We had a big DIY weekend over Labor Day and can't wait to share our nursery progress. We got so much done and I mean, SO MUCH! We actually even got some furniture moved in but that's for a later post. This week we're focusing in on the stripes we painted with crisp precision on baby boy's accent wall. We first mentioned our love of wallpapered accent walls HERE but later scratched that idea. Then we honed in on awesome grey stripes for his accent wall HERE.
Now we just had to figure out the best process to get those grey chevron stripes done. I'm not the type that's all about, jumping in head first, without researching. Actually, we might as well call me a research whore. I love researching...weirdo, I know. I actually googled the process for about an hour while Walt got all the paint and room primed and ready for takeoff. The most promising link I found was from a fellow Austinite, Lindsay, HERE. And the more I looked up the process of painting crisp stripes, the more I have to tell you this is the ONLY WAY TO GO! Do this process and you're sure to have amazing lines and very little paint bleed-through, no matter the color combo. Read on for more on the process!
First up, drawing out our options. While I googled the 'how to' part of the project, Walt got down to business sketching out some options.
Here's the winning trio...then we chatted and voted. We both decided we loved the look of the bigger/bold chevrons (bottom pic) because you do see the smaller chevrons all over the place. We know we'll use the smaller scale somewhere else in his nursery as an added accent so big and bold was the winner.
This is with measurements and all drawn out. Walt measured the height (94") and length (133 1/4") of the accent wall and broke it into 6 columns and 4 rows. Each rectangle measured 23 1/2" height x 22 1/2" width. At first we were aiming for perfect squares but once we saw how much even rectangles (that were pretty close to square measurements) were going to work, we went with breaking the wall up evenly so we didn't have any continuation of chevrons on either side. Still following? Congrats.
Measuring out the four rows and marking every 23 1/2" with chalk.
23 1/2" x 2 = 47! You didn't know you were gonna get a math lesson today, did ya?
Trusty chalk marker...I remember when I was young and my Dad would let me snap the chalk line. Seriously, I'm like a pro. Even Walt was astounded at how taut I kept the line and what a good snapper I was.
Here's the wall with the chalk line grid all laid out. Why did we do this? So we would be able to see where to lay out our stripes, of course.
Laying out the chevrons in each grid. We referenced the picture a few times but once you get the hang of it, you can pretty much rock and roll. But make sure to mark off which stripes you're going to paint because you want those corners and lines to be where the tape is perfectly straight (aka: you don't want a ripped painter's tape edge hanging out) for that crisp, clean finish.
*Also, on the side of the tape where you'll be painting, make sure to RUN YOUR FINGER all along the tape to get it in all the grooves. This is really important...and use your fingers, not a tool!
So here's where the process gets technical. Before you even THINK ABOUT painting your second color stripe, make sure to paint all along the painter's tape in the original color. Why? You're actually filling in any holes, grooves with the same color paint so give yourself a really clean edge. Here, we'll show you a closer look.
Walt painting all along the painter's tape in order to get in all those grooves under the painter's tape edge. Once you add that base coat along the tape, let it dry completely. You want it to sink in and seal that line.
One more close up and remember to check out Lindsay's awesome tutorial HERE that really helped us out.
Next up is the fun stuff...mixing the grey accent stripe color. Using some old light blue paint we have plus our original grey shade, we added just a dollop of white into the grey. Once mixed up...
Walt used his finger and painted a little sample on the wall and we let it dry for 30 minutes before deciding. We actually thought it was a little too light so we added a bit more grey and just went with that final shade, without doing another test! Yep, and that's about as wild as things get around CasaCullen during a crazy Labor Day weekend, ha!
Painting on the accent stripe after that first coat of textured paint along the edge of the painter's tape had dried. Walt literally painted this much and we were already oooohing and aaaaahing and loving what we saw!
Here's the wall completely painted and now it's time to remove the tape. You do NOT want your paint to completely dry. I think Walt did two coats of paint for the lighter stripes and then we let it set for a little over an hour before removing the tape. SERIOUSLY, DO NOT LET THE PAINT DRY! Remove that painter's tape before then.
The first section of removed painter's tape (bottom chevron) and we are literally freakin' out! Just staring and Walt kept saying, 'Holy crap, that turned out really good!' I, of course, just kept saying, 'Wow, oh wow! Wow, holy wow!' Yeah, I'm sure we both sounded like we were brain dead idiots...but we were excited, ha!
As for those pesky blue chalk stripes...we didn't want to wipe them off until the paint was dry. So yes, they're annoying for picture purposes but we were smart and let them sit there until everything was dry. I didn't want to get over eager and have blue chalk all in lil' Bubs grey chevrons.
Uh oh, a glitch in the process. When tearing off the painter's tape, Walt did get a bit over eager, I will admit. He was on such a roll them BAM, he ripped off some of the paint. Of course I heard his groan all the way downstairs and it really wasn't even that big of a deal. Nothing a little paint can't fix.
So here he is, filling in those few little spots where the painter's tape ripped off some of the dryer paint. See, imagine if we had let the paint totally dry? That would've been trouble!
A close up of that process. Once it dried, you totally couldn't even tell at all!
Oh and here's the iPhone pic that I sent to my parents and siblings. We've actually gotten emails asking for preggo pics so I figured I'd share this one! We really really excited about the chevron stripes so we had to share a pic with the fam. They were pumped...and you know, when you're fam you get sneak peeks! Click HERE for more preggo pics over on my fashion/beauty blog. I tell you what Mommas, dressing the bump is surely fun but not nearly as easy as I'd imagined it would be. I have a whole new respect...WHOLE...NEW!
Walt used a damp sponge (note, it's damp, not dripping in water) to slowly work out those bright blue chalk lines. This has actually been a huge pain in the booty, we have to admit. We've done this process twice now and we can still faintly see the chalk lines. We'll give it one more go tonight and we're sure that'll do the trick.
I guess we just wanted a finished product once the tape was pulled, but we wouldn't do it any other way. I do think you should think twice and maybe even just graph it out with small pencil marks if you're using a light colored wall. We're sure those blue chalk lines would be horribly hard to remove on a white wall.
So here's where we were with the after! We love how the colors are all similarly muted and subtle too. But the design is super bold and the room is really moody and inviting. It already feels like a nice little cocoon up there!
And here's looking the other way, toward little man's closet. We have so much to do...SO MUCH! We actually sat down after completing this phase and talked through our to-do list for the nursery. We agreed on so many additions and also things that would be 'great' to also add, but aren't a must. We have some great ideas (and numerous DIY projects) in store for your reading pleasure, so get excited!
Want to see more from our nursery progress? HERE'S a post showing it as our previous guest room, HERE'S the first post about scraping the popcorn off the ceiling, HERE'S where we started painting the slate blue shade and HERE'S our easy trick on getting those baseboards stark white. Can't wait to share the furniture updates and our growing to-do list too!
PS - 1,535 words and 22 pictures later...umm yeah, if you've read this far then please pat yourselves on the back, for us! You're an amazing reader, indeed!