Sunday, February 24, 2013

Low Cost, Big Impact: Paint a Patterned Accent Wall

Paint a Patterned Accent Wall
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I've been meaning to post this project for awhile but I'm just now finally getting around to it. You got to see a peek of this wall when I posted my Joy Holiday Photo Collage in November. Last summer while my husband was in Japan for a few weeks, I walked by this wall in the front entry and decided, "that wall needs a change!" and just like that, I painted it. Surprise, honey! He never knows what to expect when he comes home from a business trip.

This wall is the first wall you see when you enter our home. For the past 6 years, it's been the reddish-orange color that you see below, and while I really love the color, I've lived with it for awhile now and just wanted something different. Here's what the wall looked like before I painted it:
Paint a Patterned Accent Wall: Before pic
Before: Wow, there's a lot of color goin' on!
I love me some cheerful orange, green, and aqua colors, 
but looking back at this pic, maybe it was a bit too much all together...

I painted the wall the same beige color that's on the rest of our downstairs walls. Painting it the same color made it much more cohesive with the rest of the house, but it was a little...uninteresting, especially after living with such a bright color for so long. Neutral doesn't have to mean boring though, so I decided to add a pattern to the wall.

I thought about adding a neutral colored wallpaper at first, but I have a love/hate relationship with wallpaper. When we moved into our home almost 13 years ago, there was 80's wallpaper in almost every room. It took us about 8 years but eventually we went through and stripped it all off, one room at a time, including our front entry here. Stripping wallpaper is a dreadful job that tries even the most patient person, especially when much of it comes off in one inch pieces. I shudder just thinking about those memories. Wallpaper has made a big comeback and there are some beautiful designs out there. I was so tempted to put some up, but knowing me and how I like to change things up after a few years, and knowing how much I dislike taking down wallpaper, I decided to hand paint a pattern onto the wall using a template I made from cardboard. I used a similar technique when I made a large canvas art piece for our powder room makeover:
Paint a Patterned Accent Wall
Not the best lighting since there are no windows in the powder room-
it's so hard to get a good picture in there!

I'm sorry to say that I didn't take any "during" pictures while I was painting this wall, but I'll explain how I did this as best I can. You can also refer to the painted wallpaper tutorial from Jones Design Company, which is where I got the idea to create the artwork above. Even though the pattern is different for this project, the process is still very similar.


How to Paint This Patterned Accent Wall Using a Cardboard Template
Paint a Patterned Accent Wall

What you'll need:
Paint (two colors of your choice) - I used low VOC latex paint
Paintbrushes
Piece of cardboard large enough to create a template, like from a box
Scissors
Two circular items like plates (see below)
Ruler
Level (preferably a longer one)
Pencil
Large pink eraser

1. Paint wall the base color of your choice according to manufacturer's directions. Prime if necessary beforehand or use a paint that includes primer. Let dry.

Paint a Patterned Accent Wall
2.  Create a cardboard template: We're creating and cutting out a shape to use to trace that shape on the wall. Later we'll paint inside the lines that we traced. It's not like a stencil where you paint inside the negative space of a cut-out pattern, it's kind of opposite of that, if that makes any sense (you could probably turn this into a stencil if you'd rather paint inside the negative space by using plastic blank stencil sheets and using that to stencil this pattern onto the wall, but this cardboard template was free and I didn't have to run to the craft store to get it. Stenciling is a whole other tutorial).

Using a ruler, a level to keep the lines straight and parallel, and a couple plates or bowls to make the circles, I drew a simple design on a piece of cardboard and cut it out. You can use whatever size circles you want to scale it bigger or smaller. The plates I used were 7" and 9" in diameter. I used the large plate for the outer circle and then centered the smaller plate inside the bigger circle to make the inner circle. I drew the straight lines that extend from the 4 "quadrants" of the circle using a ruler and a level, making sure they were aligned with the center of the circle and evenly spaced around the circle (see below). The straight lines that I used for my cardboard template were 1 1/2 inches long. The picture below is a re-creation that I drew on a piece of paper, but I ran out of space on the vertical sides so the lines in this drawing aren't actually 1 1/2 inches, but you would make your lines all the same length to whatever length you think looks right. Cut out your pattern neatly along the lines:
Paint a Patterned Accent Wall


