This is my step by step guide to painting the perfect striped walls. If you read my last Anatomy of a Closet article, you know I wallpapered one of my clothing closets but decided to do stripes in the other. Now, this is not a hard task at all, but it is so mundane! Let me repeat, it is so mundane! However, the final product has such a wow factor and for less than $20 (if you already have paint supplies like rollers, etc)! So prep yourself for the bordom of this task and decide to have some fun with it. I was a bit silly (or you might say delirious) as I do not have much patience, but I did have fun. Roll up your sleeves and let’s get to it!
First, your supply list. You probably have much of this already at your home, but here is a full list of all the required items.
- Puddy Knife
- 2 Paint Colors
- Paint Brush
- Paint Tray
- Straight Edge Level
- Painter’s Tape
- A Lot of Patience!
STEP 1: SPACKLE
This is not a “necessary” step, but it is the correct first step to do this project right. With tone on tone, sometimes the holes and uneven walls will show up worse on one color than another. You do NOT want to do all this work, just to realize it would have been worth the extra time to complete this step. Do it right the first time! I live in an older apartment, so as you can see in my photos, I had so many holes behind me to patch from prevous tenants!
Patching is super easy. You just scrape the delicious looking marshmallow substance over & into the hole, making sure to fill the hole completely. I tend to cover more space than necessary because I would like to complete this in one step rather than a second coat. Use your putty knife at a 90-degree angle, to get the area as level/straight as possible. Make sure you do not press too hard and that you stay level, so you do not remove the spakle from the hole or crack when you remove the excess.
STEP 2: DRY TIME
Now, this entire project is mundane because there is a lot of dry time in between each step. So I tried to make this processes as seamless as possible. While the Spackle was drying, rather than twiddling my thumbs, I decided to start marking off my lines. This is another one of the tedious parts of the project… but take your time and get it RIGHT the first time!
Calculate the distance from your ceiling to floor and find a size that divides evenly. I wanted mine to line up with existing horizontal shelves that were already built in, so that dictated my distance. Unfortunately, it did not divide out perfectly, so I started in the middle and worked my way out. The top and bottom stripe were going to be a bit larger but not by much, so I stuck with my original plan to match the existing shelves.
You will need a long straight line, that is also a level. The level part is important. You don’t want to draw your lines, paint, then realize it is going slightly askew. Mark your wall with your distance and use a pencil to draw your level line. As you do this, avoid any major spakle areas. If they are in the way of your line, wait till it drys.
Step 3: Sand the Spackle
You want to make sure the spackle did not shrink up and all the holes are still filled. You may have to do a second coat on a few spots, allowing additional dry time before sanding. After that, you simply sand with a sanding block until its level. Take your time and widdle it down slowly. The goal is to have smooth walls, do not rush this task.
Step 4: Tape Your lines
Now, you should tape off the lines you drew earlier. Remember, you will have two colors, so make sure you are taping off for one color at a time. (i.e. you will not have even sections in between)
Again, nothing hard, but time consuming. Take the time to line up, and if necessary, redo each line to get it as close to your pencil line as possible. You will also want to press down on the lines repeatedly making sure the edges are tight and you have a good hold.
Step 5: Paint Color #1
Now it is finally time to paint! Whew!
I don’t think you need detailed instructions on painting. Just follow the rule you learned in kindergarten and stay inside the lines!
Step 6: Dry time…again… and remove the tape.
Once the paint is in place, now you are stuck with the ultimate conundrum: when to remove the tape. Taking the tape off too soon may result in a sticky mess, while waiting too long may make the tape difficult to remove, or worse yet, pull some of the fresh paint up with it. The ideal time to remove the tape from a freshly painted project is when the paint is dry to the touch, usually after at least an hour.
Step 7, 8, & 9: Tape off… Again, Paint… Again, & Dry Time… Again (you get the point about how repetitive and mundane this task is by now, right?!)
Make sure color one is completely dry at this point BEFORE you tape off for the second color as this requires that you tape on top of the newly painted color. If you can wait 24 hours between to allow Paint color one to properly cure, you should. However, I allocated this as a one day task so I pushed forward.
While removing the tape is at the one hour of dry time point, I waited two hours before taping off for color two to allow color one to dry longer.
Step 10: Remove the tape.
Yes, we are repeating yet another step, but guess what?!? It’s the final step!!!!
WOW! My closet wall turned out amazing! If you are prepared for the task ahead of you, then you too can have this fabulous treatment in almost any space in your home. For one day of your time, what a statement!!! It is a very inexpensive way to make a maximum wow factor! Imagine all the colors and combinations you can do!