And all it cost me was a weekend of my life, an eyeshadow brush, and possibly my fiance…

Just kidding about that last bit.

So. We painted the dining room! And boy… what a project. Here is the before:

And the after:

Please… notice and covet the subtle stripe… because the truth is I’m not sure it was worth the time we put into it.

If I ever do a stripe again (and B has informed me that we will NOT be doing a striped room again!), I think I’ll do something a bit more obvious. I do love the effect here. I like that its subtle and non-obvious. I like that its a little different without being too weird. But, it did take a long time and I’m worried people won’t even notice it. I suspect that as the memory of this past weekend fades, the stripe will become more “worth it.” Isn’t that how things work?

Anyways… if you’re interested in how we did it, here is the step-by-step:

1. Decide on a color and buy it in both matte and semi-gloss. The finished effect will leave the semi-gloss stripes looking a bit lighter because they reflect light.

2. Prepare the room by taping your baseboards, windows, outlets, etc. and laying drop cloths.

3. Paint the entire room in the semi-gloss. This is because you’re going to have to tape off the stripes and the tape is less likely to pull paint off of semi-gloss rather than matte walls. Supposedly (see step 9).

4. Figure out the width of your stripes. I did this by figuring out approximately how wide you want them, then measuring your wall to see what size stripes will be easy to measure and work on all the walls. I wanted stripes that were 6-8 inches wide, but doing stripes that were 6, 7, or 8 inches wide would have left half-strips at the edge of the wall. So, I did stripes that were 7 3/8 on two walls and 7.5 on the others. Those were the easiest sizes that would produce an exact number of stripes on each wall.

5. Work around the room along the baseboards (which should still be taped off) measuring off your stripes and marking them. I put a star on which side of the line the tape should be on so that it would be easier to remember later (remember: If you want evenly spaced stripes then you will be taping on the outside edges of each stripe to be painted, so you will alternate which side of the line will be taped).

6. Next is the hard part: enlist the help of someone who likes you a LOT. A husband, fiance, boyfriend, or mom is probably best here because they have to love you even when they hate you a little. You’re now going to work your way around the room taping off stripes. (Make sure the semi-gloss is dry! I waited a full day). We did this by starting at one corner, getting up on a ladder and measuring the stripes off at the ceiling. Then I made a very fine pencil mark, and using wide painter’s tape we lined up the top and bottom marks and made our stripes. The wide tape is best because it stays pretty straight with little trouble, and it also gives you a wider margin of error later when you are trying to paint in between the lines. It was about half way through this project when B declared that we were never doing another room with stripes ever again. And we might never paint ever again. And he didn’t even understand what we were doing because weren’t we just going to paint the stripes the same color that was already on the wall? This is why it is important that whoever you ask to help you REALLY loves you enough to finish the job!

7. Take a break to torture the dog

8. Now you get to paint the stripes. I first edged the top and bottom of the wall, then used a 4″ roller to do the rest of the stripes.

9. Now, think that you’re done and get really excited. Pull all the tape off the walls, only to find this:

Argh! I bought the expensive blue painters tape because it says RIGHT ON THE PACKAGE that it won’t rip paint off the wall. And what did it do? RIP PAINT OFF THE WALL! I got really upset at this point. But… we must carry on.

10. Grab an eyeshadow brush and clean it well (don’t worry, I buy cheap brushes).

11. Yes, that is propped up on a juice-box of wine. I bought these one night when I was on my way to a friend’s house because I really just wanted ONE glass of wine and it annoys me to open a whole bottle I won’t drink. To be honest, its not the best wine but its pretty awesome to have single servings to cook with and drink when you get really pissed off painting. Painting + ladder + drinking = fantastic idea.

12. Use the eyeshadow brush and extra paint to touch up all the white spots.

13. Bask in the glory of your almost-there stripes and wonder if the they were REALLY worth all that damn work.

And there you have it! One (kinda) striped room and all it took was 2 gallons of paint, an entire weekend, an eyeshadow brush, and all of my fiance’s patience.


4 thoughts on “And all it cost me was a weekend of my life, an eyeshadow brush, and possibly my fiance…

  1. For what it’s worth, I think that color is gorgeous, and I think the stripes are very elegant. I love the subtlety! 🙂

  2. I love it! The subtlety is one of the best parts about it! And I love your dining set. The bench fits the room perfectly! I’d say it was worth it, but I wasn’t the one touching up with a makeup brush either. 🙂

  3. It looks great, Corgi! Stripes are hard work & yours definitely paid off. I wouldn’t give up on them in the future 🙂 I feel that horizontal stripes are a lot easier (& are usually wider!) and still have a great effect like the vertical ones. Also, use Frog Tape! I like it so much better than the blue tape – it will also save your stripe sanity.

    Again, great job!

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