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How to Make an Awesome Cloudy Effect Accent Wall

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Make some awesome paint effects on your walls by learning how to paint clouds with a sponge, paint brushes and milk paint. With the cooler weather kicking in I have been neglecting my blogging duties and painting an accent wall instead!

Learn how to paint clouds with a sponge, paint brushes and milk this. The finished accent wall with a cloud effect.

Yes, I’ve been painting the rest of the house. It really needed it as you can see from that wall below. Today I have a special project for you. I am going to show you how to paint clouds with a sponge and make your accent wall look awesome! 

I know the word “awesome” is overused but in this case I think it is a perfect description for my living room wall.

Corner of the wall with mismatched yellow and white paint.

Disclosure: I was compensated for doing this post with product.  However, all the opinions stated here are my own. I only use products I love and would recommend to my viewers.

I have a rectangular living room that is opened on one side.  This is the one that faces the sofa. I was going to paint the whole thing white but then I saw this post from Pat of The Wood Spa and was seriously smitten! She also has a video showing us how to make this masterpiece. 

I was so inspired I started right away without a moments hesitation. But the kicker here is that instead of using regular paint I used Old Fashioned Milk Paint, the Safepaint version which is specifically designed for walls. I honestly had no idea what would happen but I was feeling adventurous! Going out of my comfort zone here folks!

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Materials Used to Paint A Cloudy Accent Wall

Below you can see the first coat. It looked good but there was not enough coverage which I expected.  The color you see is Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Slate. I’ve also used this color when I painted the top of my vintage TV cabinet.

First coat of Old Fashioned Milk Paint Slate color on the wall.

How-To Paint Clouds with a Sponge

Milk Paint comes in powder form and is mixed in with equal parts water.  I usually mix it in jars and shake it well but you can also use a paint mixer.  Once that is done you have to let it rest for about 15 minutes until the paint becomes frothy.

Mix only as much as you think you will need otherwise it will go bad after a few days. I usually keep it in the fridge where it lasts for a week. The powder form can be stored in a jar in a cool dry place indefinitely.

Bags of Old Fashioned Milk Paint safepaint in pitch black and snow white colors.

Once I had finished with the first coat it was time to start adding the cloudy effect that I love so much. In order to achieve this I had to mix up two batches of blue.

First coat of paint going on the wall.

​The darker was achieved by adding a bit of pitch black to the original slate color, and the lighter by adding the snow white color to the original slate. Here are my yogurt containers with two different shades of the blue.

Miixed batches of milk paint in two containers.

At this point I panicked (being truthful here folks) and consulted with one of my blogger friends Thea of That Sweet Tea Life, who has also done a similar wall with a beautiful cloudy effect.

Then it was back to work!  I mentally divided the wall into horizontal sections of four.  Within each section I would paint a swatch of the darker color about two feet in height and length. This is the darker shade.

Swatching a dark shade of paint.

Then I’d add a bit of the lighter color on top.

A swatch of dark paint with white added on top to look like a cloud.

​Using a dry brush, I went over the area smoothing out the paint so it blended in.

Using a dry brush on the dark and white paint to blend them.

This is very fast work that’s why you have to work in sections. ​ If the paint dries then go back over it with a slightly wet sponge that will help to blend in the two colors.

Paint clouds with a sponge by blending the dried paint.

​Here is how mine looked on one section.

The two paint shades blended in to look like a cloud.

And so it went as I worked my way across the wall and eventually up. Once I got to the top I realized that it was too dark and moody.

The bottom portion of the wall with the cloudy effect.

So I mixed another color that was between the light and dark and used that as the base coat and then applied the darker and lighter shades to create a variation.

Accent wall painted to look like clouds in slate blue colors.

Of course once I was done I had to go back for touch ups or to change some cloud shapes that did not look cloudy at all. After all, I didn’t want obscene shapes on our living room walls!

There is no science to this, just use your imagination and go with what looks right to you.

