One of the quickest and easiest ways to add spice to a room is to add an accent wall. We all know about using a bold color to highlight a specific wall, but there are many other things you can do that will also make a statement. Chevrons are bold zig-zag patterns that add a good dose of flair and drama to a room.
What’s excellent about chevrons is that you can control how big and dramatic they are. The more you spread them out, the less impactful they will be, while still adding some movement to the room. Chevrons can also work great in kitchens as backsplashes or in bathrooms to add a bit of color and texture.
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There are two ways to paint chevrons, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling. You can use a stencil if you have the time to wait for it to arrive. It’s the safer option since you’ll be guaranteed that all the angles line up and the end effect isn’t a bit wonky. If you don’t have the time or money to spend on a stencil, you can use some masking tape to get some perfect lines.
This video by Live Your Style shows exactly how easy it can be to paint a perfect chevron wall, and also what to do if the effect is more impactful than you initially expected.
What You Need
- Roller brush
- Painter’s tape
- Craft knife
- Craft brush
1. Plan out your design.
Before you start, decide precisely how you want your chevron to look. The more peaks you choose to use, the busier the wall will look. The fewer mountains you paint, the less dramatic the effect will be.
An easy way to plan out your chevron pattern is to remember that a chevron fits into a perfect square. So, measure your wall and divide it by the number of peaks you want to have. That will give you the length and width of your guide square. It also means that you won’t end up in the unfortunate position of having two-and-a-third chevrons on your wall.
If you don’t have a computer design tool, there is another way you can plan out your chevron by measuring from the corner of the wall to the top of the first point. You then double that distance to get to the point where the chevron will start going down. Keep going with this measurement along the wall to get chevrons that are an even distance from each other. Be careful when using this method, as you may find that you have an incomplete chevron at the end of the room. Depending on your perfectionistic tendencies, this may or may not be a problem.
Once you have the first row completed, measure down between 8 to 10 inches and use a level to keep the lines straight. Once you’ve got all the necessary points down, you can use your ruler to connect the dots.
Or, if you’ve used a design tool to get your measurements, pre-measure your squares on the wall. Then use a ruler to mark the chevron pattern and check it for consistency and evenness. Always keep a level on hand to make sure that your chevron pattern isn’t trending up or down along the wall.
Also, take the time to step back once in a while to evaluate the look of the chevrons as a whole. By stepping back, you can quickly see where any imperfections or mistakes may be, and you can correct them quickly and easily.
2. Mark out the design.
Once you’re satisfied that you’ve marked out an even chevron pattern, use painter’s tape to mask the lines. Be sure to stick to the lines and keep checking to make sure that your angles and lines remain even and line up correctly. Make sure you apply the painting tape evenly, removing any air bubbles that might affect the edge seal.
Clean up your masking tape using a box cutter and ruler to ensure that you have the perfect edge before you start painting. Don’t worry about the masking tape outside of the chevron pattern if you’re planning on keeping the existing wall color. If you’re using two new colors, make sure all the taped corners are even and sharp.
3. Seal the tape.
While painter’s tape is supposed to be edge-locked to stop the paint from seeping under, you don’t want an accidental bit of paint to ruin your entire paint job. That’s why it’s always a good idea to take a bit of the existing wall color paint and paint along the edge of the painter’s tape to seal the border completely. That way, even if some color seeps through, you won’t notice.
4. Paint the chevron.
Depending on your design choice, you’ll either be painting two new wall colors or simply sticking to your existing wall color and adding another color for the chevrons. Use as many coats of paint as you need to get complete, even coverage of your chevron pattern.
You can save money by simply adding an extra color to your existing wall color. It’s much easier and also means that you don’t need to paint the other walls of the room to match. It’s a great way to make sure the wall doesn’t stand out from the rest of the room too much, while still providing some life and movement.
5. Remove the tape.
Make sure to remove the tape before the paint has dried to prevent peeling. When you remove the tape, you should see your stunning new pattern.
6. Adjust the effect
If you like the dramatic and stark impact, then you’re done! If you’d like to soften up the edges and make the entire wall look a bit less intense, you can take some of the same white paint and use a sponge to draw light vertical stripes.
The final product is an even, dramatic, and subtle accent wall that won’t take too long to paint. It’s guaranteed to add some life to a dull room. By taking the time to ensure that the pattern is even, you get an effect that won’t look slightly off, which can be incredibly distracting and can ruin the entire look of the wall.
Chevrons are a great way to liven up a room and create a sense of motion. The trickiest part, by far, of painting a chevron wall is drawing out and taping the chevrons to make sure that they’re evenly spaced and angled.
The best way to do this is to take the width of the wall and divide it by the number of chevrons you want. This step gives you the length and breadth of your chevron square, which you can use to guide you in drawing your points and lining them up using a ruler.
If you find that the result offers a bit too much contrast, particularly in a small room, you can soften the effect by using a sponge and a light coat of the second color to mute the chevron line.
As with many painting projects, knowing how to paint a chevron wall is all about having the patience to mark out your project before you paint the wall correctly.