before & after: ombre booth walls

It’s a thrilling time of year for me, a former display artist, when I get to see emerging designers not only prepping their goods for exhibitions but also tinkering away to create unexpected, dramatic displays to showcase their designs. The booths deserve their own show for the amount of effort and creativity that go into making them. In honor of the upcoming design shows in NYC, I wanted to share this awesome ombre booth project from Rebekah of Wild Ink Press. With a few 4 x 8 boards and some oil-based monochromatic paints, she created this stunning ombre booth to hold her line of paper goods at NSS this year.

The blues are beautiful, and it has majorly inspired me to try this technique on a wall at home. How gorgeous would this be in a bedroom, bathroom or kitchen? Who am I kidding — this would look amazing anywhere! Now I know how it’s done, although I bet it’s a bit harder than it looks to get the fade so smooth. Awesome job, Rebekah! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Read the full post after the jump . . .

Time: 6–8 hours

Cost: $68 (3 cans of oil-based paint)

Basic Steps: I used oil-based paint and an air-based paint sprayer (a sprayer hooked up to an air compressor). First, I rolled the lightest color as a base coat for the entire wall. Then, once that was dry, we sprayed the second lightest color (the midtone blue) half way up the wall. As we got near the top of the color line, we used very light and even spray strokes to blend the colors together. Last, we added the darkest blue to the bottom of the wall, using the same spray/blending method. In my test run (which you can see here), I was able to achieve the same look with three cans of regular store-bought spray paint.

I would say take it a little bit at a time! With spray painting, you can always go back over it again and blend more or add more color.  Also, use VERY contrasting colors — the aqua and navy are way different from each other, but that’s important to get a nice and rich blend. I used three colors, and I think that produces a richer look than just two. Good luck, and it’s not nearly as hard as I thought it would be! — Rebekah

  1. Wow! That looks I just hope the rain will stop so I can try this out for my next show :-)))

  2. Casey says:

    Wow! What a striking effect. It looks great on such a big scale. And what a coincidence, I just posted a DIY ombre photo frame project on my blog last night! Funny!

  3. Bertina says:

    Sweet!! Love the colour too!

  4. kopi-susu says:

    Ha! I guess my sister and I did it the hard way for my daughter’s room – we mixed 5 batches of blue and rubbed in to blend in switchbacks with each other up the wall with a pattern of color 1 / color 1+2 / color 2 / color 2+3 / etc. (if that makes sense)
    It’s a beautiful effect, like floating into the clouds

  5. Oh I really really like this. What a show-stopper. I’d stop in at a booth like this any day ;)

  6. ilene says:

    Very pretty. We designed the StationeryHQ booth for NSS and will also be there with our agent Jewel Branding exhibiting on the SURTEX side. Can’t wait to see your booth in person.

  7. This is probably the most amazing display I’ve seen in a long time! The hues are so vivid – great choices

  8. I’m in love with this idea! I’ve been to a lot of shows and have seen a ton of ugly booths. I wish more people took pride in their booths like this! Great job!

  9. hena tayeb says:

    Oh I like this.. makes me feel like i’m at the ocean.

  10. This is killer! It would be so perfect in a kids room – so calming, but not muted. Lovely.

  11. LOVE the cool blues with the warm wood in the display! Well done!

  12. Katie says:

    If anyone is going to DIY this, experiment with the sprayer before doing anything to your actual walls! It’s not actually that hard, but generally if you hold it further away from the wall, you’ll get a smoother transition.

  13. Greta says:

    Such beautiful colours! Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Melissa says:

    Beautiful!! Can’t wait to see in person! I’m exhibiting at Surtex and always love seeing the stationary booths. I’ve been completely inspired and trying to bring that same uniqueness to my own booth on the other side…which entails fake sod from Craigslist for my flooring…but ombré walls I’s genius!! Best of luck!!

  15. sherrie says:

    Looks very professional. Wanted to design a booth for my photography. Love what you accomplished. I am inspired!!

  16. Janice says:

    I love this idea – great work!

  17. Neato! Considering a similar treatment for my daughter’s walls in PINK but going dark to light to white and with brushstrokes as opposed to air brush.

  18. How did mount them? Are they hinged? Just beautiful!!!
    Acrylic paint will work beautifully tool! . Love to see people use paint as inspiration!!! Fab!

  19. Aidel.k says:


  20. lucy says:

    What a great idea for a diy headboard … looks dreamy

  21. Tiffany says:

    Hey! Your booth looked great. Just wondering how you supported the plyboard and what was the thickness of them? I’m working on a photography booth for a bridal expo. Looking forward to your advice!

  22. Matt says:

    Each up-down section is like a very shallow box that unfolds in the middle. I think the plywood sheets were the standard thickness just under 1/2″. You may want to check out our blog post on the subject:

  23. Ashley says:

    I would like to paint my walls ombré, but I might have a few visual problems…. The room I would like to paint has white panelled walls, will that negatively effect the finished look?? And the room has a brown wooden frame (I think that’s what it’s called, the lining along the edges?). I want to do blue ombré with a large range of blues, will the brown make it look bad? Should I remove it? PLEASE REPLY!

  24. heidi says:

    looks great! how were the walls stabilized?


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