Paint some stripes on a wall

By Pinktoesandpowertools | Home Improvement Projects

I promised a tutorial on how I painted some stripes on a wall and here it is!  I thought about waiting until I had the bathroom all staged and finished, but who knows when that will actually be complete.  So you’ll get how I did the striped walls, but not much else for now.  I’m working on the rest though 🙂

The first step is painting your wall the lighter of the two colors you will be using.  Mine was white.  They put mildewcide…mildewicide…mildicide a packet of some syrupy paint additive in the can to help keep the mold from coming back.  You’ll recall that mold is the reason this project jumped to the #1 position on the project list.

Paint the lighter color of the stripes first

I wanted the dark color stripe at the top and bottom of the wall.  I like the contrast between the white base molding and the darker color.  That meant I needed an odd number of stripes.  I went with 9 after taking into account where the stripes would fall around the mirror and other fixtures.  I took the total number of vertical inches I had on the wall and divided it by 9 to get just over 10″ stripes.  I double checked how that would work out on the wall behind the door.  I highly recommend doing the checking first.  I had to make a few adjustments to my measurement to get it just right.

Once that paint is relatively dry, you can use your stripe-making tools.

Paint stripe making tools

I used a piece of painter’s tape to make an angle for marking the distance on the ruler.  You will be making a lot of marks, so it helps to not have to find the correct spot on the ruler each time.  A mechanical pencil always has a sharp point which you will want on the wall.  I also used a short level.  It wasn’t heavy and it fit in the smaller areas.  We have a larger one which I did use to double check the longer walls before I painted, but I didn’t have to change anything, so it wasn’t necessary.

Ruler jig for marking stripe lines on the wall

 

I marked a small angle like a capital L  for each measurement, and then used the level to draw a line between the marks.

Small level to mark the lines for stripes on the wall

Once I had all the lines drawn for the stripes, I realized why I was so anxious about this project.  Way back when I first started painting the white walls different colors in this house, I had used some blue painter’s tape on the ceiling.  I had just discovered that miracle blue sticky stuff and I thought it would be great to make trimming the edge between the ceiling and the wall a breeze.  And it did.  Until I removed it and it pulled up the paint on the ceiling under every piece.  The paint had been on the ceiling for about a year, so it was as cured as it was going to get, and it still came up.  Every single tutorial on wall stripes included blue tape.

I was afraid.  I don’t like to spackle and I would be using a LOT of tape, so the potential for disaster was high.  To make matters worse, one of the tutorials I read on painting stripes mentioned that they had to repair the wall in two spots because of this very problem.

So I got fed up with the pit of dread in my stomach and decided that my hand has always been steady when trimming and I was going to forget the tape and do it by hand.  Best decision ever.

So the hard part was over, deciding to ditch the tape…or was it?  I was so proud of myself for picking out the paint colors so quickly in the store.  I generally have the paint chips taped to the wall for weeks (ok, months Aunt Charlotte!) before I make a final decision.  I did it all in the paint store this time!  One visit!  But once I got it on the wall, it wasn’t gray–it was gray/green.

Green stripes?

Out came my box-o-paint-chips.

Box of paint chips

I couldn’t find a color I loved.  All of those paint chips!  And then I looked at the cap of the paint can.

Paint can capBack to the store for a color match to the cap–Home Depot this time.

Trying to find the perfect grayStill too dark, but perfect when mixed 1:1 with the white I used as the base coat.  Finally.

Gray and white striped wall

 

Gray and white striped wallThe 3-way mirror makes it look like a fun house at a carnival.  Not fond of it at all.  But I’ve got to listen to the people who are going to be actually using the room and they want the 3 mirrors…

Gray and white striped wall

Gray and white stripe paint on bathroom wall

Gray and white striped wall

I was almost done with the entire bathroom.  I almost made it without having to spackle.  But stripes are not forgiving of anything that isn’t level, and the right hook that was already on the wall was about 1/2″ too high.  Sigh.

Since this is an interior room without any natural light, it is hard to get an accurate photo.  I think this last photo has the most true color representation.

I picked out some towels and painted up some artwork in there, so that’s next up.  Still much to do in this little space!  I’m getting more excited about it all now though.  It’s starting to take shape!