Half Bathroom

DIY Geometric Ombre Square Spiral Wall Design – Finished!

Y’all, the painted design on my bathroom walls is finished! Here’s how it turned out…

If you missed the first part of this project, you can find it here…

This design started with lots and lots of painters tape — four rolls, to be exact.

After seeing how busy and dizzying that taped off design looked with the stark contrast between the dark blue and white, I realized that the final design would have to have way less contrast. So I chose not to use the original three colors that I had purchased as they were out of the cans.

I came very close to using white and light gray, but after realizing that I not only have that combo on my music room walls, but also on the hallway walls, I decided against it.

Plus, this is a studio! I can do fun things in here that I might not have the courage to do in the main areas of my house. And when I thought about it, the last thing I wanted in my studio was gray and white. I wanted COLOR!

So I went back to the original three quarts of paint I had purchased for the bathroom, but instead of using them full strength, I mixed each one with white in a 1 part color, 2 parts white ratio. For the green, I used the green that is on the back entry walls mixed about 1:1 with white. And then for the blue and purple, I used the same white (Behr Polar Bear) and mixed in a little teal and purple acrylic craft paint to get the colors I wanted.

I had already painted the ceiling with the full-strength yellow paint, so I’m not sure yet if I’ll go back and paint it with the softer yellow or just leave it as it is.

I do have one very small area (you’ll see it on the end of the purple in the spiral above the window in the picture below) where the tape took the paint off the wall, so it will need repair.

And you might notice some pencil marks here and there. I use Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to remove the pencil marks (don’t ever use pencil erasers on your walls!). I purchased one box, which contains six Magic Erasers, and I used every single one of those until they completely disintegrated, and still didn’t get all of the pencil marks removed. So I’ll get the rest of them removed today.

So each spiral consists of six different colors that create an ombre effect where each color fades into the next color.

To achieve that look, I just painted the first color up to the corner, and then started at that corner with the next color, making sure that they didn’t touch so that the colors wouldn’t get mixed. Then I used a piece of a kitchen sponge (I cut a sponge into six pieces) to blend the colors into each other.

I originally tried a sea sponge to blend, but it didn’t work at all. The air holes in a sea sponge are too big for such fine blending, but a kitchen sponge worked perfectly.

Each spiral took two coats of paint. The blending on the first coat didn’t look great, but the second coat was much easier to achieve a soft gradient between the colors.

I wanted to do a video showing the process, but with me, plus two ladders, plus a work light on a tripod all in a tiny little bathroom, there was no way I could get another tripod for my camera in there. But I do have a scrap piece of drywall that I could use to demonstrate a spiral from start (i.e., how to tape it off) to finish. So I’ll see if I can get that done soon.

So that’s one thing done. Moving on to the next item. I hope to get the flooring installed today, and then I can move on to wainscoting and door casings.

EDIT:

Some of you have noticed a discrepancy in the second photo in this post showing the taped design and the finished painted design. I had originally left a center rectangle untaped, which resulted in a painted rectangle that looked like this…

That center painted rectangle bothered me, so on the spirals that had already been painted, I added three strips of tape and painted the center part white. On the ones that hadn’t been painted yet, I added more tape to the design so to eliminate the center painted rectangle. You can see the modified taped design here…

Update:

If you want to see a video tutorial of this wall design, you can see it here…

How to paint a multi-color square spiral wall design


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79 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    HeatherB
    April 10, 2019 at 9:43 am

    It’s really beautiful! And I’m so glad you stuck with some color…my heart sank a little when you were considering gray (although, with my conservative streak, if it had been me I probably would have stuck with the gray–and always would have had a twinge of regret).

