Monday, September 26, 2011

House Talk: Painting diamonds on the wall

When trying to come up with my blogging calendar I often struggle. So, this time I decided to take a stroll around my own home for inspiration so what you are getting is a real life look at my painting abilities {or measuring, for that matter.. }.

When we moved into our house five years ago I knew I wanted something a little different and dramatic for the dining room. At that point wallpaper was not my thing, although I lust over it now despite the painful hanging process. Note to self: My next dining room WILL have wallpaper.  This was our first house so it has been a learning experience. Nonetheless, I am pleased when I see the outcome of the many pencils marks, levels and pieces of paper with various mathematical problems scribbled all in pursuit of the perfect dimension for the dining room diamonds.

Once, I knew the color palette I was looking for I bought a large piece of foam board, painted it, held it to the wall at different times of day to determine if I could live with it. Some may think this is a little over the top, but this was also a live and learn lesson that has since saved me time, energy and paint! I settled on two blue-ish gray colors.  The lighter tone being the base color and the darker as the diamond.

Next, was truly the most complicated part out of this process.  Trying to measure and line up the diamonds to the walls was rather cumbersome especially since we were only working with 2 full walls, not an enclosed area.  So, we started in the corner and worked our way out.
First, we measured the wall space and then divided the width and height by the amount of diamonds we were hoping to paint.  This was tweaked a few times once we actually used a pencil and drew the lines on the walls and used blue painter's tape to test the results of the math.  Since we started from the corner we were more concerned about the diamonds being of equal measurement rather than a specific number of diamonds per wall. Wrapping a design around a room creates the pattern 'look' and this was my goal since we were working with limited space.

Next, we aligned the painter's tape along the outside of the light-colored line where you DO NOT want to paint. This may sound like a no-brainer but after this amount of math and seeing blue tape everywhere it becomes very easy to forget if you are painting inside or outside of the tape.  {I have been known to use post-it notes but that was for painting stripes and will share that another day, for sure}.

Anyway, the next part is very important for crisp lines, which are essential when painting geometric shapes on walls. Using the light color (base color of wall)  paint the edges of the tape to create a seal.   This way, if paint seeps under the tape, it will be the same color as the base color of the wall. I have also learned this the hard way and had feathered edges, which is not a pretty site.  This little trick really does work and produces professional results.

Once the paint is dry, roll on the darker color in the diamond shape. This is the easiest part of the process so sit back, relax and roll.

Finally, pull off the tape at a 45-degree angle to the wall. You may think I am being a little picky with the whole degree thing but it really matters.  Also, it is fine to pull off the tape as soon as you finish painting, you do not need to wait for the diamond to dry.

And since you made it to this part of this little tutorial.. here are diamonds a la Libby Lane Press :

Don't mind the obtrusive light fixture.. just wanted you to see the end result from afar. 

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