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Lessons in Painting Striped Walls

Since we have an open floor plan, I have a direct view of my breakfast area from our family room.  And, it bugs me.  Our breakfast area has been in a state of bland and boring for a while.  So, one night, I got a wild hair to paint horizontal stripes on the wall that stares at me from the family room.

This is how it looked before:

I think my husband's shoe in the floor adds a special touch to the before picture, don't you?

And, here's how it looks now:


This area is far from finished, but I couldn't wait to show you my one wall :)  Since there are lots of tutuorials out there on how to paint stripes, measure, etc., I'll just give you a quick step-by-step of our process and share our main lessons learned.

Friday night, I painted the whole wall "Sherwood Tan" by Benjamin Moore.  (This is the color most of the house is being painted next week, so this gave me a good opportunity to try it out.)  I used an eggshell finish for this color. 


Saturday morning, we started taping it off.  I decided on 9-inch stripes, measured and marked them. 

Lesson learned #1: Do not use an electronic laser.  This totally didn't work and resulted in a lot of frustration. 

Lesson learned #2: Taping/painting horizontal stripes is not necessarily good for your marriage.  Between our "debates" on the best way to tape, and one good meltdown by me, I'm not sure I see many more stripes happening in our house.

Lesson learned #3 (we learned alot during the taping process): Those people on Design Star simply cannot throw those crazy taped patterns up on the walls within a period of 3 minutes.  There is obviously some major editing going on there.


So, we gave up on the first laser and decided to do it by just eye-balling it (in front of an audience). 


Just as we had put the last strip of tape up, the painter (who is doing the rest of our house) stopped by and strongly suggested we make a trip to Lowe's asap and buy a regular, long level, take all of our tape down and start again.  (He obviously was not as impressed with our "straight" lines as we were).  So, we did.

Take two.  This worked so much better and we had the whole wall taped within 20 minutes. 

Lesson learned #4: Start with a long level.


After everything was taped, I used a credit card to smooth out bubbles in the tape. (Yes, I did use Frog Tape and it worked pretty well.)


Lesson learned #5: My painter gave me a great tip to prevent bleeding.  I used an almost-dry paintbrush to lightly paint along the edges of the tape before I started rolling.  Worked like a charm!


Once this was dry, I was ready to start rolling.


I used Benjamin Moore "Algonquin Trail" in a satin finish.  (This was just one shade darker than Sherwood Tan.)  And, another great tip that I read online was to pull off the tape as soon as I finished the second coat.  It was amazing how much easier the tape came off.


At this point, I breathed a sigh of relief. . .


I also thought the mirror needed some perking up, so I sprayed it a glossy black.  More updates to make in this space, but I'm happy with the start of my progress.


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