    Can’t wait to see it complete in 5 weeks!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Missy
    April 10, 2019 at 9:46 am

    OMG OMG OMG this is just pure amazinggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    KellKell
    April 10, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Kristi that is simply AMAZING! I am blown away by how the color pops but isn’t school yard, it’s such a wonderful happy combo… I can’t wait to see it all come together!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheila F
    April 10, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Love it! Your attention to detail is amazing! The fade into the colors is my favorite part. I personally would like to see the ceiling softer. But as always I bow to your judgement because you have proven time and again to have the “eye” for these things. How does it feel to be working on your studio? Is is more fun knowing this is your very own space? You can be as wildly creative as you wish as this is your very own room! Haha
    Sheila F.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      April 10, 2019 at 2:07 pm

      I’m definitely having fun doing things in here that I probably wouldn’t do in the other parts of my house. I feel like this area can be more playful than the rest of the house.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    BeckyJ
    April 10, 2019 at 9:59 am

    That is amazing! Love the colors and the pattern is so interesting; so much for my eyes to take in 😍. JMO, but I think the lighter yellow on the ceiling might work better. Way to go Kristi!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Heather Gillett
    April 10, 2019 at 10:13 am

    LOVE it! GREAT job!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kim
    April 10, 2019 at 10:16 am

    OMG! that is amazing. I was so looking forward to seeing the full effect after your tease here and on Instagram. LOVE IT!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Danielle
    April 10, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Love the design and colors. I actually really like the yellow you already have on the ceiling. Matches but not too matchy matchy. Looks awesome.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    suzanne
    April 10, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Beautiful! You can order off brand magic erasers from Amazon. They are an incredible deal if you don’t mind a box of 20.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Rachel
      April 10, 2019 at 1:40 pm

      I also get decent off-brand magic erasers at Dollar Tree. They come in 2-packs for $1 and you can get either the regular magic eraser, or one that is half sponge/half magic eraser. Way cheaper than the name brand!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Teresa
    April 10, 2019 at 10:17 am

    I’m ashamed to admit it, but when you started, for the first time since I’ve been following, I had doubts. I was wrong. It’s fabulous! I should have known to trust you by now. My apologies for ever doubting you judgement!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen Shook
    April 10, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Every time I think you can’t out outdo yourself, you do! This may be my favorite thing you have done yet — at least today. 😄 Another morsel for thought: could you get this made into wallpaper the way you did for the other design you made for wallpaper? I think you could sell it if you wanted to. I love the yellow ceiling — it is like sunshine.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lez
    April 10, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Hi, I’m in awe of your drive and originality, regarding the ceiling it’s to soon for comments as photos don’t always show them correctly and we don’t know what’s next!
    My wish is someday in the future you will have an open day.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Theresa P
    April 10, 2019 at 10:25 am

    You have done a lot of really cool projects and this is one of my favorites. I love this. In every way. The color selection, the attention to detail, all of it. SO, SO gorgeous and cool at the same time. Yay!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elaine Ness
    April 10, 2019 at 10:31 am

    I just love it, Kristi. Makes me smile. I hope Matt likes it too.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kathy
      April 11, 2019 at 3:34 am

      Time for a wallpaper manufacturer to sit up and notice Kristi Linauer. She needs her own line!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Elaine Ness
        April 11, 2019 at 8:06 am

        How true, Kathy. Besides, I can see many possible streams of income, considering Kristi’s many creative projects and her unique ability to describe the steps. She can adapt along the way, as well. Anticipate and fix mistakes. I think she gives many the courage to venture into DYI in ways they never dreamed they could. Wait until the studio is done. Big things are ahead on this vicarious adventure we have been invited to take with her because she generously shares.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Deb
    April 10, 2019 at 10:33 am

    This is stunning. I just love it. BUT the ceiling has got to be lightened up. Your eye is drawn to that rather than the design–it just competes too much and it’s too heavy a color. I like your idea of the paler yellow.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jennifer
    April 10, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Did you have to tape again? I feel like my mind is missing something because the ombre effect seems to be where the painters tape was as opposed to being in the area the tape was not covering (both the taped photo and the “after” photo have a large area of white in the center). Looks amazing!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Helen Wishart
      April 10, 2019 at 10:51 am

      I agree with Jennifer – logically that patch of white in the center should have been taped off to keep it white but it wasn’t – I’m looking forward to the reveal of the “magic” that happened here. Beautiful.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Nikki H
      April 10, 2019 at 11:39 am

      Thank goodness someone else ask because my eyes are hurting from trying to see how you did this! How did the large area in the center of each spiral have white? Please help!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Rachel
      April 10, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      Yes, this is what I came to ask! I love it, but I can’t figure out how you could do it without taping all the white areas.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Jennifer
      April 10, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      Came back again because I couldn’t stop thinking about it! I looked at the instagram photo and it actually appears that the whole middle was colored instead of white. Did you start this way and then go back and paint over part of the middle with white Kristi?

