paint that’s usually a few ounces, instead of the whole gallon, for either free or just a couple dollars.

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic! You should feel so accomplished and proud!

  • debego

    When tracing on a wall like this – use chalk. When the paint is dry you just use a damp paper towel to get rid of the lines. No extra work to cover pencil lines.

    • Anonymous

      Great idea!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Anonymous

    Can you post the name of paint color? I have been wanting this paint color

  • Anonymous

    I’m SOOO inspired! Going to try this in our master bathroom! Thanks for the info and pictures!

  • Sarah

    Love the bold colors! Working with a similar palette in our house!

  • Nine Red

    daaaaaang this is BEAUTIFUL! I love love LOVE this idea. I did a spot light of this on my blog,, and sent credit & links back to you here for all to see. Thanks so much for sharing, I want to do this in my house someday!

  • Robin Shannon

    I love your site. You have a great gift. You also gave me a great idea for the curtains I plan to put up in my living room. I just need to dig out my sewing machine now. :)

  • Anonymous

    Please tell us the paint color!

  • Ginger

    Wow…what an amazing idea!! So simple yet elegant. Love this! I am going to do something like this on my big wall in the living/dining room!! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Renée

    I found this while I was perusing tone-on-tone ideas about a year ago & pinned it to my Pinterest board. And it has been ‘liked’ and repinned nearly 1,000x since! Literally my most popular Pin ever. Just wanted to say that you are onto something here, bc I can’t believe how popular it is!

  • Unknown

    Good job!! :)

  • DeeGlo

    I have GOT to get an overhead projector :)

  • redfly

    Hi, just wanted to let you know that I used your template design, and painted my bedroom accent wall with your idea. I also linked your post up to my post. Thanks for letting me use your template!! I love my new wall!!


  • Bethany

    Wow Melissa! That turned out AWESOME! Your did a great job! I’m so glad we could inspire you… and thanks for linking back to our blog! :)

  • Anonymous

    FAB U LOUS!!! Wonderful job. I will DEF be stealing this idea (I even love the color!) I also think the suggestion in one of the comments to use chalk is ingenious. I have to say though… The amount of people asking you how you got the design on the wall boggles the heck out of me. WHY would you take the time to comment but you can’t take the time to READ THE ARTICLE?!?! GAH! Thank You so very much for sharing this. You may have just cured my boring Master Bedroom Walls!!

  • Anonymous

    Do you think its possible to get the same effect using a polyurethane clear and a stencil?

  • Anonymous

    I saw this and decided to give it a try. I used a circle pattern to match my room. It looks amazing! Thanks so much

  • Eli Ramos

    Cozinha perfeita em tudo! Adoro a cor.
    Parabéns. Beijos

  • Diana Young

    I just did this to my office, I used the same pattern you did. Except I did this on all of the walls, I LOVE IT! Thanks so much for this awesome idea. I get so many compliments on it, thanks so much!

  • Fatimah Hayat


  • Anonymous

    would this work if I have an eggshell finish on the wall and then use the gloss anyone?

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      I’m sure it would work, but it wouldn’t pop out as much because it would be quite as contrasted as the flat paint. It also depends on what color you use. We did this once before on a beige wall (with glossy beige design) and it didn’t show up nearly as much.

      Hope this helps! Send us pics when you’re done! :)

  • Jule

    Hey Beth, I found your blog because someone had pinned this project on Pinterest. I love this project and the color scheme, I like teal and green a lot and we have it everywhere in our home, too. You have a beautiful home and two sweet daughters, too. I read how much effort it took you to conceive and I am so happy for you.
    Jule {inside9B}

  • Anonymous

    What paint finish did you use on the surrounding walls that aren’t stenciled?

  • Anonymous

    where did you find the orange appliances and accents?

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      They are Kitchen Aid brand… we registered for them for our wedding! LOVE ORANGE!

  • home builders Missouri

    Thank you for this wonderful post. The blog about the upholstery tacks is so helpful. I have always wanted to use some of those but I always ended up with bent tacks. I had no idea about the use of cardboard. Again thank you for this useful post.

  • kelly thompson

    by far the most creative and coolest post
    i have seen today! green and blue also happen to be my fave colors!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the inspiration! Did in my dining room and it looks awesome!

  • Jilly Bean

    HI BETH!! I saw this on Pinterest and much to my surprise it was my favorite BETH ever! I love your painted walls! Love ya, Jill

  • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

    Awww, you’re so sweet! :)

  • Leila Flanders

    I love everything you’ve done to your house. You truly have a lovely and cozy home. I wish I have your creativity too!

