The impatient girl’s guide to chevron walls in a single evening

I’m kind of an OC person when it comes to certain things — like hanging the bathmat over the edge of the tub so it dries, or not going to bed if there are dishes in the sink, or organizing the kids’ clothes in very specific ways (stay tuned — that’s coming soon).
But when it comes to design/decor/crafty things, I’m much more … relaxed? I kind of go with the flow, and see how things turn out, and then just sort of go with whatever happens. I always say “There’s no crying in baseball, and there are no mistakes in crafting.” Those who know me understand that I’m a messy crafter/painter, and I’m basically just a huge HIPPIE when it comes to creative things. Peace and love and glueguns, you know?
So, of course, I am a terrible candidate for doing any kind of labour-intensive, highly-precise stuff.
Like painting zig-zag stripes on my powder room walls!
But I thought, you know what, WHATEVER. I want chevon walls, Darling Husband refuses to paint anything other than “whole walls,” so I’m just going to do it. And I did it. In a single late-afternoon-to-evening period.
Here’s my highly-technical not-at-all technical guide, if you are (A) lazy about measuring and levelling stuff, and (B) really eager to get to a finished product, and (C) don’t care if it’s precisely perfect
I sketched out what I wanted to do, quickly measured each wall, determined that all of the walls together equalled 248 inches (which meant I could do 31 sections measuring eight inches each). That is as technical as I got!

Even thought I knew the room totalled 248 inches, I was nervous about getting down to the last section of the last wall and realizing the last chevron would be too small. So I wrote out exactly where my “chunks of eight” would be. It made it a lot faster for the next step …

Darling Husband graciously agreed to do the base coat (plain white satin off the shelf), so this is the point where I stepped into the bathroom …

Tools of the job (except I never actually did use the tape measurer). Who needs levels? Pfffft! You’re lucky I’m using a meter-stick!

I press the meter-stick against a random part of the wall, eyeballed it to see if it was level, and then started using a pencil to make little dots every eight inches. See the dots above “13” and “21”?

Once I went all the way around the room making dots at one level, I measured eight inches up, and then continued to make another row of dots all around the room. I did this until I got bored of it, and THAT’S how I magically decided I had enough dots. Are you amazed at my foresight?

Time for tape! No, Frogtape didn’t sponsor this post, but they’re welcome to contact me. This was my first time using it (we usually buy the green basic painters’ tape), but I decided to shell out a little extra since I wanted really crisp lines. And it really was awesome.

Now that I had a wall full of little pencil dots, I just used strips of tape to connect them! I taped from one dot down to the next dot on the row below. Easy-peasy!

Since I was going to be painting grey chevrons, and leaving white space in between each one, I used an exacto-knife to make really crisp points where grey paint would be in contact. On the “outside” sections, it didn’t have to be neat. Does that make sense? I hope so. Because I kept having to remind myself which was a “good” section and which was a “bad” section.

This is the point where I stood back and went “Oh crap! They’re not even!” and then reminded myself that the “skinny” stripes are actually the parts that won’t be painted grey. So if you look carefully, you’ll see that the section inside the “fat” stripes is very neatly taped, with crisp corners. The section inside the “skinny” stripes is wonky at the corners, because it doesn’t matter.

Once all the tape was on the walls, I pressed down on the “good” edges (where grey paint would touch). Other bloggers said to actually paint here first with more of your base colour (white) to “seal the tape,” but who has time for that? Sorry, I have a two-year-old and a (then) four-month-old. Pressing the tape down was good enough for me.

Grey paint on the walls! Very exciting! I think it actually took four full coats to cover completely. White is a bitch to paint over, it seems, even with a fairly light colour.

Once the fourth and final coat of paint was on the walls, I waited about 15 minutes, and then pulled off the tape. I was expecting a horror show (because I didn’t “seal” the tape with more white paint first), but it turned out really well. Impressive job, Frogtape! Want to sponsor a post on my blog?

Ready for the big reveal?

Oooh! Ahhh! No, it’s not perfect, but it looks pretty great.

And yes, I painted that canvas after seeing a similar one on Pinterest. I love how it turned out!

I bought these frames at the Dollar Store, slapped about eighty coats of yellow on them, and hung ’em up. I didn’t actually put real photos in them until about a week later, but I promise I did it.
Thanks for checking out my powder room! I hope I inspire other impatient girls to paint chevrons in their own homes. Remember, it’s not about levels and being a crazy perfectionist — it’s just about doing something fun, and being happy with the results.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go straighten my bath mat so it’s perfectly even.

5 Comments on “The impatient girl’s guide to chevron walls in a single evening

  1. This is awesome, and it looks perfect on here! I'm so impressed, especially because I know how hard it must have been for you to take your time and do SOME measuring. I thought you were too much of a creative free-spirit for chevrons. I admit that I was wrong, they're great!


  2. Looks amazing – great work on the chevrons and I love the colours you chose (we have a gray and white bathroom too)!


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