Striped Painted Curtains Part 1

Good morning, friends!  I finally have some progress to show you on my painted curtains for my hallway washer/dryer closet.  I’m so excited about how these are turning out!  Here’s a sneak peek for you…

I’ll have the finished product to show you soon, but for now, here’s how I did it.

Tools & Supplies:

  1. 6 yards of heavy cotton drapery lining;
  2. Matching thread;
  3. Sewing machine;
  4. Scissors;
  5. Latex paint in color(s) of your choice (I used both flat and satin finish paints);
  6. Paint brush;
  7. Painters tape;
  8. Tape measure;
  9. Floetrol paint conditioner.



If you are using ready-made curtain panels, you can skip these first few steps (obviously).  I prefer to make my own curtain panels, so I made some very simple unlined panels out of heavy cotton drapery lining.  Initially I thought I wanted to use cotton duck, but I was concerned that it would be too heavy and wouldn’t drape nicely, especially after being painted.  This heavy cotton drapery lining turned out to be absolutely perfect for this project.

1.  I started by cutting my six yards of fabric in half to use 3 yards per panel.  If your ceiling is higher than 8 feet, you’ll need to adjust this quantity.

2.  Starting on the bottom edge of the fabric, I turned the fabric up 3 inches and pinned.

3.  And then I turned it up another 3 inches and pinned in place.  (A standard drapery hem is 4 inches.  Not really sure why I did 3 inches, but that’s just what I felt like doing at the time.)  🙂

4.  Next I folded the bottom corners.  To make a neat corner, I started by turning the fabric in about 3/4 inch.

5.  And then I turned it in another 3/4 inch.  Then I pressed it really hard with my fingers to create creases in the fabric.

6.  Then I unfolded the fabric.  You can see the two creases in the fabric.

7.  I folded the bottom corner up at a 45-degree angle along the second crease.

8.  Then I refolded the edge once…

9.  And then again.  This creates a really nice finished corner.

10.  I continued folding the curtain panel on each side all the way up to the top.

11.  Next I used my tape measure to measure from the bottom edge of the curtain panel up to the finished length of my curtain panel (I made mine 91 inches high).  I did the top edge the same way I did the bottom edge–turn under 3 inches, and then another 3 inches.  On the top edge, I didn’t other making the pretty corners.  With all of the edges turned and pinned, I simply sewed all of the hemmed edges in place.

12.  Once the curtain panel was completely sewn, I put a large piece of scrap MDF on my table and then spread out my curtain panel.

13.  Next I gathered my painting supplies and prepared the paint using the instructions on the Floetrol bottle.

14.  Using my tape measure, I measured out all of the stripes and marked them off with painters tape.

15.  Before painting each stripe, I burnished the painters tape using my fingers just to be sure I would get straight lines.  Then I applied the paint using a brush.  The paint went on beautifully, and the painters tape worked better on fabric than it does on walls…really!  My lines were nearly perfect!

16.  With all of the stripes painted, I left the panel to dry for about two hours.  I wanted to be really sure everything was good and dry before moving it.  I didn’t want to take any chances at getting paint on any of the white areas of the curtain panel.

One of my biggest concerns about painting the fabric with latex paint was that it would make the fabric too stiff (and possibly crunchy) to drape nicely.  I had absolutely no problem at all.  The paint really had no effect on how the fabric draped, and it wasn’t at all stiff…or crunchy.

So that’s it for now!  I’m so excited about how these are turning out.  I still have to finish up the second panel, and then I’ll show you the finished closet.  Stay tuned!



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  1. Thanks for posting this, Kristi! I have been racking my brain, trying to come up with a way to do curtains on a budget….we are on a major budget! You gave me an inspiration…esp. since I have a big wall stencil I might try out on the curtains. : ) I’ll keep you posted!

  2. I’m always on the edge of my seat when I see a message from you in my email’s inbox! Can’t wait to do this myself. I’m moving this summer and it will be so fun to personalize my new home with custom-painted window treatments!

  3. Great job! I’m on a MAJOR budget and I purchased drapery blackout lining to make curtains. I ended up getting for $4/yd, and it’s been sitting in my closet while I found a good tutorial on painting curtains. Thank you for going step by step through your measurements and technique. I already have Floetrol, so that will be easy to put to use! Your curtains and stripes turned out so well!

  4. Kristi,
    Did you do just one coat of paint on the curtains or two? How do you know how much of the Floetrol to put into the paint? Are the curtains washable after you paint on them? I would think that perhaps they can be washed on the gentle cycle in cold water but no dryer. How would you iron them after you paint them? Thanks for the help.

    1. Hi Lee~
      If I remember correctly the darker colors only needed one coat, but the lighter ones needed two. Or maybe I have that backwards. 🙂 I do know that I painted until the colors looked even, but I didn’t put it on super thick.

      I added the amount of Floetrol that was recommended on the bottle for the amount of paint I had.

      I haven’t washed my curtains, but I would either hand wash or wash on gentle cycle. And definitely don’t dry them. Then iron on the backside.