Painting Over Stripes


Painting over striped walls via Copper Dot Interiors One of the first design features that I added to this house 5 years ago was painting stripes on the living room wall.  I had done it in our previous apartment and we loved it there, and we loved it here too, but after living with it in 2 homes, I was over it.  Especially after adding my built-in bookcase, the room felt busy and over-designed.

Striped living room before

Unfortunately with painted stripes, it's not quite as simple as rolling over it and having it disappear.  In a client's tiny powder room for example, the previous owner painted over stripes (thankfully) but when the light hits it right, you can still see every stripe.  It's not in your face, but once you see it, you can't unsee it- that's what I call OCD torture.  Because I originally taped off the stripes to paint, each line had a bit of a lip to it and would suffer the same fate as my client's bathroom- without the right prep, the stripes would always be visible.

Torquoise striped wall before prep

De-stripifying was time-consuming, but not particularly difficult.  It took a lot of sanding and I mean a lot.  Great arm work-out though... I found that 100 grit sandpaper was the best at smoothing over the paint transitions.  I sanded each line until I couldn't feel any kind of transition any more.

Sanding painted stripes

In some particularly stubborn areas, I used a bit of spackle to smooth out the transition even further.

sanded, patched, and prepped wall stripes

After sanding, patching holes, and smoothing out the stubborn areas, I wiped the wall down with a wet rag and was ready to paint!

gray paint progress

Unfortunately, even after a coat of paint, getting rid of the stripes still wasn't complete.  With a coat of paint, any transitions that I didn't smooth over just perfectly were still showing through, especially as the sun shone in the window onto the walls.  Once the paint was dry, I picked up the sandpaper once again (with a bit finer grit) and re-sanded over any areas where the stripes were still visible.  This is where I let my OCD take charge: if I could even see a shadow of a line it got sanded meticulously.

gray paint with shaddow stripes

After the resanding and a second coat, I am pleased to say that there is no more evidence of striped walls past.  As I mentioned in Friday's post, Hubby's still skeptical of the color, but I'm already finding it so much more calming.  Such a breath of fresh air!

gray wall living room

I still have some ideas on how to inject a bit more personality now that the walls aren't screaming at me, but that will all come in due time.