Special Effects

Curry is a great aging color. When using this color as a stripe it adds depth and visual interest to the whole room. Instructions for creating stripes are also included in the instructions that come with every kit.

Stripes Curry Stripes Patterns Gingham Layering Combination

The corner of this eclectic Northwestern dining room reveals many different influences: A collection of glazed pottery, a painted tray, an heirloom lamp and carpet, a credenza that opens to reveal hand-crafted quilts, and even an antique Asian rice measure, discovered at www.zanadia.com, filled with curly willow branches, all come together seamlessly, united by strong vertical stripes.

All you need is your preferred colorwash color (curry is used in this project), a bucket for mixing it, a tape measure, pencil and blue tape. Start with a white or off-white base coat of paint: Either flat, eggshell work best.

Think about how wide you want your stripes to be (the stripes shown are 12"). Begin by measuring the wall; side to side for vertical stripes. So if the width measured is 13' or 156", divide it by 13 to get 12"; if you divide by 11 you would get about 14 1/4", which would be nice too. Just be sure to divide the total width of the wall by an odd number so you will end up with an uneven amount of stripes, this way you will end up with a darker stripe on each side of the wall for balance; like bookends.

Now that you have the width of the stripe figured, grab your tape measure. For vertical stripes: From the top to bottom, 12" from the adjoining wall, measure down and make a small pencil mark on the wall and then repeat, making marks every three or so feet down the wall as if creating a "connect the dots" drawing. Then continue marking your wall every 12" all the way across.

Now, grab your blue tape and connect the dots. "There are two important tricks to this,". First tape the ceiling, baseboard and adjoining walls, by doing this first the tape for the stripes can be removed and still have the perimeter in place for the second colorwash. Second, be sure to put the tape on the side of the mark that is going to be the lighter stripe. This way when you put on your first coat it will be the size of the stripe you measured, NOT the size of the stripe minus the width of the tape.

Now run the line of low tack blue tape (1" or 1-1/2" will works well), along the pencil marks. Repeat this process top to bottom across the wall. After each stripe is taped off, in the stripe you are not going to colorwash on the first go around, put a little piece of tape to remind you not to colorwash that area.

Now, dilute your colorwash with water and wipe (dipping a rag into your paint mixture and wiping in between every other stripe) inside the tape lines.

After the colorwashing remove tape at a 45 degree angle.

Let dry; then, using the same colorwash mixture, go over the whole wall, including the first layer of stripes.

This creates the striped effect - the translucent colorwash is two layers where the first stripes were applied, and a sheer single layer on the lighter stripes. A stripe is born!You can really amaze yourself with this technique. People come over and cannot believe you did it yourself? it looks like a million dollars! Striped walls are appropriate for all rooms in the house, as well - and if you want to zip up your kitchen or bathroom with stripes, you may wish to add a protective layer of water-based polyurethane over your stripes when they're completely dry.