Adventures in Painting

It’s Fall? Already? It felt like the last few weeks of summer just slipped through my fingers. Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkins, cider, wood stoves and down comforters, but I’m feeling a little wistful for one more afternoon swimming in the river.

Along with the leaves, everything in my life seems to have changed recently, all of it for good. I have a new job that I’m excited to go to every morning, and I’m settling into my new home. I love it here, and it’s been interesting working with such a blank slate.

It’s easy to forget how much work has gone into it when I’m looking at the finished (up to this point) product. When I moved in, it looked like this:

The bed was oriented on the other wall, and even my quilt couldn’t save the blankblankblank sterility. First things first, I painted all the walls Behr’s Almost Aqua and rearranged the furniture:

I had all these paint chips that I’d picked up, and as I fanned them out in my hands when I was initially trying to pick a wall color, I decided to paint stripes. I’d never actually even painted a wall a single color before this, but it seemed to go pretty well, and I generally have (overrated? misguided?) confidence in my DIY abilities. I came up with a color scheme, measured the intervals and taped.

With an even number of stripes in my repeat, that meant that I could tape half of them, paint half and then switch. The wall color was one of the stripes in the repeat, so there was that much less to tape and paint. Theoretically, it should have taken two days.

This was the end of day one (which I actually really like, and in retrospect, maybe should have stopped there:

Day two in progress:

But it wasn’t… right.

The dark grey and the yellow were too prominent, so all I could see was a road with a yellow dividing line. So two more nights of taping and painting and I came up with a softer palette that I like much better. It was helpful that the half pint sample cans were the perfect size for stripes this size. I only wish I’d realized that before I bought some of the initial colors in quart size.

Some tips and tricks? Taping is the most important and time consuming part. Take your time, because that’ll make the biggest difference.I did use a level, but the walls really aren’t level, so I relied more on measurements and perception. On a couple other blogs, I read about initially sealing the edges of the tape with the original wall color to prevent bleed through, but I didn’t do this. I did smooth down the tape with a credit card before painting, and that seemed to mostly do the trick. The only time I got drips that sent me panicking for a rag was when I used a brush on the thinner stripes. There were no accidental drips at all using a roller. Also, if I’d thought ahead, I would have played with the stripes on the computer or maybe with graph paper by hand beforehand, which would have saved me from having to do the redo. Oh well. Next time I know.

The rest of the room is starting to come together, but I have a big project in the works that’s going to maximize my storage and workspace in this smaller room. I’m excited to get started!

In the meantime, though, this is really starting to feel like home.



  1. Looks great. Seems like a nice apartment.

  2. Jennifer · · Reply

    Those stripes look AMAZING! It definitely looks like a cozy place to come to!

  3. […] card: Duchess Rose, Juicy Passionfruit, Wet Coral and Fire Island. I learned the hard way, from painting stripes on my wall in my last room, that the sample size goes a long way for decorative accents, and buying full quarts is overkill. I […]

  4. […] honestly, very similar to the color I painted my bedroom two years before […]

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