Decorative Paint Tips and Techniques
by Nicole Balch on March 22nd, 2012
Have you ever wanted to give stripes a try? It seems so easy, yet at the same time, daunting. While it is a time-consuming process, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Let me share a few tips with you to make it as easy as possible.
First of all, painter’s tape is going to be your best friend on a project like this. Get good quality tape that’s specifically for painting. It’s the stuff that’s usually green or blue, and it can be found in any paint or hardware store. You’ll want to be sure to press the edges down firmly to get a nice, crisp edge.
A ruler or measuring tape is essential to the job as well, unless you’re going for stripes of random widths. If you’re doing just a few big, blocky stripes (like five evenly spaced stripes from top to bottom, for example), you’ll want to measure your wall and divide it into equal segments. For smaller stripes, you can choose a width that you like, and go with that. Mark off your measurements on the wall with a pencil, and then use a long level to pencil in where your stripes should be taped off. I like to do a dashed pencil line, every six inches or so.
Once you’ve measured and taped off your stripes, it’s time to paint! You can use a roller if the stripes are wide enough, or a brush if they’re smaller. Be sure to do two coats for good coverage. Once the paint is dry to the touch, you can remove the tape, usually after an hour or two. Don’t leave the tape longer than necessary, or you risk peeling up some of the paint with it.
If you’d like to branch out beyond stripes, you could try a wall stencil for a different look. You would tape the stencil to the wall and apply just a small amount of paint with a stencil brush, foam roller, or foam paint brush, being careful not to let the paint seep under your stencil. Be prepared to repeat this step, over and over, until you’re done. You won’t get a fully opaque look like you would with multiple coats, but the stenciled look has its own charm.
Lastly, here’s a fun and easy trick that’s perfect for renters: contact paper! Cut circles out of contact paper for a fun polka dot wall treatment that requires no paint at all.