Friday, December 23, 2011

To do list: (1) finish shopping, (2) wrap presents, (3) bake cookies, (4) attend Christmas parties, (5) paint horizontal stripes in the powder bath! Ho-ho-ho!!

For the past two weeks, I have been a busy woman with all the activities related to Christmas.  I had not done any Christmas shopping prior to December 15th, so I had to get into gear and get that done.  I think I baked more than 1,000 cookies in the past two weeks.  I've wrapped presents for myself and for others.  I've attended at least two Christmas parties.  So, with all of this going on, I decided that I needed to paint my brother & sister-in-law's powder bath.  I had a million things to do, so why not add one more!

I had a conversation with my sister-in-law Sadie about her powder bath.  The powder bath was lovely, but I felt that it needed something more to dress it up.  A powder room is usually the smallest room in a house and I think the space should wow all those who enter the it.  There is nothing worse than a taupe colored powder room.  I told Sadie that I wanted to paint tone-on-tone stripes in the powder bath.  She said "go for it."  What a great client!!  My brother Benard had previously painted the room Cloudy Sunset (Valspar color from Lowe's).  It's a maze-y gold color.  It's a nice color--very perky. 

Cloudy Sunset is the color on the left.

To paint tone-on-tone stripes, the base coat needs to be a flat or egg shell finish.  The stripes are then painted in the same color as the base coat but the finish needs to be a satin or high gloss finish.  Using a satin or glossy finish is what makes the contrast so that the stripes show up.  I did this treatment in the foyer of my second home, but I used a chocolate brown color.  The effect was fantastic!  I received a lot of compliments on my foyer. 

So, I started this project Tuesday morning.  Here is a photo of the space before I measured and penciled in the lines.

I decided to do horizontal stripes because the space is small and the stripes would make the room appear wider and/or larger.  I measured the width of the stripes to 12 inches.  Next, I marked the stripes on the wall using a #2 pencil.  I used a level to make sure the stripes were level on the wall.

Stripes shown in pencil.

After drawing the stripes, I then taped off the areas I wanted to paint.  I used Frog tape (green, not blue) and pressed down the edges with my thumb to achieve a tight seal.  This will prevent the paint from seeping underneath the tape and leaving jagged edges.

Stripes taped off.

Drawing the stripes and taping them off is very labor intensive.  But once you have the stripes taped off, then you can began painting the stripes.  The painting part goes pretty fast.  Once you have completed the painting, remove the tape at a 45 degree angle (prevents paint seepage).

This is what the walls look like in the powder bath.  You can see the stripes, but it is very subtle.  The lesson learned from doing tone-on-tone stripes is that this effect works better with darker colors.  In hindsight, I should have used the next color above the Cloudy Sunset to paint the stripe. 

The stripes are subtle.  Notice the stripe above the painting.

More importantly, my brother and sister-in-law are happy with the end result, so I guess that is all that matters! 

Tone-on-tone stripes are a great look for a lot of rooms in your home.  The effect looks great in a formal dining room.  If you have a chair rail in this space, vertical tone-on-tone stripes would really make an impression.  This would also be a great look with a harlequin pattern.  I am dying to try this in my powder bath.  Of course when I do, you will be the first to see it here!

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