Thursday, April 12, 2012

DIY for a perfect striped wall.

I have one room in my house that has driven me crazy for nearly a decade now.  It's the room in the very front of my home and I often refer to it as the "useless front room."  It's too small to be a TV room (we've tried) the kiddos are too big for the playroom it once was, and we aren't currently homeschooling so it's no longer a classroom.  At the moment, it's a very stiff, cold room for our office and work space, and I'm currently working on a plan so it can double as a partitioned off guest space when we have overnight visitors.  Over the years, I've incorporated random color schemes into this room, trying to liven it up and make it fun and you know what?  It never truly worked.  We have always wanted to be good stewards of the space we call home and to have an entire room not "work" for our family felt wasteful.  Also, it often felt too busy because of how much clutter I've normally got strung everywhere with my Etsy creations, so I personally needed less jarring color, and more soothing, streamlined pallet choices.  Looking back, I think that I kept changing things because I wasn't at peace with it.  Until yesterday.
 I'm not a big fan of accent walls.  I have all kinds of opinions on them, but I'll just leave it at that.  Also, I usually have to really love a faux finish, because (personal opinion here) I often feel like it makes the wall space feel too chaotic.  I don't want my walls to have to try so hard.  That said, we have one big wall in our useless room (giggle) that continually gets beat up by me as I work.  I have touched it up frequently but it had become time for a fresh full coat of paint.  I wanted something a little less boring.... but I loved the current color.

Solution. About a year ago, I had a project and my man took in one of our gallons of house paint (this only works with a brand new paint can) and had them double the tint in the existing paint.  I wanted a richer color (in the same shade) in a few areas, and he suggested this.  It was the most amazing idea.  Same color, just richer, and warmer and I loved it.  I didn't want to coat every wall with it, but it was great to have on hand.  Remembering this, I began to plan, and I decided I wanted a soft, subtle stripe on this boring wall of my useless room. 

In the end, I wrapped the stripes around the corner wall because it tends to be the wall shoes get knocked against in the comings and goings of our home. The overall effect is soothing and neutral, not jarring like some striped areas can  be.  It's also warmer and I love that it's the first wall that greets you when you walk through the front door.
 I had to position my desk against it so I could enjoy it, and I love it this way.

  I hung a few of my most favorite items above the desk in a sort of collage, and I love looking up at them.   The stripes are perfect.  Not one bleed through anywhere, and the whole thing took me about two hours.  Want to know how to stripe your wall like a pro?
 First, measure your vertical wall length.  Divide it up and mark your wall evenly.  I used a yard stick and actually drew straight lines from one side to the other.  (Be careful with that, as you might have pencil marks to erase later.)  Place a mark within every stripe that you'll be painting a different color than your existing wall shade to make it easy to remember which ones get the new paint color. 

Second, use some Frog Tape (best stuff on the planet) to tape off your lines.  (Make sure your tape is on the outside of the area you want to paint.) 

Third, take the existing wall color (not the new color you're adding for stripes) and paint it right over the frog taped line edges. (Now is a great time to touch up any of the existing wall color areas in the unpainted stripes.) You are doing this so that if the paint bleeds through (and it always does) and under any of your tape, it will seal the edges with the same color so you'll never know.  After that dries, you've now sealed your paint edges.  You can begin painting the new color in between your taped off and sealed areas to create your stripes.
 When that dries, pull off your tape and you'll have perfect lines. 

I had to hurry up and take these photos so I could put all my junk and kid school papers back on top of my desk!  (I'm not kidding.) The wall colors are "Ivoire" by Sherwin Williams. (The stripe color is that same color with the tint doubled.)

Are you a fan of stripes? 


  1. Ok, This seriously looks AMAZING!!!! I have been over here a few times, but never commented. You have totally inspired me to 'lighten' up my wall colors, and 'freshen' up my look in my home. This summer I will be painting like crazy! Thanks for all the beautiful pictures and ideas you share!

  2. well, yeah, this is PRETTY and PERFECT! in love with it over here!

  3. Great job, tone on tone love it.

  4. I love those stripes! We put one stripe in our bathroom and we couldn't get a straight line:( I will have to pin this for later because I wanted to try stripes for in our basement!!

  5. The stripes are gorgeous! Love the subtle, tone-on-tone look.
    I'm curious what the other side of the room looks like...could you take a wide shot of the whole room? Perhaps your readers could give you some good ideas of how to make the space more useful. :)

    1. Thanks Lisa Joy. I actually showed a photo of the "Bonus Room" (as I called it at the time for lack of a better name) in this post:

      (I have the whole room all figured out now and I'm really loving it. Phase two will be the quick change to make it a temporary guest space.... can't wait to get that together and post on it! I almost posted a photo showing the other side but didn't since I was focusing on the stripes in this post... I probably should have now that I think about it. LOL)

  6. The first time I saw stripes I was amazed. The homeowner had used one color, a nice subtle yellow, then painted the stripes. The paint was essentially the exact same color, just two different finishes. Like flat and satin. So that when the light hit it, you would see the stripes. It was so cool! I love the stripes on a wall, just don't have anywhere to put them right now =(

  7. We have done stripes in a few of our homes, and I love them!
    We did it very similarly with no bleed throughs...we also used just a shade darker/richer on the makes a subtle difference but it looks amazing!

    The room looks awesome!

  8. Your wall looks so pretty! Our entrance way had light yellow/dark yellow vertical stripes when we moved about trying too hard, it looked circus-y! So I just taped along their lines and painted stripes in the two neutral tans that i used on the first floor rooms. Love it :)

  9. Your decor posts always inspire me so much! We are in the midst of repainting cabinets and walls at our new house and I've often thought back to things you've done to your house! You have such great taste.

  10. Gorgeous! I agree, it's totally soothing and welcoming, not some "BAM" in your face circus tent like some high-contrast stripes can be! Great job Sash. It would make me smile the instant I set foot in your door :-)

  11. Oh Sasha - what crafty paintyness can't you do! You are amazing girl - simply amazing! I am so not brave enough to attempt such things and I know I shouldn't be!

    Hope all is going well with you and your cute family!

  12. You did a beautiful job! I painted vertical stripes in our master bedroom about 8 years ago using Ivoire and Blonde from Sherwin Williams. It turned out really nice. I like the subtleness of yours though even better! What a great idea to double the tint!!! Maybe I'll do that in my family room with the Ivoire. I love the color but would like it to be a little "meatier".

    Also another great tip when painting stripes... use a colored pencil in a similar color as your stripe paint. That way if you miss a tiny spot here or there you won't have to go back over it or erase it because it just blends right in.

  13. It looks faboo! What a great idea for our next (and hopefully last) house!

  14. Sasha...that looks fabulous! In our last house, I striped our dining wall with vertical stripes...painted whole wall in a flat paint, taped it off and used a clear, semi gloss over exposed areas...subtle and pretty. Forgot how much I loved it until I saw your now looking for a wall candidate in this house!

  15. Love the stripes....bold and subtle at the same time. Have you ever considered using that front room as a mudroom. Put in some shelving units and coat hooks and it would make a wonderful place for all the "stuff" that comes in and out with the kids. Just an idea....Michelle from Canada.

  16. So I spent the entire morning going back and looking at your house--I LOVE this wall--any idea what color you started with? Thanks!!!!

  17. i'm too scared! our house isn't stripes would look crazy if i tried...besides...hubs has issues with color...i'm lucky i got to do the faux leatherish look on some accent walls.....i'm a painter kind of girl...walls only...after doing pinterest projects i realized furniture isn't where my skills lie! i'll stick with the blank wall canvas haha