I recently repainted my walls, and although I really liked having some color, I felt there was something more I could do, and I remember seeing this really cool technique of painting a wallpaper pattern:
http://jonesdesigncompany.com/decorate/painted-wallpaper-a-tutorial/ (you can download a template to use here)
It looked extremely challenging, and I’m always looking for a shortcut and an easy way out, and I think I found some (I’d rather spend more time thinking of ways to make the whole process easier than to actually just doing it the way I’m supposed to).
I had a lot of leftover paint from my wall, so I bought some white paint to mix with the color to create a tonal pattern.
First shortcut: I made the template shape bigger to have a fewer amount of total shapes to trace/paint. I modified their shape slightly in Illustrator (made it fatter and rounder), printed it out, traced it onto a sturdy shopping bag, and cut it out to use as a template/stencil. It’s about 11" wide.
I traced this over and over again in pencil onto my wall, and it took HOURS. I messed up once, and erased it…shouldn’t have done that because it created a really big smudge on the wall. Luckily after it was painted it got covered up. I tried to leave about ¾" space between each shape, and planned on filling those spaces with the paint.
I taped little ¾" tabs to the template to use as spacers. I didn’t really make any other measurements on the wall, just eyeballed it.
Second shortcut: the examples on those sites paint INSIDE the traced shape, meaning they get double lines, and essentially have to paint every outline of every shape. I decided to paint OUTSIDE the traced shape (the negative space, per se) so the merged area is what I ended up painting (less shapes to paint).
Me: painting outside of the lines.
Them: painting inside the lines, resulting in two strokes.
Third shortcut: because I am doing a wall that my couch is in front of, I didn’t feel like I needed to do this pattern from floor to ceiling. I did about 2/3 of the wall, and left the bottom 1/3 solid since it was going to be covered by the couch anyway, and there’s a radiator in the way.
Taped off the wall. The horizontal tape is where I’m stopping the pattern, about 1/3 from the floor.
Full wall done. Almost complete with the project…I didn’t want the pattern to end awkwardly and abruptly at the bottom like that, so I added a stripe.
More tape, making about a 3" wide stripe.
This took a full weekend to do…the second day was a lot easier than the first because I realized it doesn’t have to be perfect. It looks fine from faraway, even if things are uneven or a little messy up close. I didn’t even bother erasing the pencil marks. It adds charm (lazy).