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Shapetape wall

Chevron Shapetape  Wall

The wall on my upstairs landing was pretty bare. I didn't want to hang anything on it because our attic access opens up about an inch from the wall, so some cool finish seemed like a good option to amp up the space (and I'd been wanting to try out this pattern for over a year, I knew Shapetape could be for more than just stripes).  I've seen this pattern a lot in black and white, it looks great, but that wouldn't work in my house.  So here it is on the left in taupe...not bad huh?  You can pull off bold patterns more easily in neutrals. It took a lot of work, but if you like a challenge and have some skill with paint and painters tape, you can pull this off.  My thought on tedious DIYs is that: if people can sit for hours doing something like a puzzle that's just going to end up getting put away, why not put your work on a wall where you can enjoy it. Here's a heads up though>> this project is for people that have experience with tricky layouts and painters tape.......if you have a history of unrealistic expectations for yourself, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.  (<< that's just a friendly warning of course, lol)    

After some thought about the easiest way to go about making this pattern, I settled on the idea of tracing a template to mark off the diagonal grid, instead of measuring and drawing out lines.  I found a piece of thin dense cardboard and cut it out to a (very precise)19 7/8 in.  I measured the wall to be sure that my pattern would not end up unnecessarily cut up at the edges.  I made some marks on the wall where my first diamond would be placed, marking level and plumb, straight lines to line my corners up onto.  Then, beginning in the middle of the wall I carefully traced the edges with a light (mechanical) pencil line.  Do you see the marks at the corners of my cardboard template?  I skipped tracing a line up to those points, because those marks are roughly where the Shape tape would cross in the pattern and I didn't want to have pencil where paint would not be going.  It's not a great pic but you can see it in the pick below the template.  Those dots below where the tape crossed, is where the corner of the diamond template went.  I used those tiny pencil dots to guide the placement of the template.  It might sound simpler just to measure and draw out lines, and or use a laser to help lay out (on a larger wall I might recommend that because walls are never perfectly flat and the pattern could easily stray the further you get from your starting point) However, using the template helped in various ways and it helped my process later.

That gets us to taping off the wall, I placed the tape on top of the layout lines, being careful to cross symmetrically and directly above the pencil dot marks.  Having the pattern line up well, will matter most at the center of the walls height (because, again, the pattern will be offset eventually as you move further from your starting point).  Watch some tutorials on Shape tape if you have never used it before too.  Next, I laid out all my tape.  


OK, from here I had to figure out the size I wanted the smaller diamond that would go within my diagonal grid.  Then, I experimented a little to figure out how to get it even on all sides.  After figuring that out I taped it onto the template I used for the starting layout.  (It helped me visualize it to lay it against the top of the Shape tape grid now). Once I got it centered and taped on I traced it and cut out that square (don't damage it while cutting it out or pitch the square, you'll want it later) so that I could use it to help me place that smaller diamond within my grid.

Now go watch a movie... No really, that's what I did when I cut out all the strips (for the sides of my smaller diamonds) out of the Shape tape to later be placed within the new template.  After you get all those many pieces cut out, it's all easier (and a little fun) from here.  After all that cutting I placed the smaller diamonds using that template also. Please check out the pics if my description is not working for you.  Next, I placed strips of tape onto a surface I could use an exact-o knife against (and one that I could easily remove the tape from).  I measured out and cut squares to use in the centers of the small diamonds.  Again, I took the square I removed from the second template and measured off a diamond in the center (to match a square made from painters tape) and cut it out with an exact-o knife.  I used that third template to help me place the pieces of tape I'd cut out in the center of the inner diamond.  (That pic is towards the bottom.) 

Now finally, I could paint!  AFTER pressing all my tape down, especially at the places the tape overlaps.  This delicate surface tape is not quite as sticky as regular masking tape so pressing it down as you work may even be necessary (particularly at the little kinks and bubbles that might have been made or left in the tape during placement).


This all took a LOT of time and I was only able to work during my daughters nap times, but it was worth it (and I happen to like a challenge).


NOW, the fun part (and nerve-racking part) painting!  You definitely need a paint that goes on in one coat.  I masked off the adjacent walls and ceilings and began trimming, then rolled it out. You'll also want to protect the floor for painting and to have a place to lay the painters tape you pull off. When I was done painting, I immediately went about removing the tape starting at where I began painting.  It is pretty tricky getting a hold of the tapes edges, I used a pair of tweezers to help. Pulling off long runs of tape, you risk touching your wall with tape that has wet paint on it, so be careful.

Done!  It took me a while to get pics together, I did this right before starting homeschooling and I lost momentum.  I finally got around to gathering things to compliment this space.  I'm very happy to finally share this project!  If you attempt this, let me know if you need any tips or if my tutorial isn't adequate, I'd love to help!!

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