2.  Draw the pattern onto the wall using your template: Starting at the top of the wall, find the center of the wall and mark it lightly with a pencil. I chose to start at the center and work my way out to the edge of the wall since it makes the pattern look more symmetrical with the mirror that is also centered on the wall. Butt the template up to the top of the wall, centering it on the center mark, then lightly mark the top horizontal lines of the template onto the wall (see pic below to see what horizontal lines I'm talking about). Using a level and pencil, draw a level line lightly along the entire width of the wall where you marked the horizontal lines of the template (you'll have to erase a lot of these lines later, so draw them really light). This will be your working line to keep your pattern straight across the wall.
Paint a Patterned Accent Wall
When you make your own template, you'll take your time to make sure everything is lined up and cut out much neater than this one - this was "cut out" on the computer using MS Paint and is only meant to be a visual aid (and not a very good one at that!) since I no longer have the original cardboard template.

Lining up the template along the level line as shown above, trace the pattern onto the wall with a pencil. Since I was painting the pattern white, I used a white colored pencil (or you can use a regular pencil with a really light touch) to trace the template onto the wall. Keep moving the template and tracing the pattern across the wall along your level line.

After the first row is completed, line up the template underneath the first row where you want it to be, draw a level line across the wall and keep on tracing. Do each row until you've worked your way down the wall.

3.  Paint inside the lines: Next comes the most time consuming part - painting the pattern! Using a small brush (I used a 1 inch angle brush), paint inside the lines with the color of your choice. I used a white wall color that we already had, but use whatever you like. You can also use a similar tone color to the base wall color for less of a contrast, or go with a totally different bold color, or even use the same color as your base color but with a different sheen to get a subtle tone-on-tone effect. Keep in mind that this is a handpainted pattern - if perfect lines are what you're after, you'll have to find another way to do that. I like seeing the paint strokes and imperfect lines of something that's handpainted. If you have a somewhat steady hand, it will come out just fine, especially when you step back from it and see the big picture instead of scrutinizing every line from 2 inches away.

The painting part took me so much longer than I thought it would. It took me 3 days to finish this. I'd paint a few circles, take a break, paint a few more circles, get some work done, do more painting, etc. By the end of the third day, my neck and hand ached from all the painting but I was so ready to be done with this wall that I stayed up until 1 in the morning just so I wouldn't have to deal with it another day. I probably should've added "patience" and "ibuprofen" to the list of materials you'll need for this project.

If you want the pattern to look more opaque, paint a second coat after the first coat is dry. I had the paint can sitting by my front door for a month before I admitted to myself that I was never going to paint that second coat. Just tell yourself that it's artistic with the variation in coloring and you'll be happy with it. :) 

After the paint is completely dry, gently erase any visible pencil lines using a large pink eraser, or you can even paint over them if you'd rather. I found the gray waxy erasers just smudged the pencil line instead of erasing it, so I prefer the classic pink erasers. Plus they're pink! :)
Paint a Patterned Accent Wall

I didn't have to buy anything for this makeover since I used paint and supplies we already had. I decorated the space mostly the same but "shopped my home" for the other stuff you see in the after pic, including the palm frond that needed to be trimmed off a huge potted palm I have in my living room. If you love to decorate, shopping your own house is a great way to get a fresh new look without having to buy new things all the time. I move things around several times a year and am regularly asked, "Is that new?" when usually it's something I've had for awhile in another part of the house or something I've painted to make it look new. I love a no cost makeover using things you already have!