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Kristi
        April 10, 2019 at 2:10 pm

        Yes, that was the original design, but then I modified it a bit. I added an edit to the bottom of the post to explain.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Jennifer
          April 10, 2019 at 2:21 pm

          Thank you for the edit and clarification! Makes complete sense with that final photo!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      April 10, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      I added an edit to the bottom of the post to explain. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alison
    April 10, 2019 at 10:38 am

    I love everything about this! I like the yellow of the ceiling and hope you’ll give the black wainscotting a try. I think all together it will be beautiful and sophisticated.

    And yes, please give us a how-to video, and also make a wallpaper so those of us without your patience can enjoy this pattern on our walls, too! I would totally buy some (but if I had to paint it, it’d never happen!)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie
    April 10, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Rainbow victory!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Devra
    April 10, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Soooo pretty! Maybe you could make window coverings in the same yellow as the ceiling. I always look forward to your blog

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda
    April 10, 2019 at 10:51 am

    OMG! That is amazing. Love love it!!! I say leave the yellow ceiling alone for awhile, and see how it works with the lighting once you have it in. I like it, like it is. 😋

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jennie
    April 10, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Incredible!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Helen Wishart
    April 10, 2019 at 10:52 am

    I agree with Jennifer – logically that patch of white in the center should have been taped off to keep it white but it wasn’t – I’m looking forward to the reveal of the “magic” that happened here. Beautiful.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Pam
    April 10, 2019 at 10:57 am

    THIS IS AMAZING!!! The colors are perfect! and your skill at taping it off and painting it…WOW!! I’d gone crazy!! lol Can’t wait to see the flooring! Love everything you do!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michele
    April 10, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Spectacular! No other word will suffice. If you are taking suggestions, I say leave the ceiling as is. I think the difference in color saturation between the walls and the ceiling is very attractive.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lekshmi
    April 10, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Bravo!! This is just amazing .

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen
    April 10, 2019 at 11:48 am

    One word. WOW!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jody
    April 10, 2019 at 11:55 am

    You are a genius and a saint!! Genius for coming up with this design and it’s execution. Saint because I would NEVER have the patience to something like this. This is so you!! AMAZING!! I think you deserve to be on Good Morning America or something for this.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kelly
    April 10, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Not only do I wish I were this brave and creative but also patient!!! I could never do something so tedious and precise as this. It looks so cool!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi C
    April 10, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    I love how you used color on the ceiling too. Yellow is my favorite! And the blending is beautiful, I didn’t even notice it at first but really takes the design up a few notches 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    BobsGal
    April 10, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    YOU ARE……. AH……MAZ……ZING!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    cyd
    April 10, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    I, too, think the ceiling as is may be perfect with the shiny black you’re thinking of for the vanity. Going paler would be too matchy-matchy. Can’t wait to see it all put together.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Molly
    April 10, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Just a thought, but what if you took the wall and ceiling color from your studio and used that for the ceiling in there? I feel like it wouldn’t detract from the beautiful walls and tie nicely to your other rooms while still giving you color.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Marianne in Mo.
      April 10, 2019 at 2:15 pm

      I like that idea too, although I like the yellow also. Am totally amazed that you did all that taping, there’s no way I would have even tried it! But it came out very nice! You are very good at fading the color into the next one.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Amy
    April 10, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    That looks so unique and the colors are beautiful together! Are you putting up crown molding to finish of the area where the wall and ceiling meet? I am assuming so. Can’t wait to see the progress!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    kellie
    April 10, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Just a tip that you can buy generic magic erasers on ebay for pennies on the dollar. Paying full price for the “magic eraser” brand is highway robbery. Just search for melamine or even magic eraser on ebay.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jeannie
    April 10, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I like the ceiling as it is but whatever you decide will be fantastic! Can’t wait to see the rest!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Crystal Carpenter
    April 10, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    WOW LOVE IT!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alta Craig
    April 10, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    I like the yellow on the ceiling just as it is. I think it would balance nicely with the black wainscoting.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elena
    April 10, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    wow, love it! i wish i had so much patience ))

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cathy Loftis
    April 10, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    I love you. You are so talented and not afraid to try things. I would lighten up the ceiling because your eyes are drawn to it immediately.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Linda
      April 10, 2019 at 6:03 pm

