How to paint a chevron wall: I really really really wanna zig-zag aaahhhhh

June 1 | Guest post by Zandi

I recently got the green light to paint our apartment. Its a lot to take on all at once, so I've been knocking it out in small chunks. This week, the entry way! After a debate of "is the chevron look already over?," I got to work.

This requires no special tools and is a very simplified version, because when I was Googling all of the tutorials made my head spin and there was math and measuring and laser levels and rulers and TOO MUCH. I used a piece I ripped off a box of hot rollers and some chalk.

There are only four steps in this how-to. Let's see them illustrated!

My materials were:

It's came to a total of $13.50 for me!

Here are my very advanced tools. If you don't have the top to a Conair MORE BIG CURLS box, your wall will probably be totally fucked up and awful. Sorry. You must use this particular box. This one was 6"x6".

Trace the square over and over again on your wall until you have a grid. I suppose you could also do this with a yardstick, measuring equal amounts and all that, but this was easier for me, what with its total lack of math and all. Plus, it only takes about 10 minutes.

Taking another piece of the Conair More Big Curls box, draw a diagonal line in each square, connecting corner to corner. In one column of the grid, start in the top right corner; in the next column, start from the top left. Having each column's diagonal lines going opposite ways is what gives you the chevron effect. I found it helpful for my easily-confused brain to make the diagonals with a different colors of chalk.

Start taping! Once you've made all your diagonal lines, the chevrons become very apparent and easy to tape around. You don't have to put all the extra blue tape in the middle of every other row like I did, but I could see myself painting the wrong row and ruining the whole project, so this was another way for me to idiot-proof it for myself by distinguishing exactly where I needed to paint.

And paint!! I bought a quart of paint for the job, and used exactly 1/18 of it. (Like I said, calculations are not my strong suit.) One of those $3 sample tester jars from Home Depot would have EASILY covered my 3'x9' wall. Also, please note that I am not just a giant human, but I'm using a reaaally cute tiny roller that came with its own cute tiny tray for $1.50, also from Home Depot.

Easy enough! The whole project took about two hours, with taping being the largest part at just over an hour. I actually suggest peeling the tape off when the paint is almost dry, it makes it a little more pliable around the edges if you need to touch anything up/smooth it out.

I wiped off the chalk grids after removing the tape, but was in a rush to take pictures… so sorry if you can still see them here. I used the chalk from the dollar section of Target and it went on super smooth and brushed off super easy. God bless you, Target.

So that's it! Grid, diagonal, tape, paint, peel, admire.

Homies, what colors would you use if you were doing this project in your house?

  1. Hooray! a way to do this easily! I'm going to do this in my super girly sewing space in 2 shades of pink :)

    1 agrees
  2. The math and lasers and shit are necessary if you're doing a whole room–you've GOT to make sure that your lines will match up when you get back to where you started from.
    I saw a room done with thick horizontal stripes up a stairwell and FELL IN LOVE. But that sort of boldness can be a little nauseating if you don't use the right colors. This light, monochromatic thing is a great idea to keep it soft and simple.
    Also. Spice Girls Dance Party 2012.

    9 agree
  3. I have really got to come see this place in person one day Meg. Your house seems fun and filled with booze. My kinda place.

    1 agrees
  4. Note: Frog tape is SO worth the extra dollar! It comes off about 10x easier than the blue tape, even the fancy Scotch blue tape.

    6 agree
  5. I think I'm in love with the Conair Big Curls Box measuring method. Yardsticks in my hands are subject to interdimensional bending.

    Paint comes in only two quantities: (1) what do I do with all this extra? and (2) I need just a little more to finish…. what do you MEAN, that color's been discontinued?

    Anyway, this looks fantastic! In the fantasy life in which I paint walls, caramel and a warm light red are sounding good to me. So are two slightly different shades of lime green, so it shimmers gently.

    7 agree
    • Oh, be careful with the lime green…. We were attempting to do an accent wall with what we thought was a nice, vibrant green…. and only halfway done it looked like Nickelodeon had puked on the wall… We both got headaches just looking at it (seriously – we both were literally getting headaches from the brightness). So, if you're going for lime green, maybe stick to the accents… Just my opinion.

      1 agrees
      • I will make a point of remembering this thing… so far, I've used lime paint only on miniature houses and must confess that every time, I end up painting over it in a less violent shade. Even when lime paint looks to be a dead match to wallpaper, it isn't.

  6. There are gray walls in the large majority of my apartment, and man do they stress me out. If I could bring in a purple or turquoise chevron, everything would be AWESOME!

    1 agrees
  7. Can you tell me where the lovely mirror is from, and what color paint you used? Thank you!

  8. We're going to do this! squee.

    I think I am going to go with vibrant purple chevron with a very very light gray background (rather than leaving it white).

  9. You fucking kick ass !!! All these tutorials had me about to blow a hole in m face!! Gracias woman!!

  10. Thank you SO much for this simple tutorial! I did this is my tanning/craft room & am in love. It's my favorite wall in the house! The wall was originally gray (& I left it that way under the tape) & then did turquoise & white chevron. Thank you again! :)

  11. Love the stripes! And totally love the cardboard box idea to make the grid. I have just finished painting stripes on my wall using a canvas frame to draw the grid. Thanks for this tutorial!

  12. Thanks so much for posting this! I was pulling my hair out till I saw this! Helped so much! I too hate math and your way is fool proof! Once I figured out what size blocks I needed( I was painting a background on a canvas) it was a breeze! Thanks again!

  13. What color grey did you use? It's so subtle, I love it. Great project btw.

  14. Thank you sooooo much for this idiot proof tutorial! I followed it to the T and I am in love with my wall! I had to read it at least 500 times to make sure I wouldn't mess up but it was worth it! The only thing I am struggling with is the chalk removal.

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