I'm working on another project for our bedroom right now that happens to use this same geometric pattern in it, and coincidentally, my husband is out of town again on business as I'm doing it. He misses out on all the fun! I hope to have my latest DIY project done before he gets back and I'll try to post that soon. Maybe I can get it posted before he comes home. Surprise, honey! :)
(Update: I finished this project I was talking about, check it out here: Dressing Table Gets a Makeover)

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35 comments:

  1. It looks great! I've been thinking about painting a patterned wall so this is perfect!

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  2. Hi Sharon! I love, love the bathroom wall with the little bird stencil. So darn cute. I think powder rooms have to have some sort of patterned wall or something going on in there besides just paint, because those rooms are so small so why not jazz them up and make people happy when they're using it.
    I hate to say it, but I think your hubby plans these business trips when you're working on a painting project :) You know I'm totally kidding, but it's pretty convenient, wouldn't you say? Maybe you plan it while he's gone so you can have peace while painting. Either way, you do such a bang up job and you're so darn creative.
    I have to admit that I haven't painted a wall since I painted my bedroom trim fushia pink in high school. Yes, I painted beautiful natural wood trim in my dads house, fushia pink, and he let me. What a great dad! The paint job was horrible as I didn't paint in the lines. Since then, I leave the painting to the pros. I absolutely love my painter anyway. His name is Andrew and I have known him for 17 years. He has painted every room in my house as well as my kitchen cabinets. He really feels like part of the family and he's one contractor that I like having in my house. He's actually going to sand down the butcher block in my kitchen as well as re-paint my walls this month! I can't wait! Eli has banged those walls up a bit. I wish you lived closer because I want to jazz up my laundry room which is right off of my kitchen. It's painted the same green as my kitchen, but I want to either wall paper it or stencil it like you did, but I don't want to stencil it, because I don't think I could actually do a good job! I saw this laundry room on pinterest that was yellow with big flowers. It sounds strange, but it was beautiful. It was happy!
    Anyway, you are uber talented girl and I do see a future in this for you. What you do may seem easy to you, but it's not easy to some of us, like me, and I would hire you in a second to re-vamp things in my house. You should make cute little business cards and have a button on your site explaining what you can do and your prices etc. I bet there are people in your area that are looking for someone to do what you do. You could also go to local interior designers and show them your work. They would hire you out to their clients in a heartbeat. SO many designers know how to decorate a room but really don't understand or know how to do the DIY stuff. Both of the designers I worked for were fabulous and worked for high-end clients, but they didn't do anything themselves. Ok, I can't wait to see what you do to the master! Happy Monday!xoxo, Jackie

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    1. Hey Mama! :) When I posted the bathroom pic, I actually was thinking of you and knew you'd appreciate it!
      You made me laugh about the hubby! Yes, I'd say that's VERY convenient for him! LOL! I think I end up doing these projects while he's gone because like you said, I have peace and quiet and can do it at my own pace in my own way - I know sometimes I do things that don't seem to make sense at first or without a plan and go with it, he looks at me wondering where the heck I'm going with something.
      I love that you painted your trim fuschia pink! That is one of my favorite colors, and my favorite one to wear. So sweet that your dad let you. Having a painter you can trust and enjoy is such a good thing. Are you repainting the walls in the kitchen? What color? Isn't it green in there now? I also want to see this laundry room you're talking about. I'll see if you pinned it. It sounds bright and cheerful, just like you so I think it would be great in your house! I'd so totally help you with it if we lived closer. :)
      Jackie, I just love how supportive and encouraging you are! Thank you for that, it makes my heart happy and it is so appreciative. It really makes me think I can make a go of this. Happy Monday my friend! xoxo, Sharon

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    2. Hey girl! I know, my dad was such a great and patient guy. I rearranged my bedroom at least once a month and the house as well. I painted the trim fushia pink along with the window trim etc. Luckily the walls were ivory. It would have been crazy to have fushia pink walls, but trim is crazy as well. Yes, I'm repainting the walls in the kitchen. I'm painting them the same color though. There are too many touch ups that need to be done, so Andrew is just going over them with another coat to freshen things up. Our house is a little under 2,000 feet, so we only have 3 colors in the house. This beautiful butter yellow in the den and Zoe's room, the appleish green in the kitchen, living room, front entry and dining room and this brownish beige in Eli's and our bedroom. It all works together and we let the colorful fabrics in our upholstery bring in the pops of color.
      You can make a go of it. You just need to get out there and network when you're ready. Designers are a great place to start because they already have the client contacts. That's how you can get your name out there and then it will all be word of mouth and you will have your own little business! You will be too busy to blog at that point :)

