From Ashy to Classy Series: DIY Project #1 – Paint Wall Stripes

Introducing a new series on NHM – From Ashy to Classy

I’ve been bitten by the DIY bug, and my new series will chronicle my successes and failures (?) at transforming my space.

Inspiration can come in many forms and sources. I never thought an innocent conversation about moving and painting with a co-worker would inspire me to paint my bedroom area. I’ve lived in the same studio loft for 6 years, and I wasn’t proud of my space *hangs head*.  This is important, since I own it. So, I decided to paint horizontal stripes in my bedroom area. Let me tell you how I did it.

When painting horizontal (or vertical) stripes, it’s important to do your research. Find out what worked for others, and what didn’t.

Bedroom before makeover

Step 1: Scour the internet for inspiration. I created a Pinterest page for a Parisian-themed bedroom, and pinned all images that I liked.

Step 2:  Decide on horizontal or vertical stripes. I went with horizontal, because I wanted my space to seem wider. My ceilings are already tall (11’), and painting vertical stripes would just make it look even taller.

Step 3: Read and watch videos on how to paint stripes. The best blog post I found was at Centsational Girl. It’s a collection of great posts with tips on how to paint stripes.

Step 4: Measure twice, cut once is how the saying goes. For horizontal stripes, measure the height of your wall. Decide how many stripes you want or how you thick you want them to be. My wall was 138’’ tall, and I wanted 12 stripes.

138/12 = 11.5 This means that each stripe needed to be 11.5 inches tall. I started at the bottom of the wall, and marked a line to the top every 11.5 inches. Once you finish, re-measure each stripe to ensure that it’s the appropriate height.

Step 5: Buy the wider painter’s tape (i.e. not the 1 inch), and begin taping. I purchased a laser leveler for this part. It made taping across the wall so much easier. I didn’t even bother trying to tape without it, and I don’t recommend trying it. As you tape the wall, make sure to seal the tape as well as you can. I used a Marta card to get rid of the air bubbles. This part (and the next part) are critical for controlling the paint bleeding. I taped above the marked line, not below it.

My space with the painter’s tape

Step 6: Paint the painter’s tape with the base color. I used the existing wall color as my other stripe, so I was only painting one color stripe. Of all the blog posts I read, most recommended painting over the edges of the painter’s tape with your base color to limit bleeding. I did this, and am happy to say that I had minimal bleeding. I then let it dry.

Step 7: Paint, paint, and paint! Begin painting. I recommend starting at the top stripe (I didn’t – but it still looks good). Carefully roll the paint in the stripes. Now, some advice I read said to peel the tape off as soon as you finish painting a stripe. In other places, it was recommended that you wait a while, then peel it off. But nowhere did it say let it dry completely and remove the tape. Personally, I peeled it off as soon as I finished a stripe. This way, if there was bleeding, I could clean it up a little bit (this may depend on the type of base paint you have – mine was flat enamel).

Step 8: The unveil. Here is my finished, painted living space. I am working on adding some décor, maybe buying a new rug, finding a new floor lamp, and hanging multiple mirrors of varying sizes. Any suggestions?

 Bedroom after makeover

Another view after the makeover

Have you ever tried to paint stripes? How did it go? What DIY projects are you inspired to do?

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