Bedroom Makeover: Part 3 ~ How to Paint a Feature Wall

Geometric Feature Wall

Geometric Feature Wall

For a feature wall, Shay wanted something geometric. I did some research and ended up coming up with a triangle design for his geometric feature wall.

How to Paint a Feature Wall:

  1. Prep your walls (plaster, sand, prime any holes)
  2. Paint your base colour (in my case white)
  3. Plan and tape off your design.
  4. Firmly press both edges of the painter’s tape to the wall.
  5. Using a fairly dry brush, seal the edges of the tape with the same colour as your base wall.
  6. Plan your colours.
  7. Paint the sections of your wall.
  8. Remove the tape and touch up if necessary.

I first had to sand the edges of the red stripe and then patch/repair any imperfections on the wall. Once that was dry and sanded, I primed those areas before putting on two coats of white paint (Benjamin Moore Simply White). It is important to let fresh paint cure before adding any tape. I let the painted white walls cure for 10 days before starting this actual feature wall. In the past, I have applied tape too soon and it is very frustrating when you remove tape from your finished project and have several layers of paint come off with it. Be patient!

To be honest, other than deciding on triangles, there was no plan. I liked the look of having a one inch white border between the shapes and that was why I did the two coats of white before starting. I began by taping off a border that went around the permimeter of the wall (top, bottom and both sides). I did not put a border around the door frame because I wanted to create the illusion that the design extended through the door frame. I then created the wall using the tape as my design tool. It was important to make sure the lines I created were straight, but the angles and sizes varied from triangle to triangle.

tape wall

Tape the design on your wall. Ensure the edges are firmly pressed into the wall.

Once the design was created with the painter’s tape, I had to go over each piece with the edge of my finger nail, firmly pressing both edges of the green tape to make sure there was a proper seal to the wall.

Although you may be tempted, DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Step 5 is the key to getting those crisp perfect lines with little to no bleeding beneath the tape. You must take your base colour (white in my case) and with a fairly dry brush (not too much paint on it), seal Seal the tape edgesboth edges of all the paint strips. This may seem a bit overwhelming, but believe me it is the key to achieving the best results possible. The truth of the matter is PAINT BLEEDS UNDER TAPE, so you want to control this by making sure that the paint that bleeds is the same colour as your base wall (white bleeds on white). There is nothing as disappointing as removing the tape and finding that the colours you’ve used have leaked over top of one another. I have to confess the white boarders made this job pretty easy because all of my sealing was done in white. If you have different colours up against one another, you need to make sure that the colour you are sealing with is the same as the colour it will bleed onto. For example if I didn’t have white boarders, I may have grey bleeding onto black and visa versa. I would need to use the appropriate colour to seal each and every strip/edge of tape. This is much more work.

Seal the edges with base colour.

Seal the edges with your base colour to avoid have the paint bleed under the tape.

To plan out the colours for the triangles, I ended up taking a photo of the taped off wall and importing it into a Pages document on my Mac. I then used the drawing tool to draw each triangle and then filled it with the desired colour. This allowed me to change the colour for any given shape until the desired look was achieved. The grey tones did not match my paint colours exactly, but I was able to get the over all look using black, dark grey, medium grey and then a light shade. I wanted to make sure I was happy with the design and colour placement before starting to paint. For the colours, I used the black and white paint I’d purchased for the walls (one gallon of each) and the grey was a gallon I’d purchased as a mistint for real cheap. (When decorating on a budget, always check the mistints because you can often purchase excellent quality paint for a fraction of the price.)

Plan your colours

Use a drawing program to plan out your colours. I just used Pages on my Mac.

Once you have a plan, begin painting the triangles. I did this one colour at a time and by the time I finished the wall, the first colour was pretty much ready for a second coat. I rolled my colours on as I prefer the smooth look of a roller as opposed to a brush. (I did use a brush for a few of the tight corners and to trim along the door frame where there was no white border).

Remove the tape and voil√° ~ you have a beautiful geometric feature wall! If you have sealed your tape well, you should not need to do any touch-ups, but if you didn’t, you may need to clean-up the spots where the paint leaked under the tape. This is not fun, so try to be very careful when completing steps 4 and 5.