How about a big round of applause for my patient, engineering brained husband who so graciously helped me create my dream of a chevron wall in our dining room!
Hello all! Feels like it's been forever since my last post -- hope you didn't miss me too much. Ruthie has been itching to get me back on here to talk about our soon-to-be famous chevron wall, so here I am. For those of you who have been out of the loop, one of our first and most important projects after moving into our new house, but before shooting our final round of House Hunters, was to tackle the ever-daunting chevron wall. It was mostly daunting to me because I knew I was going to spend forever on it. I have a tendency to be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to certain things, so there was no question I was going to end up spending much longer on this thing than I had to. The outcome, however, was sure to be one rockstar of a chevron wall. What I learned throughout the process was that it's really not as hard as you might think, and once you get started, you can make fairly quick work of it.
STEP 1: What kind of chevron will complete me?
Not being a chevron expert when I started this process, it hadn't really occurred to me that there were different ways to make a chevron wall. Ruthie started asking me which type of chevron wall I preferred, and at that point, I realized I was going to have to consider all our options before weighing in on what I liked the most. We looked at some different designs and talked about what we liked and what we didn't. Thin or thick stripes? Taller or wider pattern? Subtle or bold color contrast? Some simple Pinterest'ing helped us figure out how our ideal wall would look, and we hit the ground running.
STEP 2: How on earth do I get started?
The good news is that there are a lot of how-to posts out there to help you get started on your wall, and I did read through a few of them to make sure I wasn't overlooking anything obvious. I gathered my level, my pencil, painter's tape, and an exact-o knife. By the way, the level I used was a life-saver. For a project like this especially, it really paid off to have an all-in-one level and 24" rule. In terms of starting your pattern, some recommended starting from the ceiling, some from the floor, some from the side of your wall -- I ultimately decided to start from the center of the wall. I figured it would make the wall look the most natural, allowing your chevron pattern to meet boundaries in "not so perfect" ways. I picked a spot in the middle of the wall and made my first dot in pencil.
STEP 3: Measure, dot, measure, dot... *breathe*...
Be prepared to spend your next few hours carefully measuring and dotting your wall. I would recommend making your chevron pattern using nice, round numbers so it will be easier to measure out. Why not simplify this whole process in any way you can? Since we liked the 45-degree angled chevrons, I eye-balled the approximate size of the first chevron and I decided on 12". I measured 12" at a 45-degree angle up from my original dot to create dot #2. I then measured down from there 12" at a 45-degree angle to create dot #3. At this point, I've now created my first chevron. Please hold your applause. You've only just begun. Instead of continuing that process across the wall, I realized over time that I could speed things up by measuring out parallel chevrons vertically instead of working my way across the wall horizontally. In other words, once you've carefully mapped out those first 3 dots, you can now start measuring up and down from there. I had decided on 8 inch stripes, so using my 24" level, I could make 3 new dots vertically from a single measurement (at 8", 16", and 24"). 3 measurements and 9 dots later, I now had 4 parallel chevrons on my wall. That's a heck of a lot more productive than going dot by dot across your wall. Do that over and over again until your wall is completely mapped out
STEP 4: Holy tape
I actually preferred the taping over the measuring/dotting. It seemed to go faster and feel more fulfilling as you can visualize the chevron coming together before your eyes. As you're taping, keep in mind that you must tape "inside" the unpainted portions of your wall. In other words, I needed to leave a full 8" of real estate open for the sections I was painting, and the sections I wasn't painting, they basically had 2" of tape and 6" of protected territory. If you have a helper, one person can be taping and the other person can be following them with the exact-o knife to clean up the tape intersections. Take your time to make nice, clean cuts and your finished product will be worth the extra effort. As you cut, you can put the excess tape pieces inside your no-paint-zone as a reminder.
STEP 5: Get your paint on
The easiest part of the whole process -- paint it. Just make sure you're painting in the sections you're supposed to. Hopefully the pieces of no-paint-zone-tape will help you remember where you should and shouldn't paint. Try to not use too much paint on your brush, as it can bleed under your tape and create some unclean lines.
STEP 6: Unveil your masterpiece
Easily the most rewarding step is when it comes time to peel all the tape off and bask in your wall's new chevron glory. All your hard work has hopefully paid off in what is an exquisite, perfectly-measured, perfectly-painted chevron work of art. Alas, if you're not quite the perfectionist I am and maybe some aspects of your measurements or taping weren't quite as exact as they should have been, the good news here is that the chevron pattern does a pretty amazing job of hiding things.
Light color is Behr Granite Boulder
Chevrons are Behr Squirrell
Well there you have it. I hope some of you brave souls will tackle a chevron wall in your own home and let us know how it turns out. Or if some of you have already done so, tell us how it went. Happy painting!
Thank you Jonny Hart!! We all know that my chevron wall would have been a sloppy mess (patience is a virtue I can't seem to grasp). I am so obsessed with the wall and will be forever indebted to you with back rubs and tickle scratches :-). I love you babe!
& don't forget about the business card giveaway!!