Do not get all excited.... this is NOT my house. But, just wondering how many of you saw this beautiful gingham wall in the Southern Living 2012 Idea House? I fell in love with it right away and knew that I would be painting a wall in my new farmhouse just like this. So, after thinking about it for over the year we've been building and wondering what wall, I finally decided on the laundry room. Here's the great "reveal" (smile)!
What do you think? Should it stay? I mean, I know its going to stay for now because honestly, I am way too tired to even think about changing it. But for the long term? Still up for debate.
I've had numerous emails and comments about this wall since I mentioned my progress in a blog post recently. I have to be honest with you and say that I'm not completely happy with it. I really wanted it to look exactly like the Southern Living wall! (Although maybe it does and their photography is out of this world!) However, I did learn a few things and thought that for anyone else that might want to give it a try I'd share some of my in progress photo's and thoughts. First of all, I've seen numerous blog post tutorials on this and everyone says it is a two person job. I'm here to tell you that its not! And here's how to do it by yourself!
Start with your wall painted the base color. I chose Simply White in Eggshell finish by Benjamin Moore.
Measure your wall vertically and horizontally and determine what size you want your gingham squares to be. I actually drew out a little grid on paper to give me a clear idea of how it would look.
Along the vertical edge and the horizontal edge of the wall, measure and mark your intervals (VERY lightly) with pencil. I chose 10 inch intervals.
Then, you need this handy dandy laser leveler. I didn't have one, but borrowed from a friend that did. It is amazing and this is what made it a job one person could do without any help.
Set it up on whatever surface you can find that puts it to the height you need. I got creative and used all sorts of things! (See my paint stir sticks?!)
And this is what the light looks like on your wall. Once I knew it was exactly where I needed it to be then I took my frog tape and taped out a nice line along the the laser light. Be sure to pay attention to where you will be painting so that you tape outside that area, not inside of it.
I continued on up the wall, adjusting the laser level as I went. I also taped X's in the areas I would not be painting so that I didn't get confused and paint in the wrong rows!
You will need to determine what color you want your gingham to be. I chose Elmira White in Eggshell finish by Benjamin Moore. You also need Clear Mixing Glaze. Mix your paint and glaze like this: 2 parts glaze to 1 part paint. Now you're ready to get painting.
I used a roller, you could use a brush instead. When it dried I gave it a second coat. The glaze gives it a bit of an opaque look and I wasn't sure whether to do a second coat or not. But I could see the white through it and I just felt like it needed another coat.
Horizontal stripes complete and tape removed. I let it dry for about 24 hours at this point.
Next step are the vertical lines. Do these with your laser leveler too. It is so nifty - you push a button and it runs the laser light vertically! Tape it off the same as you did before, being sure to determine your paint rows and tape outside those rows. I again taped X's in the rows not to be painted. I painted two coats on the vertical stripes letting it dry thoroughly in between coats and carefully removed the tape. Luckily the frog tape works very well on projects like this and I had no bleeding of paint.
And there it is.
So now, I'll tell you what I'm having a hard time with. The glaze gives it the opaque look so that when you paint your vertical stripes over the horizontal it gives it the gingham look instead of just a stripey look. If that makes sense. I don't feel that mine quite has the gingham look and I think it might be because I painted two coats each direction. I think it made it too dark. It seems in the directions that Southern Living provided, they only painted one coat. I just felt like it looked too blotchy and it was making me crazy.
So there you have it. Those are my thoughts on the ginghman wall! I will say that as soon as we did the flooring and trim, it looked immediately better so I'm hoping once we are moved in and I have something on the wall, that will help even more!
Okay, I'm ready for it. Should the gingham wall stay?
And one last question for you to answer. What would YOU put on this wall? Its the laundry room and will get a lot of traffic and visibility as it opens to the back porch, so also acts as a mud room. There is no room for furniture of any kind. Simply wall decorations. I need help decorating - I'm getting close to that point. Can you believe it?