Friday, May 25th, 2012
Perhaps you’ve seen the preview photos of the mural we created for the Gift Wrapping & Sewing Room at this year’s ASID Showcase Home. If not, check out this past post.
Inspired by that design I decided to paint a similar design in my own nursery.
My original color palette was going to be a medium deep red, navy and jade green with perhaps a crisp white accent to tie into the trim and furniture color. But my husband, John, thought it would be too sophisticated after he saw all the patterns and prints at Babies R Us for kids blankets, clothes, and crib sets. Normally he doesn’t care strongly about my color selections (especially since I do all the painting), but since he had an opinion I decided to tweak the plan for his sake.
I was originally going to have the stripes wrap around the two left walls above, but he asked me to carry them around the short wall on the right to die behind the large bookshelf that will go back against that wall. The image above shows how the stripes would have died into the ceiling originally, so I needed to tweak the tape placement for the wrap around to work.
Here is the adjusted overall layout.
The next step is to determine how many colors you want to use, and then subdivide each wall section using your painters tape. Keep in mind that the color will go in between the tape lines for the outside stripes, but the inside stripes are only illustrative of the width you want. You’ll have to go back and retape those areas once the outside lines have been painted with multiple coats.
You can certainly keep your stripes a consistent width the whole way, but I think it would actually be trickier to eyeball, and I like the dynamic motion the changing widths creates. Don’t forget to press your tape down thoroughly! They’ll be less touch up later if you do this now. Pay special attention to inside corners as paint especially loves to drip there.
I think this was after 1 or 2 coats of the first round of paint colors had been applied. Certain colors are more transparent and will need more coats to reach your ideal finished color. Reds and oranges are definitely in this category.
After 3 coats of each color had dried I was able to peel off all that tape and see what I had. Love it! I decided to use the base wall color as a stripe between the orange and green. I simply used a wider piece of Frog Tape to mask off that area, giving me a nice width line without effort.
Now those stripes look great from across the room, but up close you can see there was a fair amount of fine bleed through along each stripe. But don’t let that scare you! All you need is a tiny paint brush and your wall color to fix that. You can see at either end of the orange stripe above that the line is wavy instead of crisp. The middle section is sharp because I’d just gone over that area with my base wall color and my little paint brush.
When I say “little brush” I mean it. My brush is probably the equivalent of the smallest brush on the right side below. This is a set from Dick Blick.
The key is to rest your hand against the wall for stability, and to work in small sections. The 3 coats of your stripe color you painted will have created a small ridge at the edge where you had the tape. The brush will glide along this edge the same way you cut into a ceiling line. Start by putting your paint brush down just a little ways away from the ridge and glide down to the ridge to paint over the color bleed through areas. It may sound like a daunting task, but I find it addictive (“Just one more section before I go to bed…”), and I don’t think it really takes that long.
Before I started working on cleaning up the edges of the completed stripes I masked off my last color. If you place your tape right up against the ridge created by the adjacent paint stripes and press FIRMLY along the entire length of the tape, you might not have to do ANY edge clean up on the last color. This is because that ridge helps block any paint that wants to sneak under your tape.
I did 3 coats of the blue as well since it wasn’t coming out quite like the paint sample and I wanted to make sure to give it enough coats to reach it’s full potential. While that dried between coats I was able to work on my touch ups around the red, orange and green stripes.
And here is the completed mural! It may seem like this took a lot of work, but the whole project only took 7 hours over 4 days. For a large impact like this, that seems really quick! Especially since the mural at the Showcase Home took us closer to 30 combined hours. Painting over the paneling and trim at the Showcase made it much trickier, plus all the extra trips back and forth. When it’s your own house you can take a break between coats of paint and come back an hour later. The amount of paint you need for each color is minimal. I probably used about an inch or so of paint from each quart paint can, so you might even be able to achieve this using only the sample size pots of paint they now offer. Or you could reuse existing paints from other projects.
I’ll show the completed room down the line, but the hardwood floors need to be refinished before I can move anything back into that room, so it’ll be a little while.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
Friday, January 20th, 2012
Since last July I’ve been working on designing a room in the 2012 ASID Showcase Home with my partner in crime, Jennifer Horstman of Sky Flower Designs. We’ve been having a blast and the homeowners were giddy with glee when we showed them our concept for their Gift Wrapping/ Sewing Room at the end of August. It’s been a fabulous experience working with such creative clients who like going outside the box and think our crazy ideas could always get even crazier.
Our final design is pretty close to the original concept, and while I’m not going to give much away yet, I wanted to share a sneak peak with you of the mural we designed for the room since we’ve spent this week laying it out and starting the painting process.
This is what the corner of the room looked like the first day we visited back in July. This is the definition of raw bones. An ability to visual the finished space is key for a designer in moments like this.
Months later the walls are up and painted our base color so we met with the homeowners on site to finalize colors for the custom rug and the wall mural. (It was a working lunch for the busy homeowners.)
Since large scale graphics like this are hard to translate from paper into 3D, we figured the best way to layout the exact design was to work together to draw it out on the wall using pencil. (He doesn’t have 4 arms, those are my arms blurring behind him.)
Thanks to a construction light, our trusty tape measures and a lot of pointing and gesturing, we were able to come up with an outline for the overall design that we all were excited about. Then we had to make sure to tell the painter NOT to paint over our crazy pencil lines on the walls! This is our “Charlie’s Angels” in action photo.
This week Jennifer and I started bringing the full graphic to life. We began by using Frog Tape to lay out the outside lines. Then we used lengths of tape to design the varying widths of each stripe in each section until we felt it had a dynamic balance overall. Not nearly as easy a process as you might think. The hardest part? The optical illusion of lines carrying across all the planes on the door and trim. Jennifer was a rock star and adjusted each line section by section until it looked “right” from across the room. I’d say taping took about 4 hours that day. If one of us had tried to do it alone? I’m sure there would have been tears and maybe even a temper tantrum. I’m just saying… don’t attempt this alone.
By the end of day 1 of taping and painting (I started painting while she finished taping that darn door), we have this dramatic beginning! Of course it would look even better if I hadn’t gotten confused while painting around all those angles and started painting the wrong section green at the left end. Oops. Oh well, it’s just paint.
Speaking of which, we’re using Benjamin Moore Natura paint for this project, which has been wonderful because it has no VOCs, so there are no fumes to give us headaches as we work. The home is going to be MN Greenstar certified, so when you add up all the decisions like this (which paint base to use) across the whole remodeling process, you can see how they make a difference for the homeowners and their health.
Here’s how it looked with the door open. The room beyond is seasonal storage, so it won’t need to be accessed often. But just in case, the design still needs to look right!
And after a couple more coats of paint the colors are looking more saturated and the weird double green band has been painted the proper shade of gray.
We still have plenty of work to do on this, getting full saturation on the colors, removing the tape and cleaning up all the edges, and painting the white and gray stripes in between. But we’re so excited to see it this far, and we can’t wait until it’s done and the rest of the room is furnished and everyone gets to see it in May. But regardless of what the general public thinks, the homeowners are already thrilled with it and the rest of the design, so that’s all we need.
Set your calendars for the 2012 ASID Showcase Home this summer, open to the public May 18th – June 10th, so you can experience this dynamic Gift Wrapping and Sewing Room in person. The home is located on Lake of the Isles and the homeowners are doing an amazing job turning a large old home with traditional details into a home for modern living that embraces the past and present all together. You’ll have to see it to understand what I mean. Look for the preview of the whole project in an upcoming issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.
Photo credits: Photos 2, 3 & 4 were taken by the homeowners. The rest were taken by Fox Interiors.