At long last, my colorful gradient vertical striped walls in the home gym are finished! I painted the final stripe and peeled the last piece of tape off the walls at 11:35 last night, and was so exhausted that I made absolutely no attempt to clean up the mess in the center of the room. Please be so kind as to over look that for now. 🙂
Y’all, I was beginning to think this project was a lost cause. A few nights ago, I got so frustrated and came very close to painting over everything in a solid color. But now that it’s finished, I’m glad that I persevered.
I had so much trouble with this project. I don’t know if it’s the insufferable humidity we’ve had lately, the primer that I used on the walls, or the painters tape that I used. Or maybe it was all three working together to create a perfect storm that tried to doom my striped wall project. But whatever it was, it created so many problems that required tedious and time-consuming repairs.
But in the end, things turned out well. And talk about colorful!! I love how lively and energetic this room feels. These walls are the perfect backdrop for a home gym for this color-loving girl.
FYI, that streak that you see on the wall in the photo above is sunlight coming through the branches of the big oak tree in the front yard, through the window, and onto this wall. Those stripes, as far as the paint goes, are flawless. 🙂
So let me give a quick rundown of the process from the beginning. I started by priming and painting the walls, and letting that dry for about three days. Then I was ready to do the stripes.
I knew exactly where I wanted the two main colors on each end of the spectrum of colors I had chosen. I wanted the darkest teal to be in the center of the main wall where the I’ll build the Swedish ladder. And I wanted the darkest reddish pink color to be on the main wall of the closet. So I measured the wall space between those areas, and determined how wide my stripes needed to be to get those colors to land exactly where I wanted them while keeping my colors in the exact gradient I selected.
That made my stripes 5 7/8 inches wide. I cut a paint stir stick to that width and used it to make marks along the top of the wall all around the room.
With those marked off, I then used a pencil and bubble level to mark all of the vertical lines. I initially tried a laser level, but that didn’t work for me at all. The old school way, using a bubble level and a pencil, was much faster and easier for me.
Once I had the lines marked off, I numbered my paint cans in the exact gradient I wanted them to appear on the walls, and then I numbered the wall stripes along the top of the wall to match the paint color I was going to use for each stripe.
(Note: If you’re reading this post on any website other than Addicted 2 Decorating, that means you’re reading on a site that is stealing my blog content. I hope you’ll consider joining me on my actual blog by clicking here.)
I used 15 paint colors, and I did my gradient so that the stripes went from 1 to 15, and then back down from 14 to 1. In other words, I didn’t do 1 to 15 and then start over at 1 with the next stripe. If that’s confusing, it’ll make more sense when you see the colors on the walls.
Next, I marked off the stripes using 1/4-inch painters tape. I used two different brands. The tape that was used on 99% of the stripes that were damaged is called STIKK, and I found it on Amazon. I would NOT recommend it. When I ran out of it, I used 3M. I had very little damage on the walls where I used the 3M tape (which is bright green, and I happened to find locally at an auto supply store with the car paints and pinstriping supplies). This process was tedious, but I found that it went much faster if I taped off three stripes at a time. That greatly reduced the number of times I had to climb the ladder and then get on my knees to do the bottom part.
After everything was taped off, I sealed the tape with a thin coat of the white wall paint.
Taping off all of the stripes in the whole room and numbering each one to coordinate with my paints before painting any stripes saved a ton of time. This way I could paint all of one number at once, and then move on to the next number and do all of those.
After I got all of the stripes painted, I should have been able to remove the tape and have finished walls. But this is where that perfect storm had other ideas. As I began to remove the tape, it peeled off the paint and primer right down to the bare drywall. It didn’t do this on all of them, but it certainly did enough to cause me a huge headache and a ton of areas to repair.
The ones where it peeled off almost all the way down the stripe were so disheartening. But interestingly, it didn’t peel off any of the colors. It only peeled off right inside the white stripe area.
After I removed all of the tape, it didn’t look terrible from far away, but up close, the damage was very obvious. And it wasn’t just a difference in color that could be covered with paint. The problem was that the areas that peeled down to the drywall also created an unsightly texture. Those areas would have been very visible if I had just painted over them.
So I had to tape all of those areas off, this time making sure to use the tape for delicate surfaces, and then I used a 1.5-inch putty knife to fill in those areas with drywall mud.
After it dried, I sanded very carefully with 220-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough areas, and then I painted the areas with two coats of the white paint.
The entire main wall had to be taped off, but this isn’t because the paint peeled. This is the wall where I tried the freeform design before I painted the stripes, so the stripes needed to be repainted. There were a few areas on this wall that had peeled, though.
It was a mess for a while, but this method of repairing the little white stripes worked out great.
But my gosh, there were a ton of repairs that I had to do!!
But here are the finished walls. I’m very pleased with how they turned out. And I’m very glad that I decided to paint the ceiling white rather than continue the stripes on the ceiling. I love my colors, but I love them tempered with lots of white.
The colorful stripes will be tempered even more when I install all of the trim (crown molding, casings, and baseboards) and paint all of those white.
But even now, I love the walls, and I’m glad I persevered to the end.
Here’s where you can see just how precisely I planned the stripes so that the darkest reddish pink color would land on that closet wall. That took some very careful planning. 😀
So next up, I need to do the floor repairs and get it ready for the foam floor installation. But I’m going to hold off on installing the foam floor tiles until I get all of the trim and lighting installed. I want all of the construction projects and painting finished before I bring the flooring in.
But the most time-consuming part of this room is done. I’m so glad to have that behind me now! I’m hoping that the rest will go much smoother from here on out.
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I hope you’ll join me on my DIY and decorating journey! If you want to follow my projects and progress, you can subscribe below and have each new post delivered to your email inbox. That way you’ll never miss a thing!