Painted Patterned Accent Wall

A big piece of art might not be in the budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a focal wall. After we decided to use paint to create some sort of feature wall, I scoured online design pictures for something geometric. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with herringbone. I can’t claim credit for this design since I copied it from a picture, but we get a lot of comments on this wall (and so far not too many snickers), so I thought I’d share how easy this project was.

Two rolls of painter’s tape and a quart of paint later…

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It was done in an afternoon by one five month pregnant woman (me) and The Bear.

I decided from the get go that I wasn’t going to stress myself out with measuring and geometry and stuff to get a perfectly patterned herringbone. But I also didn’t want it to look like my three year old did it herself. I figured the easiest way to achieve some structure to the pattern was to make sure the vertical lines were straight and even. Then by varying the size and angle of the stripes, it added some randomness to the pattern without looking too messy.

I also knew from past projects that it would take a ton of prep work to get the tape to peel off leaving perfectly sharp lines. I didn’t want to F with it. So I intentionally painted a very light coat, not covering completely. This mimics the dimples on the stripes’ edges left by the pulled tape.

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The effect is rustic. It totally complements our beat up dining room table and the gold antlered antelope head mounted few feet away in the foyer.

Get the Look

First, decide on your spacing. This is a 13’ wall, so I went with 20” spacing from the inside edge of the tape. If your wall is smaller, you may want to make the columns narrower. Mark off your wall near the ceiling in whatever increment you decide.

Second, decide how far down the wall you want to paint. I wanted it to fill up more of the wall than not, but I also wanted to be able to see the zigzag of the staggered ends. I settled on chair back height so the staggering would be visible above the table line.

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Next, attach the vertical lines of tape. Secure one end of the tape firmly to the top of the wall and ceiling. Pull out a long length of tape, holding it away from the wall. Without sticking it to the wall yet, hold the unattached end of the tape in one hand and a level in the other. Make sure the line is level before adhering it to the wall.

Okay, that was the quick and easy part.

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To make your stripes, start ripping off tape and applying at an angle, working your way down each column. Vary the slope of the angle. I also made sure that the unpainted white spaces were mostly thicker than the painter’s tape. That way when it was painted, the mushroom taupe color would dominate the wall.

And how about that sexy original 90s gold chandelier? Not sure chandelier is the right word…

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(We ended up removing the glass panels and covered up the light base with a large $20 pendant shade from Home Goods.)

After you’ve taped off all your stripes, you are almost done. Paint. Let dry. Remove tape. Enjoy.

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All that’s left is deciding what’s for dinner.

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