Monday, October 3, 2011

DIY: Painting Striped Walls

One word: FINALLY.

But first, a question: how did this project take longer than this one?

The answer? The walls in our entry way were a disaster. Our house was built in 1976, so it's obviously going to need more work than a brand new house. But it doesn't help that the people who lived here before us should be banned from ever touching a paintbrush again.

I didn't take pictures of the holes and imperfections, because honestly my camera battery would have died half way through. But check out their amazing paint job, the ugly, sagging trim & their lovely accessorizing.

Hideous paint job and a ghetto window covering? Check.

Hideous paint and an even more hideous light switch plate? Check!

Ughhhhhhhhhhh. My eyes.


Didn't they do a fantastic job on the trim?

Yeah. So that is what I had to work with. I've already shared how I made the window covering much more visually appealing (I'm obsessed with quatrefoils...), but while that project only took a few hours, this one took quite a bit longer.

Not only was the paint job hideous to look at, but the splatter/sponge technique they used disguised a lot of flaws in the wall. So after spending about 5-6 hours spackling and sanding, I put the first coat of gray paint on the wall. And I wanted to cry. When the wall was a solid color I noticed so many more flaws. So, I spent about 4-5 hours doing more spackling and sanding. And then I noticed more. I pretty much spent an entire weekend spackling and sanding. And since that is my least favorite part of home improvement, I was not a happy camper!

This gives you an idea of how much respackling I had to do!

But it was finally done and I was able to move on to painting my walls, and eventually painting stripes on the walls.

  1. Paint the whole wall(s) in one of the colors to begin with.
    • I chose the gray for the "base" color. I figured that the gray would cover up the God-awful preexisting paint job better than the white. Also, we have a TON of gray paint, whereas I only bought one gallon of the white.
  2. Once the paint has dried, measure your spaces and begin taping off your stripes. 
    • There are several ways to do this, but I did it in the way that made the most sense to me. Each of my sections were to be one foot sections. So I measured, marked, and taped. For the sections that were going to be white, I taped on the outside of my marks. So, the tape started on the outer side of the first mark, and ended on the outer side of the next mark. When I had just the tape up, the sections looked uneven, which was exactly how it was supposed to be. 
    • When taping off my lines, I lined it up with a yardstick as I was taping. And if something looked off, I would measure the space, and sometimes, I had gotten way off. So other than all of my spacking and sanding (which, hopefully, other people won't have to go through to the extent that I had to) this was definitely the hardest part. I found that working in small pieces of tape helped keep my lines more even and straight than using one reallllllly long piece.
  3. Paint inside the lines. I used the most amazing painting tool EVER  Shur-Line 500 Premium Paint Edger to do the edges at the trim and ceilings first and then rolled on the paint. Let the paint dry, and do a second (and if needed a third) coat. As soon as that final coat is on, remove the tape. Do not let the tape linger any longer than you have to. Doing that will lead to paint peeling off when you do remove it. Trust me. I know this from experience

Is this not a HUGE improvement???
The room is obviously not finished yet (hence the painters tape around the door and that hideous beige-ish trim. That's next weekends project. But I'm amazed at the transformation in here all ready. To me the room feels so much bigger, so much more modern and so much more elegant. And all for about $30. I am constantly amazed at what fresh paint can do for a house, especially considering it's one of the least expensive things you can do. We already had the gray paint (about 80% of the house is that color), the white paint is Glidden, which is a very reasonably priced brand. I think the gallon cost about $16. I did have to buy a new pack of paint rollers, and the contact paper for the glass, but still. For around $30, this room now actually looks good. And I can't wait to get it finished (and eventually hang pictures on the walls and get a rug ), because then it will look AMAZING.

Here are some pics with the trim painted. I love this area!

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