Our soon to be f-a-b-o-l-o-u-s baby room is officially underway, and yep, we officially striped it out last week. I say “we” because I had the idea, and Dain made it happen. That’s how we roll as a team around here. Gender neutral is not the most appealing theme, but gray and white lend themselves to adding pops of color later so for now we are concentrating on our neutral palette. And thanks to Dain’s mad painting skills, the room is starting to come together now that gray and white stripes are in the house. It wasn’t the easiest task in the world, but Dain was up for the challenge. Here’s his rendition of how he made it happen.
With the addition of new walls and a few fresh coats of our Benjmain Moore Decorator White colored paint, I was ready to stripe the baby room. After reading a few tutorials online about how to paint stripes on a wall, I thought the idea of using a laser level would make it really easy to accomplish the task. I did some research on laser levels and of course the one that got great reviews that I really wanted rang in at $99.00. I was positive that I would find all sorts of uses for it after this striping endeavor, but alas, my better half reminded me of all of our upcoming expenses, so I went with a $19.99 Ryobi laser level that got mixed reviews.
It was a total bust, and I ended up taking it back to the store the next day. It didn’t suction to the wall as advertised, it was hard to get level on the wall, and I had to turn off the lights in the room to be able to see the beam. After about an hour of marking the new walls and taping off a few areas, I gave up and turned to my trusty tape measure, 3′ level, and a pencil to get the job done the old school way.
Figuring out the size of the stripes took a little time. I knew that I wanted there to be even amounts of gray and white even after I installed the baseboard and crown moulding. I had a few scrap pieces of those lying around so I marked where their final position would be and then measured the area in between. There were really only two options that would visually look ok. 17″ stripes seemed way too big, but the other option of 12.5″ seemed just right. I made sure that the stripes wouldn’t hit the windows with any awkward spaces. When I had the final spacing marked on one wall, I held the level on the wall marking lines about every 12″ around the room. Then I used painters’ tape to connect the lines. I decided to try out Frog Tape which I had heard good things about. Apparently it has a paint blocking substance that stops paint from bleeding under the tape, and it was worth every extra penny because it seriously does everything it claims to. I was amazed at how well it worked, and it was integral in making the stripes look so polished without any bleeding. After using it, I’m not sure how I’ll ever be able to go back to the basic blue painters’ tape. However, I did use some of that to mark the areas that needed to stay white in case I lost track at some point while painting the gray.
Taping the stripes was the most difficult part, and when it was finally time to start painting, I started the first coat with three tools: a paint brush, a foam roller, and a normal paint roller.
I started by loading the foam roller with paint (Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine color mixed into Olympic no-voc paint) and then rolled it on the wall away from the tape. As the paint spread out I started to overlap it onto the tape. After that I used the normal roller to paint the larger middle area. I used the brush on the corners of the wall. You can see the edges are a little lighter, but I didn’t want to lay the paint on too thick by the tape for the first coat.
I waited about 6 hours to apply the second coat and then removed the tape about an hour afterwards. Having dealt a lot with paint bleeding under tape, it was truly amazing to pull off the Frog Tape revealing nothing but perfection.
And here is the current state of our new nursery. The picture doesn’t do it justice since we no longer have a working light in this room, but it looks awesome.
I was able to install the crown moulding and baseboard trim the next day, which we’ll cover in another post soon. I was a bit nervous getting started painting the stripes, most likely because I knew how much work it would be to paint over them if I screwed up, but it really wasn’t that bad. Pulling off the tape and seeing the end result was extremely rewarding, and we are really excited to get this room completed.