Sunshine Stripes

Not only did Daniel spend 10 hours painting stripes in Nico and Leo's room a few weeks ago while the boys and I were in California, but he also documented the whole process. We'd been deliberating for so long about what to do with the room and thick horizontal stripes in two shades of yellow (Benjamin Moore haystack and dalila) seemed like a good way to add some much needed light. It really did the trick and was much cheaper than wallpaper. We were inspired by the thick, two-toned stripes I shared in this post (check out the third photo), so Daniel did some research online before getting started. If you want to give it a try, here are some tools, his tips and step-by-step photos. He tells me this video helped him a lot as well: http://www.ehow.com/video_8103877_paint-horizontal-stripes-wall.html.

Chalk line reel
Good masking Tape (he used Scotch Blue with Edge Lock)
Spackling knife or spatula
A few medium sized nails
Good wide paint brush
Flat head screw driver to open paint can
Small 6'' paint rollers
Paint container to use with roller

Laying the tape is the hardest, but it will look professional and painting will be easier it you do it well. Measure the height of the area of your wall you actually want to paint. This height could be from floor to ceiling. In my case it was from floor molding to ceiling molding for two walls. Whatever it is, this number will be your numerator. To make your life easier, you should try to chose a denominator (the number which will divide the numerator) that gives you an integer number. The denominator will represent the number of stripes on your wall. Example: if your wall is 110 inches tall, your denominator could be 10, 11, 5. That way, the width of your stripes would be 11, 10 and 22 inches respectively. But if you were to choose to paint 7 stripes divided evenly on your 110 inch wall, then you would have to mark stripes with 15.71 inches...which would be a pain in the butt.

I actually changed to centimeters to find an even division. We wanted 12 stripes (4 sets of 3 stripes in dark yellow, light yellow and white.). If you can't make the division into a perfect integer (which is likely), I would make the uppermost stripe the one that is not exactly the same as the rest. For example: if your wall is 108 inches, you could have 10 stripes at 10 inches and the last stripe at 8 inches.

Once you figure that out it's time to mark. Use a pencil to mark a short piece of the line on each edge of the wall. Using the hammer, fix a nail to one side. If you have a helper, you do not have to nail anything, which will save you time fixing the wall (as I had to do). Attach the chalk line to one side of the wall, pull the string tightly to the other side, match the pencil lines, make sure you have good tension on the line, pull GENTLY and let it go. It will snap against the wall and make a perfect line. If you do not do it gently, your line will be too strong and hard to clean (that happened to me a few times).

After you mark all lines, get your masking tape and stick it to the wall in such a way that you see the chalk line (do not cover the line). This will give you better control and you'll also be able to use a damp cloth and clean off the chalk from your wall BEFORE you paint. Use a spatula of spackling knife to smooth tape edges.

After that, you paint:
*Always paint the lighter color first.
*Use the brush in a motion that puts paint from tape to wall (not from wall to tape). After you cover the entire edge of the tapes (top and bottom tapes) you can use the roller to paint all over and make it smooth. 
*VERY important: you have to remove the painted tapes after you've painted each stripe. This will ensure you are not removing tape after paint has dried, because if it has, you may get rough and ugly edges on your stripes.

Hope that all made sense to you. Even with Daniel's detailed instructions, I'm still confused. Now that he's done this once, he thinks it'd be much easier the second time around. Too bad he probably has no desire to ever do this again! Good luck if you give it a try.


Daniel said...

And I built a (beautiful) radiator cover. So, it doens't matter I snore at night, ok?

Simone said...

I LOVE it. Daniel, you're amazing - snoring aside.


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