Two shelves and a TV placed infront of an accent wall with cloudy effect.

​The whole thing took me two days to do. The first day for the base coat which I let dry overnight.  Milk Paint dries very fast and is environmentally friendly with no odor! Yay!!

And the second day was for the actual cloud effect.

Side angle view of the accent wall with cloudy effect

 Just imagine me perched up on a ladder trying to juggle three containers of paint with three brushes in them and a dry brush on top of all of that! It was quite comical and frustrating at times.  Even my dog was well behaved and stayed out of my way.

Accent wall with cloudy effect.

​But even with all of that I am over the moon happy with how it turned out.  The room now looks twice as big, which makes no sense at all to me considering that this is a dark color.  But I am really loving the drama of this wall. The milk paint is a beautiful hue and is so easy to work with, it went on easily and covered very well. And if I made a few mistakes it was no problem to paint over them. The color is actually a bit more blue than what the photos show.

Oh and did I mention that it is awesome!? Did you see how easy it was to paint clouds with a sponge and milk paint?

How to paint clouds with a sponge, paint brushes and milk paint. The end result of the accent wall with a cloud effect.

Now I need some help. I have these upcycled bookcases in front of the wall and my question to you is: should I leave the birch wrapping paper as a background?

White bookcase shelf with birch wrapping paper backing and a painted pot placed on the shelf.

Or remove them for a cleaner look? Let me know in the comments below.

White bookcase with off white backing and books and painted pot placed on the shelf.

 One last look with all the furniture in front!

It was a lot of work, in fact I am still sore as I type this, but so so worth it. 

If you enjoyed this you might also like a peek at my girl’s ombre wall.

Finished living room with furniture, TV and bookcases placed in front of the cloudy painted accent wall.

I think it is definitely worth going out of your comfort zone once in a while. I hope you enjoyed my tutorial on how to paint clouds with a sponge, milk paint and paint brushes. Would you ever try something like this?

And don’t forget to check out Old Fashioned Milk Paint, it will surely change your life and your ideas on how to paint. 

Accent wall with a cloud effect with text overlay "painting a cloudy effect accent wall."

More Ideas Using Milk Paint:  

MCM painted furniture
Milk Painted Furniture
Upcycled metal trunk
Upcycled Trunk

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Mindy Jollie

Wednesday 4th of September 2019

I like how you divided the wall into different sections based on shade to create depth. My husband and I have been talking about doing a unique accent wall in our downstairs family room. We'll have to figure out what we want and get a professional to paint it for us.


Tuesday 10th of September 2019

You should try your hand at it Mindy. It may look intimidating but it wasn't all that hard. Good luck and I know you will enjoy looking at that wall as much as I love mine.

Michelle Leslie

Thursday 4th of October 2018

You did it Mary!!! And it looks amazing. All those sore muscles and aches in places you didn't even know you had are so worth. You'll be enjoying your beautiful cloudy wall for many years


Thursday 4th of October 2018

Michelle it was so worth having all those aches and pains. The room looks twice as large now and so fresh and so me!!!


Thursday 4th of October 2018

The wall is beautiful. I love the final outcome. All of your hard work is well worth it.


Thursday 4th of October 2018

Debra I had all this left over milk paint from another project and thought why not use that. I am so glad I did. It has such a deep look it it.

Pat Rios

Thursday 4th of October 2018

Beautiful! I love your foggy, cloudy wall. And that soft blue is perfect because it kept the room bright and airy. Great job Mary!


Thursday 4th of October 2018

Pat I was really surprised after I finished it and sat down at just how big it looked. What a pleasant surprise!! Thanks for lighting the fuse in a good way!


Thursday 4th of October 2018

That turned out totally AWESOME sweet lady! Love the shades. Hugs and blessings, Cindy


Thursday 4th of October 2018

Thanks so much Cindy. I really needed to finish painting the house a whole year after moving here. It was about time!

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