Thursday, February 27, 2014

Live & Learn -- How To Paint Chevron Stripes

After spending far too much time on Pinterest I became obsessed with painting a wall of Chevron stripes in Baby Boy's room.

But whenever I would mention it to someone, they would gasp and begin to tell me horror stories about how their mother's sister's daughter's cousin tried to paint Chevron stripes and it was a disaster. Obviously this made me even more determined to try it. So I read several online tutorials, hit up Home Depot for supplies, and tackled the mighty Chevron...

The first step, of course, was to decide what colors I was going to use. This may have been the hardest part of the whole project!

I ultimately went with grey and white, and as you might recall, my mom came up one weekend and we got all the walls in the nursery painted grey in a single morning. However, knowing what a perfectionist I am (and she never wants to let me down!) my mom wanted nothing to do with the Chevron stripes themselves. That, she left up to me...

This was unfortunate, because the first part of the project involved a lot of math, which isn't really my strongest subject. But I made it work...

My wall was 138 inches wide and I knew I wanted six Chevrons across, so I divided 138 by six and got 23 inches -- that would be the width of each Chevron. But I also needed to know where the middle of the Chevron was, so I could measure down from there to complete the shape, so I divided 23 by two and got 11.5 inches. 

138" / 6 = 23" / 2 = 11.5"

Voilà! Chevron math complete! 

Beginning in one corner of the room, using a level and a pencil, I lightly marked each point of the first Chevron and then used painter's tape to connect the dots. Then, using those dots as guides, I used a level to measure down 11.5" from each original dot to create the Chevron below, taping as I went.

Remember, when placing your tape you need to consider whether you want it on the "inside" or the "outside" of the Chevron. As you can see below, stripe A looks thicker than stripe B. This is because stripe A would be painted white, so I put the tape on the "outside" of the pencil marks. But for stripe B, which would remain grey, I put the tape on the "inside" of the marks.

From here it's just a little game of connect the dots. I did the row on the right hand side of the wall first to make sure I knew what I was doing and that everything spaced out correctly, and then I continued marking and taping horizontally until I was done with the whole thing.

As you can see, because I put the tape "inside" or "outside" of the dots depending on which stripes I planned to paint, the lines don't look like they are all the same width... but they will be! Trust...

But see all that overlapping tape? This was a problem...

Of course with the tape overlapping, your Chevrons aren't going to have nice sharp points, so now I needed to use an X-Acto knife to trim the points of the tape inside the Chevrons that were going to be painted white. I didn't need to bother trimming the points inside the stripes that were going to remain grey.

From what I read online, everyone's main complaint about Chevron stripes is that the paint tends to bleed underneath the tape on a textured wall, so I knew I needed to do something about that. I did some research and found a tutorial about how to avoid this problem, and this method worked pretty well...

Using the original grey color, I used a paint brush to seal the tape to the wall. This way, if any paint seeped underneath the tape, it would be the same color as the original wall and it wouldn't show.

After allowing the grey paint to dry, I carefully used a small brush and, stroking away from the tape toward the inside of the Chevron, I lightly cut in the edges of each stripe with my white paint. I went about an inch or so inward, removing the tape from each Chevron as I went. It's important to remove the tape while the paint is still wet to prevent cracking or chipping.

I repeated this process for each Chevron, and whenever I had one stripe done (because I have no patience) I would switch to a small roller and fill in the entire stripe. I was just so anxious to see what it would look like!

Because of the colors I chose, one coat of white paint wasn't enough to cover the grey completely, but even after the first coat was finished I knew I was on the right track... everything was looking great! And can you see that after the tape was removed, the Chevrons are all equal width? Told you...

My strategy of sealing the tape wasn't one hundred percent perfect, and I did end up with a little bit of cracking and bleeding at the edges of some of the Chevrons, but not much. I used small artist brushes to touch up both the grey and white edges wherever it was needed.

After a final coat with the small roller, my Chevron stripes were complete.

And I think they turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!

This project could probably be done in a single weekend, but I spread the project out over a few weeks because that's what worked best with my schedule. Initially, it took about half a day to paint the room grey, then a few hours to measure, mark and tape the wall, and probably another half day to cut in, paint, and touch up the Chevron stripes
Totally worth it for my baby boy!

What do you think?

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This has been another edition of
Live & Learn Thursday!


  1. wow! that looks great!!! way too much for for me (i'm so lazy!) but i love the color and it does look fantastic!

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

  2. it looks amazing!! Idk if I could do all that work.

  3. Holey moley, girl! When you starting talking math, I was starting to feel my brain hurt. Haha. It really turned out wonderful and all your hard work shows how much you'd do for your little guy!

  4. I honestly love chevron in gray the best, it is a lot less "In your face" which is nice. Great tutorial (and great job with the room!) xo

  5. WOW You are such an inspiration! I'm not sure if I would have the patience to take on a task like this, let alone while pregnant, taking pictures, and planning a blog post about it!! But it sure does look AMAZING and I know this tutorial will help SO many people!!! When we eventually move into our new house painting the walls a single color feels overwhelming lol I have never painted before though so maybe that's why. The entire house is white so it might be worth it to hire someone to help.

  6. I wish this tutorial was up a year ago when I did my daughters room it would have been a big help !! I made a stencil and did it on her wall and seriously took me a whole day just to stencil it out lol !! Love the wall !! Looks great !!!

  7. I love this! You did such a great job measuing and touching up every line. This project definately takes lots of patience that I hope I have when I get preggo!

  8. This turned out PHENOMENAL! I knew it wasn't easy but DAMN... there's even MORE to it than I thought! Go on with your bad self!

  9. This looks amazing - you did so good, I am thinking of hiring to come over to my house! Okay, when we start our business together - we can add this to our list of services. We are going to rich!

  10. nice work lady!! turned out amazing! can't wait for Saturday!

  11. I love the tip about painting with your base color first, to seal the tape! Looks great!

  12. this is amazing! You did such a great job! I'm so bad at math, I'm still trying to figure this out... LOL. The room is going to look so nice, I can't wait to see the whole nursery!

  13. Omg, I'm obsessed with this!!! Obsessed! Great job, love your blog & am your newest follower!!

  14. OMG! I'm so in awe! I knew that it was going to be a task but the pictures just really bring it to life! I hope that LJ knows/one day sees how much time and effort you put into making the room he's going to be locked in when he's bad looking perfect! I love it and if I ever get knocked up and need a designer, I'm flying you in!

  15. I love this!! You did a great job! Not sure if I would have had the patience to do such a stellar job!!!

  16. That looks AMAZING!!! I honestly don't think I'd have the patience for that! :)

  17. Seriously I am SO impressed by this - it looks professional! I just love it!

  18. This definitely had to have been a labor of love...but it looks fantastic!

  19. Awesome tutorial. Your wall looks great. It must have been so much work, but the gorgeous results are worth it.

  20. Thank you for sharing. Its informative and full of information.
    Airless Paint Sprayer


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