Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Cheap & Easy Before & After: How to Paint Chevron Stripes

You may remember from this post that I decided to dress up the two Ikea Rast bedside tables that I've been using to store my shoes.  It's a temporary measure really until I have some proper storage but I knew that I could always use the tables for something else in the future so why not.


I know there are a few tutorials out there for painting chevron stripes on furniture but I decided to do it without any help from the interwebs.

Lots and lots of masking tape, a tape measure, a pencil, a sissors and a lot of patience were involved but I am happy with the final result and I do think the tables came out rather well.

Oooh pretty...


Again, I must apologise for the lack of light in my photos. 
Have you BEEN to Manchester?  Rain and clouds...



I must humbly admit to you that the first one I completed was a bit of a a disaster - the lines were much too thin, the colour I had initially chosen was much too dark and my lines weren't too straight so I decided to get all mathmatic about it. But first, I had to repaint (3 coats!) to cover my error. Gotta love paint.

I'm going to do my best to explain my method for those of you with more time than sense who would like to try it for yourselves but I do apologise that I didn't take pictures of the full process, mostly because it took a lot of trial and error to come up with the best way to do it.  However, I have made little handy drawings that may assist with the explanation.

First things first, I cleaned the tables, gave them a light sanding and wiped them down with white spirit.  I then painted them white using 3 coats of emulsion.


In order to place the chevron pattern evenly, I started by measuring the width & depth of top of the table. It measured 48cm wide x 29cm depth. I then decided I wanted 3 complete rows of chevrons of 4 across (bear in mind the 4th top row of chevron would slightly 'fall off' the edge of the table top). I took the width of 48cm and divided by 4 which meant that each chevron would be 12cm wide. So I then took a pencil and my trusty measuring tape and made 7 little pencil marks every 6cm along the width.  I then took the depth of 29cm and divided that by 3 which meant that each chevron would be 9.5cm high and made those marks along the depth. These marks would represented the top and bottom of each chevron. Then using these marks as a guide, I continued another 3 rows of marks like so:

Click on the image to view full sized... 
bear in mind my marks were probably more like dots rather 
than lines but it was easier to 'see' to draw it like this!

So I ended up with 38 evenly spaced marks on the top of the table.

I then set about with my tape, using the marks as my guide to where the tape was placed and making sure to overlap the tape at every mark:

Click on the image to view full size

You'll notice that at each point where the two pieces of tape criss-crossed each other, a nice point appears at the overlap of the two pieces.  I then carefully lifted both pieces of tape together, just at that point and cut off the excess tape to form a perfect point.

Click on the image to view full size

I then began the bottom row of tape which would determine the thickness of each line.  This part of it I eyeballed, just making sure my tape ran straight and parallel to the tape above it, again overlapping the tape to create a point. And then carefully lifting up the two pieces of tape and cut the excess to create a perfect point.

Click on the image to view full size

I also wrapped the tape around the edge of the table so that my chevon pattern would continue off the edge.

I repeated this process on the entire table until all the taping was complete.  As you can see, I decided to do stripes on the sides and bottom shelf but on the sides, I used the stripe of the chevron to determine where the line would 'fall off' the edge forming 3 straight lines along the side.

Once everything was taped, it looked like this:



Painting was the easy bit.  I used Dulux Banana Dream 5 in Eggshell for my colour, a nice soft yellow and applied a single generous coat to the top and sides and inside shelf.  You may want to go for 2 coats of paint but 1 seemed to work just fine for me.


Painting the table...

Finally, I removed all the tape and marvelled that all the hard work was worth the effort. 




Once the emulsion was completely dry and bearing in mind that, at least initially, I will be using the shelves to store shoes on, I wanted a surface that was easy to clean and durable.  Being the cheapskate that I am, I just used what we had in the house:  Bona Mega, the finish we used on the living room floors.  Using a sponge roller, I applied 2 coats of polyurathane approximately 3 hours apart.

Once the tables were dry, I was able to put them back in my dressing room.

I love the way the pattern almost continues when they sit side by side.  I love that kind of little detail - it just makes me smile.  Oy, you.  Stop staring, I know I'm a bit odd.

Have you noticed my mistake?  One of my chevrons is incomplete 
as I didn't remove the tape from that spot! I decided it added a bit of 'character' 
and left it - there is a certain beauty in imperfection!


Anyway, I just think they're so cute now that I am already thinking of other uses for these little beauties once the shoe storage situation is sorted (say that 5 times fast).



I'm also starting to think my shoes are simply not cute enough and that some shoe shopping may be necessary in my future.  (Any excuse, eh?)  In the meantime, it's one little thing that makes my dressing room that much prettier.  So much more to come though (floors, wallpaper, shelving, etc etc)!

I do believe Pablo approves.



Do you have a piece that deserves a little chevron lovin'? Or have you chevron'ed any pieces lately and what was your method?  Let me know in the comments...

6 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this with me. You're my next "steal this idea" feature.

    Now on to more important matters - do you remember the maker of the boots with the brass buttons? I love them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How exciting, can't wait to see it!

    The boots are from Duo (www.duoboots.com) but I did get them about 2 years ago so don't know if they'd still be available. Check the site though, they have some lovely boots and they are all custom sized to your calf, no matter what the size. Beautiful thing that...

    Thanks again Mrs. L!

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  3. Hello lovely...awesome DIY job...I can imagine it would have taken alot of patience. You are just too clever and cute ta boot...and Pablo..oh be still my beating heart...Hope you have a wonderful weekend x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just stopping by from Brooklyn Limestone... I LOVE your Chevron pattern (much more technical than mine). I painted the same on a thrift store box last week:

    http://bontempsbeignet.blogspot.com/2010/08/quatrefoiled-plans.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you Anna, you are too sweet! Hope your weekend is super smashing too x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Liz, I had a look and thought your technique was very clever! Love the little box, it came out wonderful! x

    ReplyDelete

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