A Change of Tone

Well, I survived my solo week last week, and as my mother-in-law pointed out, that’s just a normal week for so many people, so kudos to all of you single moms and dads. My hat goes off to you.

The bathroom reno is moving along quite well now. Hopefully we won’t hit any more snags. (Knocking on wood). It’s really starting to take shape. I can’t wait to share it all with you soon!

I thought I’d share a quick little project that we tackled and accomplished in one afternoon. We actually hired a babysitter on a Sunday and knocked this out in a few hours without having to worry about the kids’ schedules. I think we just might do that more often. It was SO awesome!

how to paint tone on tone stripes

I’ve always wanted to try this paint technique, and I thought this little wall in our foyer would be the perfect spot to try it out. How did I get this subtle tone-on-tone effect on our wall? Prepare yourself for my awesome secret REVEALED!

I used the same colour paint in a different sheen. Our foyer is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Stone Hearth in an eggshell finish, and the accent stripes seen here are semi-gloss.

This is so simple, it’s almost not worth doing a tutorial, but here’s a few photos for you to see how I did it.

Here’s how it was looking before the paint treatment.


Besides removing the bench and cushions, the first thing to do was to decide how big we wanted the stripes. After some discussion we decided on 12 inches. That would give us nice broad stripes, and also a total of 8 stripes (4 of each) so that you could actually appreciate that there is a difference. Any wider and we’d have fewer stripes making less of a statement. Choosing 12 inches also made the math easy, so there was that.

measured and taped

I taped along the vertical sides of the wall to prevent the paint from bleeding beyond the sides. The tape also allowed me to mark off my measurements on the tape instead of the wall. You can see in the photo above that there’s actually only 7 stripes. We decided not to paint an additional stripe on the bottom because our bench would cover it. We could always measure and add a stripe down the line if we change the decor in this niche.

Once the sides were taped and my measurements were made it was time to tape off the horizontal stripes by running the tape across the wall from mark to mark. This is where you’ll have to decide where you want your accent stripes to start. We decided that our “first” accent stripe would be the second foot (from the top) and alternate from there. That meant I wouldn’t have to paint along the ceiling and since we were leaving the bottom unpainted I wouldn’t have to paint along our baseboard either. You could, of course, have the accent stripe start at the ceiling but you’d just have to paint along the ceiling which is just a little bit trickier and a little more time consuming if you’re being careful.

Once you know where you want your stripes to be you need to tape it off matching up your marks from left to right. If you are painting a long expanse of wall you’ll probably want to add additional measurements between your two sides, but my distance was short enough that I could run the tape level from mark to mark with only a little bit of fiddling and checking the level.

Don’t forget to tape above the mark at the top and below the mark at the bottom of your stripe so that all your stripes remain 12 inches (or your measurement) apart. If you look closely at the photo above you’ll see that the stripes look like they are different sizes. That’s because of the tape being above and below the lines where I don’t want to paint.

painted stripes

And all that’s left is to paint! I used a short handled brush to get in the corners, and then a small roller to roll the rest. Super quick and easy.

And here’s another tip. If you’re like me and your brain goes into “this is easy” mode and then checks out when you should be paying attention, then you might find this useful. Once I had all the stripes taped out I took another second to draw little arrows on the vertical tape to remind myself where to paint.


So there you have it! (Almost) instant personality to an often used space that was just asking for a little love.

Stripes after

I’m not going to lie, I love it so much that immediately after removing the tape I told husbandman that I might want to do all the walls in the foyer the same way. But for now, it’s a great little accent wall. I love how it’s not in-your-face but still adds lots of personality and makes it feel like a much more personalized space.


4 thoughts on “A Change of Tone

  1. Pingback: First impressions | to london with love

  2. Pingback: Deck the walls | to london with love

  3. Pingback: Notchwood – The Final Chapter – to london with love

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s