Sunday, September 18, 2011

In keeping with true craft-addiction form, I was looking at blogs last night while Tim got some Call of Duty time in.  Don't ask me how I came across this, but Lindsay over at Fine Things and Big Dreams is a genius.  She posts everything and anything you could ever want to do to makeover a space, inside or outside of your home.  I happened to come across one of her posts where she was redecorating one of her spare bedrooms.  I just thought it was absolutely brilliant, and thought to myself, "hey, I could actually do something like that!!"  So, without Tim's approval (I didn't really give him the chance to object...) I started my big master bedroom project.  At 11:30 pm.  Good choices.  Anyways, the only issue that happened was that I put a huge scratch in my brand new craft desk while cutting the piece of cardboard.  

I started with an 11x14 piece of cardboard, just like Lindsay said to do in her post.  Apparently I'm not the best at cutting perfect edges.  My cardboard pieces was more of a......trapezoid.  But you know what? At midnight I wasn't really caring too much about that! I also made marks three inches in on all sides so that I knew where I wanted my squares to overlap.  So off I went to the bedroom to start tracing.  I would suggest that anyone trying this would make sure your first trace was level....might save you some trouble later.  But I just went ahead and started tracing (like I said...kind of late to start a project like that).

After tracing the cardboard over and over......and over, I went to bed.  When I woke up and saw that wall I was actually pretty appalled at what I had done.  It came out looking like a complete mess.  The squares were running in all different directions, none were level, and it just looked awful.  But I knew there was hope.  I had seen someone using a laser level on a HGTV show, so I looked in to buying one.  There are different price points, and (hindsight being 20/20) I would suggest not going for the cheap, or even the medium priced one.  I had to run to Lowes anyways to get some painters tape, a drop cloth, and a paint roller, so i decided to pick a laser level up too.  

Let me tell you, that laser level was a pain in my.....well you know what.  First of all, the only way to mount it to your wall is by sticking the pin in the back of it into the drywall.  Um, no.  I was not going to go through all of that trouble doing this painting to have a whole bunch of holes in it!!!  Luckily I had some double sided adhesive squares that fit on the back, and were strong enough to hold it to the wall.  Second problem that I encountered is that it is NOT level!!!!  When I lined it up so that it was supposedly level, the laser line when at about a 15 degree angle up.  That just wasn't going to work for me.  With Tim's help I made the line what we thought was most level, and I just went with it.  The lines that I had drawn the night before did not match up with the level AT ALL.  So, I just tried to eyeball as best as I could, making sure the tape lined up with the laser line.  The horizontal tape lines were all 13 inches, two inches wider than the original cardboard.  I did this so that when I made the squares, I could match up the corners of the tape and make sharp corners.  I did the same with the vertical lines, which I cut at 16 inches.  

The cutting was probably the most tedious part of the project.  I wanted to make sure that the squares turned out to be as close to the same size as possible.  I know there are a few "fudges" here and there, but really, no one will notice like I did.  I did all of the horizontal lines first using the laser level.  After that, I went through and completed the squares with the longer pieces of tape.  I did that so that I could work from one end of the wall to the other.  

Taping the whole wall took a good 3 hours.  It is definitely worth taking time to line everything up though, makes things in the end much easier with less touch-ups to do.  Lindsay said she had to take a few wine breaks.....luckily I made it through with one bowl of cereal and one bottle of Mountain Dew.  And, luckily there was a Law and Order: SVU marathon on which kept my ears occupied!!

The next step I think is crucial.  Lindsay skipped it, and she said she regretted it, so I made sure that I did it!!  After I got everything taped up, I took the original wall color paint and painted over all of the blue painters tape.  If you have ever done a painting project you know no matter how hard you press down, the paint will still leak in!!  With a huge project like this, I thought it was imperative that I take time for this step.  And it didn't take too long because it doesn't have to be very precise as long as you get all of the tape covered.  What this does is "seal" the tape.  Wherever the paint will leak through to the wall, the original color seeps in.  That way, when you start painting with your second color, you will come out with nice clean lines.  

After two coats of the white and lots of drying time, I was ready to pull off the tape.  Depending on what color you had and what color you are painting, you may need more coats to cover evenly. 1...2....3....hold your breath....and start pulling!!  This turned out absolutely awesome.  Of course there are spots that need to be touched up, but let it dry overnight and go back and touch up.  I personally feel like I deserve a break for tonight, the project took me from 11-7 today!!  But it is totally worth it, it turned out amazing, and looks great in our bedroom.  

Because we had a newly built house, every wall in the house is the same color, and all of the trim is the same color.  The builder left us extra paint in the attic, so I didn't have to buy any at all.  And, because I used the same color as the trim for the wall color, I didn't have to worry about taping up the trim which just cuts out one step.  So, cost break down:
2 rolls of 1" painters tape - $10
Drop cloth - $4
New roller and paint holder - $10
Paint in attic - free
Laser Leveler - $35 (but I am promptly returning it tomorrow, so free)
Cost of project - $24

I think it was worth all of the time I put in to this project.  It turned out so great!!  I was so glad to be inspired, and hope that by writing of my experience, I can inspire someone else!  Geometric patterns are very in right now, so grab your paint and brush, and get going!


Holly said...

Wow, that really looks amazing! I'd never have that much patience.

Leslie Andersen said...

That's an awesome wall, Suzy! I can't believe you did it so fast!

It was great to meet you too!

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