Tuesday, November 13, 2012

striped accent wall: a tutorial! // diy

Today I'm going to show you how to go from this:
To this:
We are 100% in love. This was a somewhat spur-of-the-moment project and we are so thrilled with how it turned out. The diagonal stripes were Tim's idea; what do you think? I wasn't so sure at first, but as soon as we started painting, I was thrilled we went with his choice. Go Tim!
The darker color was a lovely bluish-gray Behr paint+primer-in-one that we found in the mis-tint section at Home Depot for... wait for it.... SEVEN DOLLARS (for a gallon!!!). I don't know how familiar you are with paint prices, but that's a good 80% off it's normal price. Moral of the story: check the mis-tint section first.
The lighter color was just our darker color mixed with some white paint we had in the garage (it was the same finish). We really wanted a tone-on-tone color pattern, and since a) we didn't want to buy more paint and b) our first color was a botched custom color anyway, we just mixed our own. The ratio ended up being about 2 parts dark to 1 part white, maybe? We kind of played with it until we liked it, then of course painted a test board to make sure it was the contrast we wanted.

We wanted the stripes at a 45 degree angle across the wall, and we wanted them to be about six inches wide.  So, we marked every six inches across the floor and one side wall, then used some basic geometry (Remember that? Huh? huh? Yeah, Tim didn't either.  he was no help) to get the ceiling and other wall marked. It's not as hard as it sounds, I just stink at explaining. Basically, some of the stripes ended in the middle of the corner, and we had to figure out where the other edge would go.

To get a perfectly straight line between the marks, we used a "snap line" as a guide. They sell them in the hardware store, but pssh on that! We used a piece of yarn we had covered with chalk (we literally colored along the yarn, it worked great), stretched it across the wall from one marked point to the other, pulled it taut, and gave it a SNAP!
From there, it was just a matter of taping off the stripes and painting! We taped off the outside of the stripes we wanted to paint, and then figured out our painting technique.
I haven't done a TON of painting in my life, but I've done enough to know that using painter's tape doesn't always guarantee a perfectly crisp line. This of course was a bummer when a crisp line was exactly what we wanted! I tried a couple techniques, but settled on one I first saw on House of Hepworths, which worked really well on our test board:
The lighting in that photo is pretty off (Left and Right photos should be same colors), but it's pretty clear that painting the base color on top of the tape before painting the stripe color really made for a crisp line. Any "bleeding" done under the tape was the base color, which then blocks the accent color from bleeding at all!

So, even though it meant extra drying time, we made sure to paint over the edges of the tape with our base color before we added in the accent color.
After that coat was fully dried, we painted in our accent stripe color. We pulled the tape off when the paint was still a little bit wet, and had no trouble with the removal.

Can I just say that there's nothing more satisfying than pulling off painters tape and seeing exactly what you wanted to see? The most beautiful thing in the world.

We are absolutely in love with our silly little wall. It just perks me right up coming home from a rough day at work (this is one of the MAIN benefits of a pretty accent wall, don'tcha know?).

We finished it off with some $5 over-the-door mirrors from Target, rearranged the furniture a bit, and and of course you can see our "new" chandelier! Just a couple little tweaks made the room look SO different, and we actually like spending time here.
What do you think?

Shared at Not Just A Housewife, Sugar Bee CraftsKrafty Kat


  1. Beautiful! What an easy way to update a room!

  2. I think I'm going to have to convince Myke this needs to go in our studio ;)

    1. DOO ITT! This was Tim's idea, and it seriously changes our apartment's feel SO much. Show him a picture; guys are dang visual people :)

  3. What a gorgeous room! I wish I had the patience to do that wall- it makes such a huge difference :D


  4. This is awesome! Love the colors! Totally dig your new chandelier too :)

  5. Hi Brittany! I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your DIY section of your blog and all of the photos that accompany it. With that said, I wanted to nominate you for the Liebster Blog Award. For more on it, here is my post: http://www.projectlovegood.com/2012/11/liebster-blog-award.html



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