I have the special privilege of living in the same town as my parents and three brothers… for another month, at least. There was one point when we lived across three different continents, so I know that this is a privilege indeed. One of the best parts of living in the same town is being able to be a part of making each other’s houses into homes. One of my brothers recently purchased his first home – a darling little 1960’s ranch style house with a wonderful big yard. While it has a ton of great features (like gorgeous, original hardwood floors), it definitely could use some updates. And budget is tight as he supports his family of five, so we needed to find an affordable way to make a big impact. The walls started a slightly off white (fresh paint, thankfully, but just enough off white to have a dirty look – and sorry I forgot to take a kid-free before picture!). While the big trees in the yard are one of the best features of the property, they do limit the amount of natural light in the space, so a true, crisp, cooler white was needed. We started by painting the living room with that. It brightened it up significantly and made the space so much cleaner… But it was still too plain. And since the man of the house (my brother) is an English major, army veteran, chemical operator, who has lived all over the world… and the lady of the house is a musician, artist, stay-at-home-mom, training to be a midwife… you can imagine the eclectic tastes and interests. They needed something simple (so as not to overwhelm the space and their lives) but interesting and exciting. When I saw my friend Jenna’s dining room, I was inspired, and I’d like to think we struck the perfect balance. And it only cost us two rolls of FrogTape® brand painter’s tape and time (plus some leftover paint). Here’s how we did it:
- Measure to find the center of the wall.
- Cut a 12×12″ piece of card stock in half diagonally and center it against the ceiling.
- Measure 4″ over, and using the other half of the card stock (to find the right angle), draw the next line.
- Use a yardstick to extend both lines all the way to the floor (keeping the same angles).
- Continue across the entire wall, using an extra piece of card stock every so often to check that your spacing is staying even.
- Using scissors to create clean lines, tape INSIDE the squares made by your pattern. Repeat for entire wall.
- Paint your accent color with a small roller or brush. Two coats if necessary.
- Remove tape carefully.
You’ll notice that we used a combination of delicate tape (yellow) and multi-surface tape (green). Since we painted the room white the day before, I started with the FrogTape® Delicate Surface tape just in case. Thankfully, we didn’t seem to have any trouble with the white paint not adhering (and we knew we would be removing the tape later that day), so we switched to the FrogTape® Multi-Surface tape when we ran out of the delicate.
One of the problems with this project was the incredibly uneven walls (both from years of old texture and the slight shifting of the home). While it would probably be unnoticeable normally, I was afraid that a sharp pattern like we were creating would make it a problem. Fortunately, with Frog Tape’s Paint Block® Technology, both the delicate and multi-surface gave us beautifully crisp lines. The delicate was incredibly easy to work with and remove, but the texture of the walls did make it a little difficult to smooth down in places. Fortunately, none of the errors are even noticeable unless you are about 6 inches away. And the multi-surface was wonderful, too. It adhered so well that I worried it might pull off the new white paint underneath, but removal was a snap and none of the white paint was damaged. And I think the finished product is awesome. It has a trellised, window-like look, drawing your eye to the far end of the room. It complements the navy drapes (which they already had) but is bold enough to balance the simple whites and browns in the rest of the room. And the best part? We honestly didn’t change anything else. We didn’t paint or buy furniture; we didn’t find new artwork; we didn’t steal from other rooms. We simply painted the walls and rearranged a bit. My brother still has his favorite sectional (which he loves… and I can respect that… but it is a beast to decorate around!). The rest is just eclectic and simple – the perfect balance for the gorgeous accent wall. I won’t lie, it was a lot of work to make the squares. It would be a lot simpler to have just painted the wall navy and then taped off the lines and painted white… but that would have required more paint and probably primer, and it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. So what do you think? It’s a little bold for my neutral-loving home, but I think it’s just perfect in theirs. And, let’s be honest, since our house is on the market, I needed something to paint. 😉 Would you like to show off your FrogTape skills and have the chance to win $5000?? Enter the Earn Your Stripes Room Makeover Contest by submitting your FrogTape room makeover photos.