  • Heather

    I LOVE this look. I was planning to try it in my bedroom/bathroom, and I’m so glad to find a great how-to. :)

    I’m wondering what you did when you got to the corners? Did you wrap the design around the corners or start them again on the next wall? I’d love any hints you can give me. I’ll try to check back to see if you reply, or if it would work for you, I’d LOVE if you could email me at

    Thanks so much!!

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Hi Heather! On the corners, we put a ‘grout line’ using 1/4″ tape, and then start a new tile on the other side of the corner. We try to think of how it would be installed if it were real tile!

  • Patti Newton

    Hi Heather,
    You did a beautiful job on your swirls. Simple and sophisticated with a touch of whimsy. I just thought I would share a photo one of our customers sent us that uses flat, semi gloss and glossy paint to get a similar effect. She chose our Bamboo Silhouette wall mural. We provided the pattern and transfer paper and she provided the paint and effort. It really did turn out beautiful. She won 1st Place in our Photo Contest! And you can see why. Check it out:

  • changelivlife

    Hi Beth,

    I’ll add my love, along with everyone else. But I am curious as to the paint color of the island? That green is amazing. Will you share?



  • Bethany Baldes

    We close on our second hose on Friday. I want to sign papers and head to the house and start painting I’m sooo excited!!

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Ooo Congrats Bethany! Send us some pics if you end up using some of our techniques! :)

  • James Bond Bond

    This is actually a fantastic blogs! More of these details are superb -it is nice to see one that current.

  • Pocha huntas

    I loved it a lot, the kitchen is looking superb after the greenish color paint used on the side walls and it all ends to a charming look.

    certapro painters

  • Doc @ The Saga of Glitter McNabb

    What a great idea! I was going to use a pale metallic (Modern Masters in oyster) over bright white to stencil damask patterns on all four walls, but now I think I’ll alternate walls (oyster, glossy white, oyster, glossy white) for the tone on tone. Or no.. Maybe I can alternate wall colours instead to create several layers of interest. Thanks so much for the inspiration! :)

  • Pingback: Budget Modern Kitchen()

  • Pingback: DIY Headboard from Up-cycled Closet Doors - C'mon Get Crafty()

  • Lauren

    This is one of my first pins on pinterest, and I can’t wait to try it on my wall! I have a question though – the picture of the swirl stock art doesn’t show up in the article – it says the link is broken. Not sure if that is just me (I can see the other pictures). Would it be possible to check the link or send me the file? I love the swirls and have been searching for something similar but can’t find anything!


    • Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Lauren, I’m going to email you that image now! Let me know if/when you get it. :)

  • Pingback: Glossy Swirl Accent Wall – D | Creative Home Ideas()

  • patty

    This is WOW!!! But how do you think it would do over “orange peel” texture on a wall?

    • Pamela Eichenlaub Graham

      Yes, just keep it ‘in the lines’ and it will be great!!

  • Pingback: Stenciled Focal Wall in the Master Bedroom » My Craftily Ever After My Craftily Ever After()

  • Pingback: Thoughts on Blogging, Etiquette, and Spreading the LOVE!()

  • Helenice

    Congratulations, I am Brazilian and I know his work first. I was in love.

    Parabéns, sou brasileira e estou conhecendo seu trabalho pela primeira vez. Fiquei apaixonada.

  • Pingback: Tone on Tone Wall Mural - Just Paint It Blog()

  • erica

    love it!
    q: where are the flowers hanging from?

  • Pingback: Before and after kitchen makeover with patterned walls()

  • Pingback: Crafty lil’ Peach part deux |()

  • Pingback: The kitchen is no longer teal - Sawdust and Embryos()

  • Pingback: A Tour of our Homestead! - Sawdust and Embryos()

  • Pingback: Extending Kitchen Cabinets up to the Ceiling - Sawdust and Embryos()

  • Pingback: Wall Makeover - Dancing Dish & Decor()



  • Sandra Henson

    First of, I,would kill for your kitchen. My little galley kitchen might be okay for a man who uses a microwave most of the time (my husband before we were married) but not me. But, soon that will be changed. Knocking out a wall and getting a better floor plan. Not much bigger but more strange and counter space yippee! And yor wall, well it’s just gorgeous. So glad I found your blog. It’s full of wonderful ideas. Passing it to my sister.

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Knocking out a wall is a lot of work, but I know it will be so worth it for you! Go girl!

  • Pingback: How to Paint your Kitchen Aid Mixer - Sawdust and Embryos()