Tag Archives: remodel

Draw on your wall… because why not?

I’ve been needing to deal with my bathroom for about a year. Last year we had to rip out our beloved soaking tub because it was leaking into the ceiling and rotting out the floor and of course we had to rip out a chunk of wall and trim to get the tub out. So for almost a year it’s been a mess of raw patched drywall and mud. The bathroom also hadn’t been painted in 10 years… but it has a two story ceiling on one wall and I just didn’t want to tackle it but now I really needed to. At the same time I’ve been itching to do a really dark purple and grey room and I could never talk any of my design clients into it so it was on me to rock it out. The other factor: I’ve been working on converting a retail space into a coffee shop and thinking about signage and chalk walls and in talking with that client I sent him to check out tanamachi studios for ideas. I’ve always loved her work but watching her video of writing on the walls with paint markers was like getting the best bitch slap in the face EVER! Holy shit why hadn’t I ever thought of that! It’s like the best custom wallpaper without spending serious bucks or serious time hanging and cutting… just buy yourself some paint markers and go to town.. If you don’t like it just paint that shit again and start over, no harm no foul…. so what the hell are you waiting for?

Paint colors were Ralph Lauren Embassy Purple RL2051 & Hue & Cry RL1132, the swatches look off to me the purple is almost black but…

I started by painting 3 of the walls in the grey and the wall behind the toilet and sink in the purple (I let my daughter stay home from a half day at school if she helped me as I didn’t want to fall off the 6 foot ladder without anyone home and you know, child labor and you gotta train them these skills). I let the paint dry for two days before I started. I went to Michaels and picked up 2 paint markers in a dark grey for doing the drawing, I was thinking silver too so I picked up a couple silver Sharpies but in the end I thought it might be too flashy and went with the grey. I googled for patterns for a bit, black and white nature, paisley, tattoo designs, fabric designs. I decided to go with something that was not regimented or math based, because I know myself and I’m not going to spend any time measuring anything but you totally could grid something out with chalk and do a repeat pattern…. but I went for down and dirty free hand nature pattern, I started on the floor behind the toilet so if I hated it and had to repaint it wouldn’t be in the middle of the wall!

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The project took around 4 hours total and 4 pens to complete. So that was a $25 cost but still so much cheaper than wallpaper and if I hate it next year I can just paint over it, no peeling old paper off… plus I got to draw on the walls!

wall side closeup

wall burst

wow checkout that flash burst!


faking damask wallpaper

wall detail bst

I recently repainted my living room, it had been the same for 10 years and was starting to look a little grubby and rough around the edges, especially the wall going up the stairs (with 10 years of two kids grubby encrusted hands sliding up the wall). So I chose a some bright colors for the main walls, a greeny yellow called New Grass for the main walls, a really bright red called Tulip for an accent wall and a deep brown for the stair wall (to hide future grubby hand prints). What I really wanted though was wallpaper somewhere but the paint had already cost me $150 and 1 week of my life living in paint fumes with furniture piled in the middle of the room and stacks of art and framed photos everywhere, so wall paper was out, I needed to do this quick and cheap. The tulip accent wall was great in the day but at night it was a tad garish and bright so I decided to paint my own damask style wallpaper on it to tone it down and class it up. It cost me time (about 6 hours start to finish and $10 of Polycrylic paint that I probably had a can of in the basement but was unwilling to dig through the spiderwebs to save myself $10).

This is a technique I’ve used in the past and I just love the play of light across the surface. You can do patterns, stripes, any kind of design and when you want to change no need to scrape wallpaper, just sand and repaint.

step one… grid

grid wall

I wanted my pattern to be slightly loose and not tight and stencil like so I choose to do a loose grid with obviously different shapes but you can tighten as you like. I grid with chalk so you can wipe it off as you go with no worry of tape pulling paint off or pencil marks screwing up your wall.

step two… finalize and neaten your grid

clean grid

step three… choose your design

(I sketched mine on scrap paper and then totally changed it once I started). You can look at patterns you like online (after I was finished I realized I should have incorporated something funky like an octopus or something) you can even use a stencil if you wish but I like the clean strokes of a paintbrush a little better. I did one row…

start painting

I choose to use another design in the other rows…

finished wall

step four… wait until dry and wipe off chalk marks and bask in the glory of your new space!

It really looks awesome and changes through the day, if you just walked by it you would think it’s wallpaper but when you stop to really look you can see all the variations in the patterns and that part I think is the best!