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    3. We are kindred spirits I'm tellin' ya. I was the same way growing up. As a teenager I loved rearranging my room and my mom's furniture in her living room. I remember literally "wallpapering" one of my bedroom walls from top to bottom with beautiful ads from magazines, and I wish I had taken a picture of that. They were classic 80s ads that I'd love to look back on today. :) I found that laundry room that you're talking about and it is beautiful, I love it! That yellow and the floral pattern would fit so nicely into your home.
      Thank you for the suggestions about networking and business. When I get some time, I'm going to sit down and really come up with a solid plan. xoxo

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  3. It looks great! I've done that Jones Design Stencil and it's a lotta work. This looks like it probably took some time too, but well worth it! Great job!

    Jeannine @ The Concrete Cottage

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  4. WOW! What a transformation! Great job! I will have to create a wall with this stencil!

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  5. whoa and wow! Your wall is fantastic! Love the color too!

    Smiles,
    The Joyful Thrifter

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  6. What a great idea to make your own stencils - love that! I'm pinning this because I'm looking for a great idea for a living-room wall. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. This would take some patience, but wow, what an impact for little money! Great job here! Hope you can stop by the enchanted oven for a visit.
    xo,
    Lisa

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  8. I love this wall!!! You are so talented! I hope you stop by to share- http://atozebracelebrations.com/2013/02/link-party-9.html
    Nancy

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  9. I love how it turned out! It is gorgeous! I will have to find a wall in my house so I can do this too! Thanks for the inspiration! Julia @ www.juliakendrick.com

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  10. Wow. this looks absolutely amazing, found you through "from dream to reality" link up, Greetings from far away Germany, noni!

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  11. This looks amazing! Please come and decorate my house?! ;) xx

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  12. I LOVE this. The stencil you made is actually one of my favorite designs next to quarter foils and the ellipse. I recently found some fabric with the above stencil design and used it to cover my mudroom bench cushion.

    Hmmm...I may have to try this stencil somewhere. :) Going to pin for later. Thank you for sharing. :)

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  13. Pinned it! Thanks for sharing this at Whimsy Wednesday!

    Kelly from Smart School House
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SmartSchoolHouse

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  14. I love your wall and mirror. I have a link party called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop and would love to have you share this and any other posts with everyone. It runs from Tuesday night through midnight Sunday. Here is the link to the party.
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2013/02/wednesdays-adorned-from-above-blog-hop_26.html
    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above

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  15. This turned out so wonderfully! I have a wall in my family room that I really want to stencil, but had no idea I could use cardboard to do it. Thanks for sharing!

    If you haven't already, I'd love if you'd come join my How To Tuesday link party, too.

    http://housewifehowtos.com/link-party-2/how-to-tuesday-link-party-10/

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    1. Thanks so much, and thanks for the invite. I'll check it out! Sharon

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  16. that looks great. your console looks like it's a totally different color against this wall, unless you got a new one or i missed where you repainted it.

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    1. Thanks so much! It's the same console, but it does look different with this wall color, you're right! It might also be the angle the pic is taken with the lighting. Thanks for stopping by! Sharon

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  17. Wow, I LOVE this!! Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Thank you Megan. My pleasure to share. :) Sharon

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  18. Your wall looks amazing! I love that you made your own stencil and I love your design style.

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  19. Oh goodness!! LOVE how it turned out! YAY for making your own stencil!!

    Thanks for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer last week. Can't wait to see what you link up tomorrow evening! Have a great day!!

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  20. CONGRATS!!!!
    You have been featured at The DIY Dreamer!! YAY!! Come on over and grab your featured button... you deserve it :)
    http://thediydreamer.com/from-dream-to-reality/features-56/

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  21. Wow, your wall turned out beautifully! I love this idea, I gave a shout-out to it over on my blog http://www.diynewlyweds.com/2013/03/friday-faves.html

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    1. Thanks so much Jenny, that is so nice about the shout out! I'll come over and visit. :) Sharon

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  22. It turned out so beautiful! I cant believe the stencil is a diy! Please share this on my linky party http://suburbsmama.blogspot.com/2013/03/sunday-linky-party-1.html

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    1. Thanks for linking up :) Hope you have a great day.

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