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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Painting the stripes

After looking at the pictures of the scraped ceilings in my last post, I was remembering how proud I was of painting something bold on my walls, in addition to completely repainting the whole room.

We have two "spare" bedrooms right now, and the one the dogs use as their area during the day was a lovely shade of purple.  Being the design whore that I am, and reviewing what has seemed like thousands of photos on's RateMySpace, I settled on some techniques I wanted to try.  I really liked the idea of neutral stripes with contrasting black furniture for what someday should become our office.  (the other spare room is considered an office, but I'm not sure that a desk and a bunch of clutter on the desktop and floors counts technically as an office...)

Here are the before Photos:


(notice that *awesome* outdoor light fixture on the wall.  eegads.  It has yet to be replaced.  sigh.)


So, in order to make these horizontal stripes on my focal wall, along with the faux crown molding, I did the following back in May.

First, I removed everything from the room, and went to the store.  I had taken a day off work to have a three day weekend, and trust me, painting hadn't been on the agenda.  In fact, when Z got home from work that day to find me painting, he started laughing, but didn't think anything unusual of it.  Love him!

I used my Pittsburgh Paints fan deck, and chose the base color to be Navajo White (which I later found out to be a popular choice?)  I had picked a darker tan for the contrast stripe, but when I got to the paint store, there was an oops paint of a nice soft grey that I picked up for $5, and worked so much better!

I painted two coats of the Navajo White paint right over the purple after taping the window sill up.  I didn't worry about going all the way to the top of the ceiling since I knew I was going to paint a white border along the top.

After that dried a bit, I taped up the 4" crown border for the focal wall.  At the top of the ceiling, I measured down 4" because I knew I wanted a thick looking molding (all as a test!).  Because I was using 1" painters tape, I placed the bottom edge of the tape at the 4" line I had drawn using my laser level and a few pencil lines.  Then, I started calculating for my large 12" stripes.  I measured them out and taped them.  In order to paint as little as possible, the stripes looked off when taped up.  In reality, they were all the same size, but because the Navajo White was already on the walls, I only needed to do the 12" grey stripes.  I put small bits of painters tape in the stripes that I wasn't supposed to paint with the grey.


The secret trick to getting your tape to come off easy, and your lines crisp?!  Spackle!  Once you tape up your tape lines, on the edge that you're actually going to need to paint over, apply a thin layer of Spackle.  Then paint.  When you pull the tape off, the line is super crisp.  And, for those of you with slightly textured walls, this is a perfect solution so you don't have the bleed through of paint under the texture.  The Spackle coat was so thin you can't even see it, but worked like a charm.  Thanks to my friend Giovanna that I work with who had seen this on HGTV just days before this project culminated in my little head.  :)

I think that's about it!  Take the tape off, and enjoy the look of your hard work, and maybe wipe the sweat off your brow.

This of course was all before I removed the popcorn ceilings in this room, so the ceiling looks dingy.  I couldn't recommend the removal enough for those of you that have it still.  It looks completely different the MINUTE it's removed.  I love it (even though it's not done just quite yet)

*Note: my room was NOT square.  I had to eyeball the levelness (is that a word?) of the line, even though the paint line was straight.  Does that make sense?  I had to do that for the crown stripes, as well as the focal wall stripes.

I  still haven't addressed the old style gold sliding closet door mirrors in this room, but the dogs don't mind, and I think they like living in style.  :)

Total Cost:
$15 Gallon of Navajo White (didn't use the whole thing, about 25% left
$5 Gallon of Grey
$8 Quart of flat white
4 framed New York black & white photos $0 (we've had those for 3 years, and hadn't hung them before!
TOTAL: $28

Anyone done any awesome paint treatments?  What about stripes of various colors, sizes, or orientations?  Do tell!
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