Saturday, September 7, 2013

"Nesting" and the Baby's Room AKA "How to paint an argyle wall"

It's been a long time since I've posted a blog entry.  If you want excuses, here's a list: I left my old job.  I started a new job.  I've been busy painting the baby's room.  I was just cleaning it, and it went off.  It's not mine... I was holding it for a friend.   She started it.  There was traffic.  Etc., etc., etc.

Let me tell you what I've learned since my last post:

1.) Nesting is in full effect at Casa de Atomico.

2.) Pinterest can be a real pain.  For those of you who are married (or are in a relationship) with someone on Pinterest, you know what I'm talking about.  For those of you who are not familiar with Pinterest, here's what Wikipedia has to say:

"Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies.  Users can browse other pinboards for images, 're-pin' images to their own inboards, or 'like' photos."

To summarize: Pinterest is where people go to get ideas of how to be creative. Users can go to and find a picture of something they like. (Example: Patterns to paint on the walls of a baby's room.)  Once the user sees an idea they like, the user tells their spouse or significant other about it, and the spouse spends 4 weekends trying to outdo what's shown in the picture.

Speaking of painting patterns on the walls of a baby's room... my wife found a picture of an argyle wall pattern she liked on Pinterest.  Not backing down from any challenge, I went forth to Home Depot, purchased painting supplies, painted, measured, drew lines, taped, painted, razor-bladed pieces of painter's tape, painted, peeled, bled, sweated, cried, laughed, left my old job, started a new job... you get the idea.  I finished painting at 1:00am this morning.

Follow along. Don't just scroll to the bottom.  DON'T DO IT.Resist the urge. Scroll slowly (for effect).  There are 20 pictures detailing the 20 steps it took to paint the argyle accent wall in our baby's room.  Check it out:

1. This is what the room started out looking like.  Taupe-colored walls with a red accent wall.

2. I started by painting all (4) walls walls a light gray color.  (1) shade of gray.  Not 50 shades of gray.

3. Blue painter's tape.  You can't paint an argyle wall without it.  After taking careful measurements, doing the math, and outlining everything in pencil, I started taping the future "accent wall."  There are (10) diamonds horizontally, and (4) diamonds vertically.  Each diamond is 12 inches wide by 24 inches high.

4. To make the diamonds alternating colors, I painted every-other-one a dark gray.  I made sure to mark the diamonds with an "x" to remind me which ones were not supposed to be painted dark gray.  As you can see, there are now 2 shades of gray (...still not 50 shades of gray.)  Here's a little trick I learned: To get really crisp paint lines, you have to re-paint the 1st color along the edges of the painter's tape to seal the edges of the painter's tape.  This helps prevent your 2nd paint color from bleeding under the edges of the painter's tape, thus preventing your lines from looking like squiggly crap.  SO...I painted the original color (in this case, the light gray) along the taped borders.  That way, any seepage under the tape will be the same color as the original wall (light gray).  THEN, I painted my 2nd color (the dark gray) over the edges of the tape, and every-other diamond.  Make sense?

5. This is what the wall looked like after painting every-other diamond dark gray.  The next step is removing the tape.  When you peel off the tape, it looks like....

6. Lots of diamonds.  Looks pretty sweet if I do say so myself... although it's missing something.  We could have left it like this, but any good argyle pattern has additional "highlight lines" (as I'll call them).  The subsequent "highlight lines" were the most time consuming part of this project.  Here's how I did them:

7. MORE painter's tape.  I measured and drew diagonal lines with pencil through the center of each diamond, then ran blue painter's tape 1/8 of an inch on both sides of the penciled lines.  This created 1/4" wide diagonal stripes.

8. This photo shows how the crisscrossed taping is progressing.  Crisscross... not to be confused with Kris Kross ("Jump! Jump! Kris Kross will make ya Jump! Jump!) or Christopher Cross ("Saaaaaailing, takes me awaaaaaaay to where I've al-ways heard it could be...")  (Bah-dah-cha!  Rimshot!  Crickets crickets crickets)

9. When you tape diagonally, pieces of tape wind up overlapping.  To get ride of the overlap (and maintain the diagonal striping), I had to cut out pieces of tape with a razor blade.  (4) pieces of tape had to be cut out for every "X" to maintain continuity of the diagonal stripes.

10. Once the small diagonal pieces of tape were cut with the razor blade, I peeled the pieces of tape off the wall.  Very appealing, huh.  Bazinga.

11. Peeling the pieces of tape left an "X" in the middle of the diamond, and maintained the continuity of all diagonal stripes.

12. Here's what the taping job looked like after several roles of painter's tape, and several hours of cutting and peeling, and several bloody fingers.

13. Like I said before: To get crisp lines, you have to re-paint the original color along the edge of the painter's tape to  seal the edges of the painter's tape.  This helps prevent your new paint color from bleeding under the edges of the painter's tape.

14. Here's what I mean by "painting over the edges of the painter's tape."  This seals the edges so that your next color doesn't seep under the tape.  This gives you crisp lines.  Tricks of the trade.  Very time consuming, but you'll thank me later.

15. I then painted the diagonal "highlight lines" with fluorescent green paint.  The final lines won't be as thick as they look here.  They'll be thin after I remove the painter's tape.  Remember, the diagonal lines (which are outlined by the painter's tape) are only 1/4" wide.

16. It took several coats of paint to get these "highlight lines" to cover the dark gray paint.

17. Here's a pic of me peeling off the last piece of painter's tape.  It took me 1.5 hours (... yes, one-and-a-half hours) to carefully remove all of the painter's tape from the wall.

18. Here's a pic of all the tape I used to outline the diagonal "highlight lines."

And the finished product looks like...

19. Voila!  The finished accent wall.  Eat your heart out Pinterest!

20.  Finally, here's a close-up pic of the argyle pattern.  Crisp lines.
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Someone may see it and be inspired to have their spouse dedicate 4 weekends of their life to a labor of love.

The baby is due 1.5 months.  Time is flying by.

Next up: Crib assemblage!

Until next time...