Monday, February 18, 2013

purple chevrons!!
we are on a roll these days with house projects!
after finishing the guest room a couple weekends ago i mentioned to darek that i'd like to paint chevrons on the accent wall in the living/dining room - he just rolled his eyes at me. measuring and taping for chevrons is nooooo fun - BUT - he came around. a day or two later he texted from work "chevrons tonight!" wahoo!!! our house has a unique layout in that there is not a lot of solid wall space on the main floor. instead the walls have huge cutouts so all the rooms blend together and open up into one another. this makes it tough to figure out how and where to start/stop painting and requires that colors and decor coordinate somewhat from room to room. the little nook in the dining space, however, is perfect for something fun because it's small and contained. no question as to where to start and stop painting.

i took this picture the week that we moved into the house before all our stuff arrived from boston. i wanted "blank slate" pictures of every room so i could document the changes. every wall in the house was white, except that one accent wall in the lower right corner of the picture --> brown. i wanted to paint it right away and yet somehow 2 1/2 years and eight painted rooms later, we finally got around to it. it was just screaming for some chevrons!!
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before picture

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a few coats of white to get the party started

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and let the sampling begin
we had originally planned on mint or a light aqua but even though we get a lot of natural light in our house this particular nook is a little shadowy so those colors just weren't bold enough for this space. we tried a couple shades of purple and turquoise and fell in love with Behr's Chakra in semi-gloss - its a rich, warm purple (the one closest to the ladder.) plus this project took less than half a gallon so i've got plenty left to incorporate into other spaces.

next we had to figure out our scale - how many chevrons we wanted, etc.
again this is a small space, too small for an extra large graphic - although a friend
mentioned that we could have done just one huge chevron with the point right in the middle
and now i think that would have been pretty cool - oh well, next time

the trick with stripes, and especially chevrons, is that you want to be very careful about spacing. you don't want to tape/paint only to realize that you run out of wall half way through a stripe. we're a little fanatic when it comes to this so we decided that we wanted points to touch the top and the bottom of the wall and we also wanted complete chevrons all the way across the wall, instead of ending half way through a chevron. so here it is folks - the moment in life when you can answer the all too frequently asked question of high school geometry students across the globe:
"when am i ever going to use this?"

and the answer is:
"when you have the crazy notion to paint perfectly spaced chevrons on your wall."

so we did all the measuring and all the math and all the geometry equating and darek made a graph because that's what darek does (remember how he's an auditor?) and then we did all the measuring and mathing and graphing again and la dee da until we figured it out. we had to stretch the points of our bottom chevs a half inch or so to touch the baseboard because heaven forbid our points don't touch the baseboards! but it's not noticeable so we're all good. i'd recommend measuring out the size you want in paper and making a few templates to see if you really like how it looks
because the measuring and taping is not fun to do twice. nor thrice.

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so we figured out our numbers and got to work on marking our measurments

ok - here's our HOT TIP when doing chevrons
all the tutorials i read online used either stencils or a grid to mark their chevrons. our wall is too bumpy for a stencil (although you can just pencil in your stencil and tape along the lines, as opposed to painting over the stencil which would not give very precise lines) so we decided to tape along a grid to get perfect diagonals - again all the tutorials i read did really elaborate grids where they measured and drew vertical lines all the way across the wall. then they measured and drew horizontal lines all the way down the wall. then they drew in all their chevrons by connecting the diagonal corners of each square. this, my friends, is waaaaaaay to much work for me.

so what did we do istead?
a grid of teeny tiny little dots instead of full lines
then i just taped diagonally from dot to dot to make my chevrons
and lucky for me - my very precise auditor husband did this part for me
i'm the big picture gal, he's the small details guy

tiny dots - 5.5 inches apart
this also eliminates almost any pencil marks that need to be painted over

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my husband speaking my love language!

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so this is the moment that we realized our measurements were exactly what we wrote them down to be - hooray! - but exactly not what we imagined them to be! ha! the chevrons ended up being thinner lines then we had pictured because although we'd measured 5.5 inches, that was at the height of the point, not the width of the actual line - which was only 4 inches wide. high school geometry failed us after all. or perhaps we just failed high school geometry. anywho - i started experimenting with different options for taping (do this! perhaps before you mark your whole grid!) and i decided i liked the smaller chevs just fine. this way we didn't have to remeasure the grid - just tape one dot width instead of taping two dots width. my husband thought the smaller chevs would look too static-y but he wasn't in the mood to re-dot so we embraced the static.

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taping, taping, taping
tape, tape

and notice darek's graph
would be a shame to miss the graph
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and be sure to recruit your one year old to help with the taping

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the taping actually went much more quickly and easily then i had anticipated
lesson learned: taping gets easier with the more crazy projects you do! victory!

also - be sure your tape comes to perfect corners at each point so your paint looks sharp
we were able to tear the tape at an angle so we could peice together each corner precisely
but you may want to use scissors to get sharp enough edges to make a sharp corner
the good news is that any bloopers can be repaired after the tape is removed
so do not fear, just tape
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again this wall is visible from many rooms/angles of our house
so it's going to take come creative decorating to make it just right
but i'm up for the challenge (eek!)
ps -that brass chandy is on my to-do list
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the worst part is over! it's only chevron glory from here on out!

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ok - when painting stripes on bumpy-ish walls you need to seal your tape somehow to avoid paint seeping under and mucking up all your hard taping work. there are a few different methods to do this but we decided to seal our tape by doing a layer of white paint along the edges where we were planning to paint purple. this way the white paint seeped under the tape onto the white wall - which obviously doesn't matter - and sealed up the tape, ready for non-seeping purple. we used frog tape here - which claims it seals as you paint - but that's only for nice flat surfaces. for lame bumpy surfaces, you must seal - that's the deal! you won't regret it. and you can rhyme while you're doing it. win, win.

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aha! time for the glorious Chakra!!
isn't she pretty?

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i think a mini roller works best in this instance
more precise then a large roller
quicker then a brush

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roley, poley - this part went quickly, even though two coats were required
be sure to really look closely and coat the edge of the tape so you don't end up with grainy white edges to your pretty purple chevies

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and don't forget to have your five year old use your non-five-year-old-friendly camera
to capture really flattering photos of you hard at work
with your shirt on inside out

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it was helpful to have a little spotlight on each section
to be precise in dotting, taping and painting since this room is poorly lit

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oh me, oh my - can't wait to see!

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crispy crispy chevrons ~ make my heart sing!

and be sure to have the superhero in your life help with the unveiling
be careful tho - he may choose to tape up your one year old whilst your back is turned

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fix your bloopity bloops

1. pretty purple blob on white chevron
2. seeping purple where apparently we failed to seal
3. white gritty edge where i didn't get quite to the edge of the tape

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it worked!! notice - purple points touching top
white points touching bottom
a little ocd

so this wall still awaits furnishing and designing as the hutch
i originally had there won't work with my crispies

but i love love love how these purple chevies
look with the green media wall
some may cringe, but i

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note: that green is not as fluorescent as it appears to be here

alrighty - get to it! chevie it up!
and be sure to let us know when you do - we'd love to see

thanks for stopping by


Cecilia said...

beautiful. i need you to come interior design my house. seriously! i'm clueless on what colors i want. i have a gutted bathroom that i'm trying to decide on flooring and colors for, plus a soon to be kitchen to paint brand new cabinets, back splash and flooring. urgh. love your wall though.

Crazy Lady said...

dude if darek comes and measures, i will do it, jason is a non participatory painter :)

looks awesome.

maybe turn into reading nook?