Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wall of Sound

As I had previously mentioned, in another post, pattern-paint seems to have become a reoccurring and inexpensive design element of our home. Our first foray into the field was a smaller wall at the end of our hallway. We choose this wall for three reasons; time, space…and exit strategy…in the likely case that we had failed miserably, the white-out process would have been a snap!  Another reason why paint is your friend. ^_^

Now I must admit, the initial idea to paint a pattern on our wall did not come to me in some stroke of genius at 2am, or anything of that nature. The idea, or inspiration I guess, actually came from the "House Challenge" episode on season two of Top Design, in which Preston Lee used a gorgeous diamond patterned, textured wallpaper. (Speaking of Top Design, how awesome was Wisit?!)

As soon as we saw the wallpaper, Chris declared, "I can paint that behind the guitars!" Flash forward a couple weeks, the guinea pig wall was chosen, paint colors were selected…and all that was left to do was figure out where the hell to start. 

Let me back up for a second... you might be thinking “isn’t a small wall at the end of a hall too small?” (try thinking that three times fast). Normally I’d say “yes”…but our hallway is kind of oddly shaped. Narrow at the front, and wider at the back...picture a bird’s eye view of a meat tenderizer...or maybe one of those blockheads from Gumby…only anorexic.

The actual process required a little planning, a few sketches, lots of taping… but mostly waiting for paint to dry. I’m sure many of you aren’t too interested in the technical aspects…but if you are, read on here.

Our last challenge was finding a shallow side-table to go underneath the instruments. Luckily, we found a nice little table at World Market (ahem, on sale, of course). With the paint dry, the guitars hung and the table placed…we could both finally let out a collective sigh of relief. 

Truly music to our ears!

How we did it

First off, the only tools I used for this project, in addition to paint (etc…) were: a tape measure, a right angle ruler (metal), a pencil…and lots and lots of painter’s tape.

The first step was figuring out how large of an area we wanted to paint. We were concerned that it could start looking sloppy if we extended the pattern all the way to the corners, ceiling and floor of the wall…so we decided on a four inch border. This looked cleaner in the drawings and helped give the wall a framed effect.


The next step was finding the center of the area to be painted. 

After finding the center, we measured out 12 inches in each direction (horizontal and vertical). At the end of this step, we were left with a grid of pencil markings. After the grid was made, we simply connected all of the intersections with 45 degree pencil lines. At the end of this step…the finished pattern is completely transferred onto the wall.
I guess there are a couple of ways to go about taping and painting. Perhaps the quickest way would be to paint the entire area (one solid square) with the lighter of the two colors first. Then you could tape off the remaining areas and paint the darker color. Instead, we opted to paint a first, second, third and fourth set of diamonds (stupid us).

Basically, since the tape is a couple of inches thick…it isn’t possible to tape and paint diamonds which are next to one another in one step. You would end up with a grid of ‘unpainted areas’. 

There really isn’t much else to say…other than; if you ever try a project similar to this...we hope we have helped.


  1. This looks SO cool!!!!

  2. Hi Dolores and Chris! Wow I think you have inspired us to start a little creative wall ourselves. We painted the whole house carmel brown to be safe. I used to go only off white, so I thought the darker brown was a huge leap for us. Thanks guys!

  3. Hi Erika!! Oh, I'm thrilled you guys are going to pattern-paint in your home. Here are some tips, which I should have included in our post.

    1: Use 3M painters tape. Those other low-cost brands are shoddy and do not barricade your paint whatsoever!

    2: When you decide on your paint colors, choose a little gray-er color.

    3: As you already know, make sure your walls are nice and clean before you start.

    Happy painting! Can't wait to see your creation!

  4. I loooove your wall of sound. The first time I saw it, I tried to convince my Chris to adopt the style for one of our walls. Alas, no dice! :(

  5. That is VERY cool - so personalized! And I love the table!