Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to Paint Stripes / Entry Makeover

 I'm no stranger to painting stripes; in fact, this was my third stripe-painting project.    The first project was my son's nursery and then his big boy room.  And most recently, I painted 2-inch vertical stripes on our entry wall, as shown above.  The most important steps are 1) correctly measuring 2) applying the painter's tape straight and firmly against the wall with no bubbles, and 3) removing the tape while the paint is still wet.  In the nursery, my husband used a laser level, and we worked on it together.  In the big boy room and the entry, I used a good old measuring tape and did most of it by myself.  (Tips at the bottom of this post.)

First, let me present a history of the entry hall!  When we moved in, we had the ceiling painted brown and had a zebra rug which I loved.  Entry #1.

 It is unfortunate that--while I was attending a baby shower--my toddler had a potty training accident on the rug, and my husband washed it (good husband), but then put it in the dryer (FAIL.)  It never looked right after that.   Then, a year or so later I decided to stencil it, paint a new buffet, buy new lamps, new rug and painted the back of the front door glossy black.  Entry #2.

I hope the third try is the charm.  About six months ago, I painted the wall an off-white (BM Linen White.)  Painted the buffet a BM Galapagos Turquoise, and added a new runner with Greek Key.  Then, a few days ago, I added the 2-inch strips.  Voila:

1)  First make sure your walls are clean.  I usually use a swifer or microfiber duster to wipe down the wall. Then, I'll take a baby wipe and wipe-it-down if need be.

2)  Prep work is the worst--especially if you are DIYer who just wants to get it done!--but essential when painting stripes. Use a pencil (make sure you have an eraser) to measure your stripes.  When making the measurements for these vertical stripes, I stood on a stool so that I could reach the ceiling.  Just below the molding, I made a mark every two inches for about 24 inches.  Then, I brought down the measuring tape about another foot closer to the floor and did the same thing.  I did this until I reached the floor.  Then, I moved my stool, started at the ceiling and made another group of about 12 marks across, then started another row until I reached the floor.  I did this across the wall.

3)  I applied the painter's tape. I started at the top so that the tape was on the molding.  I guided the tape down to the wall.  Each time I came to a mark, I used my left hand and pushed the left edge into that mark while using my right hand to smooth out the tape.  If the tape is not lying flat, pull it up and start over.  If it is flat you'll know you are making a straight line with the tape.  Make sure there are no bubbles under the tape and that you are pressing it very firmly against the wall; this is very important!

4)  After making the stripes with the painter's tape, I taped over the molding, so that I could ram my foam roller again the top and bottom molding and make a clean line.

5)  This time I used a high-density foam roller.  The truth is I used it because it was all that I had, and it was too cold to go get a regular roller.  I will tell you that the finish turned out a bit different.  It is almost like a wash, but I think it looks fine; however, I wouldn't recommend it.  (I had to apply two coats, by-the-way.)   You would want to use a roller, but a regular paint roller would work better.

6) Last, but very important, be sure to remove the tape while the paint is still wet (start at the top and pull it down and simultaneously away from the wall); otherwise, you'll have a paint "ridge" where it dried.

Good luck!