Friday, April 19

For the Love of Stripes

I know I've talked before about how much I love stripes. And how badly I want to get some in our house. Well, I finally found a way to bring some in without the commitment of painting the walls (for husband's sake). :)  I took the plunge and painted the curtains in the guest room! Which is a little funny, since the curtains are made of drop cloths (you can see how I made them here). I've been thinking about painting them for a while now but I kept putting it off because I was worried about how they would turn out - would it look cheap? Would it be splotchy in the light? Would it be super stiff? But desperate times call for desperate measures (husband sometimes thinks I'm a bit dramatic. I don't see it.) so I decided to go for it! And I'm happy to say I've been really pleased with the results!

I started by laying out the curtains and using a tape measure and pencil to mark every foot up both sides.

Then I took a long piece of painters tape and stretched it out between my arms across the curtain. I lined each end up with the bottom mark and pressed the ends down first. Then I pushed down the middle of the tape. That worked out best for getting a straight line between the marks. (if I had a wider curtain I would have made another set of marks down the middle of the curtain to help keep it straight, but since these are so narrow I could easily reach across and keep them straight)

B showing off his prize for being a good helper - his own piece of tape!

If you want your stripes to be even sizes, it's important to alternate putting the tape above or below your marks. So for instance in the pic below I'm planning on the bottom stripe being painted so I lined up the bottom edge of the tape with my marks. Then for the next set of marks I lined up the top edge of the tape. That way the width of the tape is on the unpainted stripes and my painted stripes end up being a full 12". Hopefully that makes sense. I also used a small piece of tape to tag the stripes that stay white so I wouldn't accidentally paint them. :)

I got the first curtain done and suddenly panicked about whether the bottom stripe should be yellow or white! So I hopped on pinterest and searched "striped curtains" to see what the general rule was. Turns out there are no rules! But I did find that the curtains I liked better where white at the top (which was the opposite of how I taped it. oops.). But more importantly, I realized all the pictures that jumped out at me had narrower stripes! Yikes! I'm so glad I look at some pictures before I painted anything, kind of dodged a bullet of regret there. :) So I started over, this time making a mark every 6" up the sides of the curtains. You can tell a little better in the pic below how I taped outside the stripes that will be painted.

Mama's little helper.

As soon as I re-taped the curtain I could tell already that I like the narrower stripes so much better!


Then I was ready to paint. I used leftover paint from the kitchen so I wouldn't have to buy anything new (and I wanted yellow anyway so it was perfect). I used a small foam roller to paint in the stripes, being careful to get full coverage so it wouldn't turn out splotchy. I just barely had enough paint to finish. Like scraping the last drops from the bottom of the can. Barely. It took so much more paint than I expected because the curtains soaked it right up. Now when I think about it I'm like "oh. duh." but, yeah, it caught me off guard. :)

I took me a while to get them all painted because I spread it out over a few nights. I probably spent about an hour on each panel. I let them dry at least overnight before I pulled off the tape. Ta-da!

I was really happy with how neat and clean it turned out. You can't even tell it's paint! I did find that hanging the curtains sooner rather than later gave them a better drape. A couple of the panels sat in the basement a few days before I put them up and the paint had kind of stiffened so they didn't want to hang as nice. They are loosening up though.


My other concern was that they would be splotchy in the light. You can see in the pic below that there are a few small spots where the light shines through more than others. Which I was afraid of. But it's not as bad as I expected and I actually didn't even notice it until I saw it in the pic!

Overall I'm still really happy with how they turned out. :)

Yay! So much happier than plain curtains. The bottom of the left panel is the part that was stiffer when I put it up. See how it wants to flatten out?

This set was put up the next morning and they hang much nicer.

I like how they work with the tree painting above the bed too. Oh, and I'm trying this new thing with the bed. I call it "frumpled pillow smorgasbord." Send help. I need it.

And to prove this is real life, this is the other side of the room while I took the pictures. I piled everything out of the way so you guys will think I'm all organized and stuff. B had fun writing on all the papers he could find.

Have you tried painting curtains? Seen any good stripey projects lately?

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