Friday, January 25, 2013

How To: Checkerboard Pattern

So I don't have pictures of each step in the process of painting the checker board pattern like a good DIY blogger. But then again, I've never claimed to be a DIY blogger. I am so proud of this wall that I wanted to share with you how we did it in case you wanted to use the idea in your home.

Materials we used:

Tape measure
Yardstick/big ruler (not pictured)
Laser level (not pictured)
Frog tape
Paint brush
(also not pictured - my helpers)

First thing we did was measure the dimensions of the wall and figured out how big the squares were going to be based on how many columns I thought I wanted. For no particular reason, I thought five columns of squares would be a good number. Since the wall is 132.5 inches wide, the squares needed to be 26.5 inches wide (and tall) and we were able to get exactly five squares across. Yay for round numbers! We didn't get full squares going top to bottom (we got about 3 and a third squares), but I didn't mind that as much since we put the partial squares at the floor where they wouldn't be as noticeable.

Replica of original sketch, which I threw away after we were done. Told ya I'd be a bad DIY blogger.

We drew a sketch of the wall and identified which squares would be painted with the gloss. 

Next, we got to work measuring and drawing the lines on the wall for the squares. (Why is it that in home improvement projects the longest phase is always the prep/demo? It's most definitely the least fun part of the project and usually why I procrastinate on so many projects.) We started with all the vertical lines using the yardstick to make starting marks 26.5 inches out from the wall (and then previous line). Then one of us (me) held the laser level along those marks while the other (my sister) used the yardstick and pencil to draw a straight line all the way down, repeating the process for the horizontal lines.

We decided to do the actual painting of the gloss in two groups so we wouldn't have to tape off each individual square, which would have made the process even longer. Using the frog tape, we taped along the lines we drew so we could paint the first and third rows.

The first coat looked good, but we thought a second coat would make sure the gloss was noticeable. So we let the first coat dry for 30-45 minutes before painting the second. Then we took a break to allow that first group to dry for an hour and half before peeling off the tape and starting again on the second group.

Since we already had the lines well established with the first group, we didn't tape the second all the way across the wall and instead just taped around the remaining four squares and repeated the painting process. And once it had dried for a bit, we pulled off the tape, and we were done!

About mid-way through the taping of the first group, I got cold feet about how big the squares were going to be. So we stopped and talked about doing six or seven columns instead as we didn't want to do too many (that really would have taken a long time) because it would have been too busy. But when I calculated how big the squares would have been if we did seven columns of square, I realized it was only a few inches in difference and decided to leave it at five. I am so glad I did as I like the big squares. It doesn't feel too busy, and I feel like I can still add art to that wall without taking attention away from the checkerboard pattern.

The whole project was not nearly as bad or as hard as I thought it was going to be. But then that's usually what happens.

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Seriously, prep is the WORST. Especially when you're doing a pattern. When I striped my hallway it took an whole evening just to figure out width and tape. But, the extra, careful prep is always worth it :)