The Gingham Wall - Should It Stay?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


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? 



29 comments:

  1. Dori, I may have terrible eyes but to me it looks just the same as the inspiration photo! I think it's such a fun wall to have in that space where you walk into the house. I know your main question was about decorating it and I am NO help in that area. I've had some blank walls for years and years, heh! Hopefully some of your other readers will have good ideas about that. I cannot believe all you've done this past year in getting your house built.

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  2. http://m.pinterest.com/pin/147000375306719361/ check out this link..hope I did this right! :) I think it looks amazing..once you get it decorated you may find you like it more. Construction makes us hyper focus on every.little.detail. :):):)

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  3. I like it. What if you went over it with a watered down of the lighter color to make it look more like the picture you want. Either way, you are the one who has to live with it. Believe me, I have been there and done that when it comes to painting a wall and not liking exactly how it looked. I drove me so crazy I couldn't sleep in the room until I redid it, that kind of drives my husband crazy. Good luck. Alaina

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  4. I'm just envious you have a laundry "room". Mine is downstairs with cement block walls in an unfinished basement. but it beats running to the creek to scrub. :) But, I do think it looks great. I'm sure once you get everything put together it will look even better!

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  5. I think it looks fantastic! As far as wall décor, maybe some big chunky open shelving to hold laundry supplies in cute baskets and canisters? Have you seen the wall hung drying rack at Ballard Designs? Cute! It's kinda pricey but I bet you and your husband could make your own (since you built a house!)

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  6. Good job on the wall!! I LOVE it....but you are the one who has to decide if you can live with it, not being exactly what you envisioned. ME...that would make me CAAAARAZY every time I looked at it. (Not YOUR wall, but if I did a wall that didn't turn out exactly like I wanted.) I can't give you any decorating advice...that just is not my forte. I have a couple of friends/relatives who are soooo great at that, but no one will come decorate my house for me! (A wink and a grin!)

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  7. OK...I say it stays! I think it turned out perfect. I'm a precision sort of girl so I love your straight, crisp lines. I think once you are moved in and have put your touch on the wall with accessories you will totally love it. That's my 2 cents!

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  8. Your wall is very unique and you did a beautiful job! Even though it's a laundry room I can see groups of enlarged "fun" photos of your grandchildren on this wall, maybe in white frames of different shapes and sizes. A blackboard might be fun also.
    Or one of your big hand painted signs.

    Esther

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  9. I think it looks good. :) Certainly keep it for now and if you don't end up loving it you can paint over it in a year or so. As far as what to hang there, I would go with one large simple picture/poster like the one in the S.L. home. Plus, people will be walking by the wall so you don't want too much there to be knocked off. :) Looking forward to seeing your home all come together. :)

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  10. I think it looks great. Once you put your washer, dryer, hang your shelving, pictures, and any other items you want to, I think that the sharp contrast you are seeing now will fade. It will be a lovely wall in a cute laundry room!

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  11. Gosh Dori that is remarkable that you did that on your own. Love it! Don't you dare change it! Beautiful.
    Lisa
    Leeshideaway

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  12. Your results look really well done! That process looks like way too much measuring for me! I actually love the horizontal stripes by themselves, but it's a bit more modern looking. What I like about the inspiration photo is the furniture in front of the wall, and the colors of the paint have less contrast so it's more subtle than what you achieved with the darker paint and the white walls. Nicely done though.

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  13. I really like it too. An interesting conversation starter on home tours. I did stripes on an upstairs hall and when you go to repaint, uuhh! The stripes still show a little because of the paint edges--I know I should of had the painter sand them, but I didn't. This is my first visit and I'm going to stoop a little bit.

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  14. Wait till you've decorated it, then decide. It stands out a bit now, but once pictures have been hung, furniture put in place, it may change the whole look!

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  15. I think it looks great, and once everything else is in place, it will look even greater. I can't wait to see the finished house.

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  16. I totally understand what you are saying about it not looking like the picture. The picture looks like it almost has a third color. Even though it doesn't look like the picture, your wall looks great! You did a wonderful job and it should stay! I think black and white or sepia photos in dark frames would look good. Looking forward to seeing the big reveal.

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  17. I think the wall looks wonderful! You did a great job. Is the washer and dryer going on that side or on another side? If another side a long bench of some sort with a little quilt and some pillows and a few little white or cream colored shelves with baskets and such above it ? That would mimic the wall shades.

    If the washer / dryer are on that wall I still imagine some shelves ...but I don't mean long shelves covering all the gorgeous gingham; rather a few small knick-knacky kinds and then perhaps a few pictures here and there and one of your signs that would say..hmmmm..laundry! :) Anything that you do is going to look really nice as you did a lovely job on that wall and it will all come together so nicely!

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  18. I think it's a fun look for the laundry and you will love it more when things are in.place. Maybe 2 shelves with baskets and jars for storage and a fun hand lettered sign. I'd downplay the laundry theme and focus on a welcoming farm theme. I'm new to your blog but felt inspired to comment! I'll be back! Joyce

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  19. I think the wall is great... always loved gingham. You are talented lady. I enjoy reading your posts. Perhaps in your spare time(after you move),you could share your ability(for $ of course) with some of us in middle TN! Have a wonderful p.m.

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  20. I love it and wish I had the patience to do all that taping.

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  21. I've always wanted to do one of these! Yours looks amazing:) The hall was a smart choice. Keeper! Some dark wood accents will pop out on this wall. A table or frame or big letters?

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  22. I love it - it should definitely STAY!!!!! You did great!

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  23. Yes, it should stay. I have found with projects there is always a "did this really turn out as I wanted" stage. Keep the wall fairly simple...add texture with a large item like an antique tobacco basket (they are fairly flat). Think if you use too many small items it will compete with the gingham and make it cluttered/busy.
    Great paint job.

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  24. I really like it, but...I wish the scale was smaller. If the stripes were narrower, and you had smaller white spaces, it would look more "gingham". Just my 2 cents :)

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  25. Dori, I think it looks fantastic. And what a great idea for it to be the wall that is seen when you come in. I love the idea for the tobacco basket, or what about large individual photos of some of the cows?
    Whatever you choose, I know it will be great. So enjoy reading your blog and seeing the progress on your home.
    Susan

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  26. I Love it! It has me looking around wondering which of my walls I could do this on. I've seen it also done on the blog Southern Hospitality. What about putting those large rustic safety pins on your wall? I've seen them on Ballard Designs. I also love the idea of photos of your cows.

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  27. HI I am so pleased I found you....after doing a search for gingham walls....this is doable....I am going to paint a sewing studio in yellow and white gingham with white cabinetry and black and white valences over the windows....I will certainly be back for some assistance..thank you for the share...it looks lovely.

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