      Actually I never noticed when looking at first picture. I had to go back to get a better look after reading some comments here. I like it as is. But that’s just me 😀

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Erin P
      April 10, 2019 at 8:10 pm

      It turned out great! I have to tell you, I was really worried about the pattern being very dizzying… however you solved it beautifully with both the muted rainbow and the ombré/fade. Love, love, love it! It’s totally giving me lots feels from my childhood too! I was the one kid who didn’t have rainbows in her room, and always loved them! (But I *did* have unicorns!)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carol E
    April 10, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    I love how you “GO” for it and intuitively know what visually will make you happy. Another happy room with delicious colors and I salute you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Angela Wutz Qiblawi
    April 10, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Wow!!!! It’s like a rainbow topped with a sunshine cherry!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Armenia Pagan
    April 10, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Wow! Truly amazing! I am in awe of your tremendous talent.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    maha
    April 10, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Amazing. I’ve been following your blog for a little while and am amazed by the ideas you come up with and then figure out how to execute. But even for you, this seems next level. I don’t have the artistic/decorating talent that you have, but you inspire to me to at least try new things even in other realms of life.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cee
    April 10, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Holy Cow and Wow!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    JoAnne
    April 10, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    This is beyond incredible. Great Job!

    JoAnne

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tirsa
    April 10, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    Oh wow, that is so much fun! I love it! All that taping really paid off! I am visualizing the room with the wainscoting. I can’t wait to see what you decide to do with the ceiling.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dina C.
    April 10, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Once again, your creativity blows my mind! I can’t wait to see the finished space. Thanks for clearing up the center triangle issue. I was stumped trying to figure out why it looked different then I expected.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon Emanuel
    April 10, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    I like the new modified version. I say lighten the ceiling. I can’t wait to see the room finished!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheryl
    April 10, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    Beautiful! you’re going to wow them on the make-over show!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan C
    April 10, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Fantastic., and so your style! And geometric like you wanted! I was so worried you would waste time trying gray! Just perfect for your studio bathroom. Very happy place! And so creative how you came up with the design and process of achieving this look! IMO, the yellow ceiling is a bit too harsh and would be perfect toned down…but even if you don’t, you should really be proud of this design!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sherre
    April 11, 2019 at 5:41 am

    “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” 🙂 The tall, emerald green entrance and the swirly rainbow walls make me think of The Wizard of Oz and all it’s whimsy! And OMG….you’re going to have poppies in your studio wallpaper, right? Haha, the direction you’ve gone is so much fun and I love that you have a space that you can let your colors run free!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon
    April 11, 2019 at 8:19 am

    It’s beautiful! You have an infinite amount of talent as well as an infinite amount of patience! Well done!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue
    April 11, 2019 at 9:58 am

    Wow! I love this geometric pattern and all the color. Beautiful job with the blending.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    chiflipper
    April 11, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    No way could I do this…it boggles the mind. SO pretty.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dana Lee
    April 12, 2019 at 11:34 am

    When I do any kind of marking on walls for murals, I use water color pencils. Then, when it is time for clean up, it then just takes a little bit of water on a rag to get rid of any lines that show. Just be sure to use a color that blends well with your paint because the paint will dissolve the pencil in any areas that are painted over and color transfer can happen.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chris
    April 12, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Kristi, the design and colors are truly spectacular. I showed my designer daughter and thought it too very creative and well executed. The only thing she questioned was why you don’t use “Frog painters tape” It does not bleed with crisp edges and is an exceptional product in which she used very successfully. There are several different tapes available in green or yellow, depending on how long it will remain on the wall. Keep in mind for next time.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mitzi Walker
    May 14, 2019 at 6:54 am

    That is freaking AMAZING! I just have one question, how in the H**L did you get all that tape up there straight and perfectly placed without losing your mind. I would have taken a gun to myself before I ever finished. Gotta give you kudos for tenacity! At any rate, so cool, and perfectly colorful, just like all your design choices. Looking forward to what is next.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Bettsi
    August 9, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    You are seriously a genius. I can’t get over these walls. So drool worthy. Love, love, love!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    CoCo
    September 24, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Really stunning. I so admire your patience and creativity. You are a complete rock star!

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