Friday, March 21, 2014

DIY Plaid Wall

We recently started working on our Family Room. One of the things I've been thinking about, for a long time, was painting the fireplace wall in a plaid pattern.
It took two tries, but I finally got it!
This project can be done with any combination of paint. You do need a light, medium and darker set of colors.

I used Benjamin Moore paint in these three colors
Chantilly Lace (White/light color)
Stonington Gray (Pale Gray/medium color)
Coventry Gray (Darker Gray/darker color)
The two gray colors were on the same color card from the paint store.
I used the Eggshell Finish

The measuring and taping process for this project is very time consuming.
Once you've measured, remembering to tape inside the lines you want to leave unpainted and outside the lines you want painted is tricky!

The picture below is from my first try.
It wasn't at all what I was looking for!
What I tried to do the first time was to make the plaid look like fabric. I did this by dragging a stiff bristle paint brush through the rolled on paint. I used a paint product which kept the paint wet for a longer time.
It had a very uneven appearance and did not appear darker at the intersecting lines.
The picture below shows the beginning of the "Re Do".
I started the project by measuring the walls.
I wanted the squares to measure around
 12" X 12"
The wall was just about 163" wide
I divided 163 by 12
It came out to about 13.6
I knew I didn't want any half squares, so I tried 163 divided by 12.5"
It came out to 13.04 
The ceiling has a peak, so I knew I wouldn't get complete squares along there. I decided  there would be complete squares along the bottom. This made some of the calculating much easier.
For the vertical measurements I first had to find  the center and make sure to mark a 12.5" centered square. I did this by going out 6.25" on both sides of the center line. 

I used a light pencil mark and painters tape to mark the lines. I then marked a 12.5" line from the two side walls. I finished marking the lines at approximately 12.5" intervals.
I would advise using a level and a plum line for accuracy.

I should mention that I first painted the fireplace wall with two coats of the Chantilly Lace Color. I allowed it to dry overnight before I started the taping process. You can see the previous green color in the side walls.
Below are pictures of the walls taped for the horizontal stripes. If you look close in these pictures, you can see how every other stripe looks slightly wider. This is what I was referring to taping inside the stripe you don't want to paint and outside the stripe you do want to paint.
I used small pieces of tape on the rows that were not to be painted to help me remember. This step becomes even more important as you get further into the project. It helps to keep you from painting the wrong stripe or square.

 We were also in the midst of installing oak flooring. 

This is where the pictures and the directions will get out of place due to having to re do the wall.
Your next step would be to use the medium color, in my case the pale gray (Stonington Gray), to roll on every other stripe. I left the bottom stripe white and the next stripe up pale gray and so on. 
The painters tape should be removed at this point. If left too long, you risk pulling paint off with it.
Once you let that dry and do a second coat, if needed, the painters tape should be removed. If left too long, you risk pulling paint off with it.

The next day mark the vertical lines and roll as you did for the horizontal lines, with the medium color (Stonington Gray). That needs to dry overnight also.
The reason for this is also so you don't risk pulling off paint.
The last steps to the plaid wall is taping off the intersecting squares. 
In this picture I have taped off the horizontal lines. I didn't really need to do all that, I just needed to tape the actual squares.
These squares were painted with the darker color (Coventry Gray).
I used two coats. Once I finished, I removed the painters tape.
Here are a couple more pictures of the finished wall.
While measuring for this project, I realized the fireplace wasn't centered! I went ahead hoping the plaid wall didn't emphasize this.

My mantle settings will have to be asymmetric!

The family room is an ongoing process...

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