DIY Tuesday - all about painting

 As promised today we are giving a little tutorial on painting.  We've taken the most popular and unique painting techniques and broken them down into easy steps you can follow.  Feel free to let us know if you have any questions or if there are other looks you'd like us to cover. 

Up first... stripes. 


When painting stripes, whether horizontal, vertical, or chevron the technique is the same.  


Perfect Stripes: 

What you will need:

  • Paint
  • Brush
  • painters tape
  • measuring tape or ruler
  • level
  • pencil
Step 1:  Paint your wall the base color and let it dry completely. 
Step 2:  Decide how thick you want your stripes to be and measure them out.  Measure in three places and mark with a pencil.  For example, when painting a vertical stripe mark measurements near the top of the wall, in the middle and near the bottom so you have a guide for a straight line. 
Step 3:  Apply tape at markings.  Be sure to apply the tape to the outside of the pencil marks.  Rub the edges of the tape firmly to ensure a tight seal. 
Step 4: Paint your stripes with your second color.  Be sure to run your brush or roller the same direction as the tape.  Some people suggest painting the edges of your tape with the base colors to prevent running, but if you press your tape firmly, paint in the direction of the tape, and remove your tape properly, it shouldn't be a problem.  
Step 5:  Allow paint to dry for awhile.  It doesn't need to be completely dry.  Tacky is good enough.  
Step 6:  Remove your tape by slowly pulling the tape off at an angle, pulling towards the stripe to prevent any running or peeling.  
    Tip:  Keep your hands near the wall as you pull.  The farther you get away from the wall as you pull the less control you have. 

Viola!  Stripes! 
This technique works for all stripes.  The only difference comes in the measuring and gets a little trickier for chevrons.  When you measure a chevron, measure the distance between each high point and low point and use a level to ensure your chevrons don't start sliding in one direction. 

Hand Painted Stripes: 

What you will need:
  • Paint 
  • Paint brush
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • pencil
Step 1: Decide the width of your stripes and measure them out on the wall using a pencil.
Step 2: Using a level connect your pencil marks to create a light line
Step 3: Paint!  Using your paint brush, paint inside the pencil lines. 
    tip:  Make sure you paint in the same direction of your stripe to create a consistent look (i.e. if you have vertical stripes paint up and down and if you have horizontal stripes, paint side to side. 

They won't be perfect, but that's the idea!  

Polka dots: 

These are so easy it's almost silly to have a tutorial.  Free-hand polka dots are a great way to add a little color or interest to a space.  Perfect polka dots are a fun way to create a graphic element to a room and require a stencil or a very steady hand. 
What you need:
  • paint
  • small artist's paint brush
  • regular paint brush
  • two pencils
  • string

Free hand: 

Step 1:  Dip artist's paint brush into paint and create small polka dots by swinging the paintbrush in a loop on the wall.  
    tip: Strategically place polka dots to frame a window or piece of art, break up a large wall, or create interest in a corner. 

That's it - it's that easy! 

Perfect polka-dots: 

Step 1: Decide how big you want your polka dots to be.  Cut a piece of string to half of that size. 
Step 2: Tie each end of the cut string to a pencil. 
Step 3: Holding one pencil where you want the center of the circle to be, swing the other pencil keeping the lead on the wall drawing a complete circle around the center pencil
    tip:  This works best for larger polka dots.  Try overlapping a few. 

Step 4:  Using an artists brush, carefully cut the edges of the circle in the color of choice
Step 5:  Paint the remainder of the dot. 


Whew - I'm tired.  Next time we will talk about things slightly more difficult, like silhouettes and hand-made stencils.  I hope this helped!  Painting can seem daunting, but with the right tools and a little creativity its such a powerful and effective design tool.  

Happy Painting!