Living Room STRIPES

Oh my goodness, you guys. I can’t even tell you how happy I am with how this project turned out. And I was worried. Seriously WORRIED… at several pivotal moments.

Aren’t those stripes GORGEOUS? Okay, that’s some serious patting myself on the back, but I can’t help it. I’m so proud of them!

Maybe you’ll understand too when you see what we were working with:

Why, yes! That is, in fact, the most boring living room in America. Bowdoin the Bulldog even mocked it in a video we made pleading for a makeover from West Elm last year:


We didn’t win. (Can you believe that? Even with a talking dog! Psssh.)

So, we were on our own. On Thursday, I’ll share more about how we styled the room. For now, allow me to brag about my beloved STRIPES.

For three years, that room was a boring white. I’m really embarrassed now that we let it go that long. But… no longer!

And by “we” painting, I mean Jason, of course. I am still pregnant, after all. (However, I did cheat and did some painting myself… read on…)

This was a 100% DIY paint job. From the easy stuff… to the make your knees weak vaulted ceiling…

I’m afraid of heights, so it was traumatic for me to be in the same room as Jason and take this picture of him. YIKES! At one point, he actually sat on top of this ladder to stretch and reach one tough-to-paint spot. I’m SO GLAD that part is over.

We followed this tutorial for painting stripes on textured walls. Worked like a charm!

So, we started by painting the two striped walls the lighter of the two shades – Sherwin Williams’ Colony Buff.

Next, we needed to tape off the stripes. DRAMA. This was not nearly as simple as I thought it would be. Not even close.

My first thought was to use a similar method to how we arranged the polka-dots in the nursery. That would entail stringing off sections and taping between them. However, I could not get a straight line to save my life. I even blogged about how frustrated I was and made a plea for help. You see, the wall is about 30 feet long and neither the ceiling nor the floor is 100% straight. So, those were not good bases from which to set a level starting point.  Several people offered some awesome suggestions – which I ended up using a combo of to get those darn lines straight.

 We started by using this $15 laser level from Home Depot for one of the lines. The laser didn’t always go as far as we needed it too – hence the tape pushing it into place.

Once that line was straight and taped off, we used a plumb line to measure the other lines off that one. Since we weren’t sure it was going to work, we didn’t think to take pictures. But basically, a plumb line is a long string that you put two nails on either end of – then snap to reveal a chalk line – which, in theory will be perfect level. We didn’t use chalk though – we just taped along the string and that worked well for us.

I’m certain there are far easier ways to do this – and if you think of any, please add a comment to this post for others who may come along and want to replicate this.

Once our lines were level and taped off, we painted the lighter color on top of the tape where the darker color would eventually go.

We made sure the lighter paint filled in all of the nooks and crannies in the textured wall and sealed that tape in as close as possible – the hope being that we wouldn’t have any bleed over between lines.

Then, Jason started rolling on the darker color… Sherwin Williams Oak Barrel.

He got about 75% of the first coat on this wall – and the accent walls in the dining room done when we ran out of paint. That was a huge bummer because he had to leave the next day on a business trip, and preggo over here wasn’t supposed to be painting. But… I did grab another gallon of the darker color, slapped on a mask and finished the job while he was gone. BECAUSE THAT’S HOW I ROLL. Baby in the belly, I hope you still have all of your brain cells.

 Before the second coat of the darker color is dry, you have the moment of truth. The moment of truth involves peeling the tape off and praying that the line didn’t bleed.

I literally leaped with joy when I saw how straight our lines had turned out. They look like decals – so perfect and straight! HAPPINESS.

We painted the long wall that connects the living and dining rooms and the wall that you immediately see when you enter the house…

Those stripes seriously make me smile every time I see them.

Here’s the view from the family room…

(That black table is a leftover ‘stache bash staging area… it’s not there in real life. Okay, it’s still there right now, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s leaving soon. Promise.)

Okay, I’ll be back on Thursday to explain some of the styling in the living room, but for now… here’s one more look…

What do you think? How did we do? Would you do something similar in your house?

About Michelle Fortin

Michelle Fortin is a follower of Jesus, a wife and a mom. She's also an award winning broadcast journalist and public relations professional. Michelle spent nearly a decade working in television newsrooms across the country, both behind and in front of the camera. Training future broadcast journalists in her faculty associate roles at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and at Arizona Christian University was a cherished focus of her post-TV career. Today, she maintains a roster of public relations clients focused on empowering fellow “momprenuers.” She also serves as a speaker for various women's and mom's events. Michelle received her bachelor’s degree from Biola University and Master of Mass Communication (MMC) from Arizona State University. She and her husband, two young kids and English bulldog call Scottsdale, Arizona, home.

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