New Closet: Part 1, Painting Stripes

*Sigh* Where do I begin. Before I started this ambitious project (and I say ambitious because this is really the FIRST home improvement project I have done. Period.) I looked around on Pinterest for inspiration on how to remake my closet. Because our house is a pre-sale and we didn’t want to pay for the all “extras”, all the closet racks were the plain and simple wire ones. Did I mention that ALL the walls in the house is white? This will be a never ending project. Good thing we plan on staying here awhile!
In my excitement of starting the reno, I forgot to take a pic of what my closet looked like with all my clothes, shoes… and other crap. Here’s what it looked like when Helpful Hubs started removing the yucky wire racks:

Helpful Hubs

Helpful Hubs

Yes my friends, that is indeed a chandelier you see. If you’re asking how I managed to get hubs to agree to let me put a girly chandelier in there, the answer is quite simple; this is MY own personal walk-in closet. Yes MINE. ALL MINE. And now you’re wondering how I managed to kick hubby out, well he also has his own. Our master bedroom has two, I repeat TWO, walk-in closets! It’s paradise. It would be Utopia if my closet were just a tiny bit bigger but I digress. I’m happy not having to share closet space as it is lol. On another note, hubs has made a few comments about me putting a chandelier in there not to mention the fact that he doesn’t understand why I need to paint it either.

I decided I wanted to paint black stripes in my closet and went about reading on how to go about doing it. All the sites I read say that it’s “easy” and “simple”… they’re not true. Well at least not in my case. There was a lot of trial and error not to mention a crap load of patience and an insurmountable amount of determination. But having gone through it all now, the next time I decide to paint a striped wall it will definitely go a lot faster and easier.

It all started when the calculator app I used on my iPad gave me the wrong calculation. The walls in my closet are 90.5″ in height and I wanted an uneven number of stripes because I wanted the very top and the very bottom ones to be black. So I divided 90.5 by 9. Now this is where it all started. The app on my iPad gave me a calculation of 13.64″ for each stripe. Helpful Hubs used a tape measure and went about the room marking 13.64”. Now hubs is quite notorious in our household for not making straight lines so I was a bit skeptical of his abilities. After he finished his markings we started to tape. This is when Helpful Hubs turned into Angry Hubs. I questioned his measuring because it didn’t look very straight to me. He started taping starting at the very top because I wouldn’t be able to reach that high and I started painting over the patched up holes with the base paint (more on that later). Before I could tell hubs where the tape was supposed to go he had already started on the third stripe. I decided to keep my mouth shut and just redo it all the next evening. We finally finished taping about 30mins-45mins later and that’s when I noticed that something was wrong. The last stripe on the bottom was about half the width of the others. I scratched my head about it for a bit and the next day I used my calculator app on my phone to recalculate the numbers. 90.5 divided by 9 = 10.05!!!!!!! A few specific words ran through my head. How could I have not noticed that it was miscalculated in the first place?! Fortunately I was going to redo the tapes anyways. I ran out to Home Depot on my lunch to grab a laser level. The one I bought was the Johnson HOT SHOT. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on one and since I was planning on remarking and taping the stripes myself and didn’t want to put nails in my wall, I decided not to get the chalk line. Review of the Johnson HOT SHOT will come in a later post.

When hubs came home I told him that there was a miscalculation and I would be redoing the measurements and the tapes. He came up to help me a few mins after I had started.
This proved to be the most frustrating part. I relied too heavily on the laser level and thought that all walls should be level with one another, because really… why wouldn’t they right?! *Sigh* I ended up only marking the new correct measurement in ONE spot and only ONCE. I realized my error when I started to apply the tape on the second wall. The marks didn’t match up. Turned out that the laser level was shifting on the wall. The sticky tack that keeps it on the wall was actually not so sticky. Back to the beginning we go. Fast forward an hour, while I was almost half way done retaping, I asked hubs if he could start priming the edge of the tapes for the stripes that were going to be painted black.
Because the walls were already white to begin with and I wanted black and white stripes, I only needed to buy black paint. Hubs had picked up a small can of touch-up paint for us to cover up the patched up holes. The paint was supposed to be same colour of the existing colour of paint on the walls but we couldn’t get in the smaller sized can because that specific colour of paint was only available in the gallon sized cans. The girl at the store said it was 99% the same colour. I’m pretty sure she’s colour blind. Either that or she played a pretty mean prank on us.

Ready for the first coat of black paint!

Ready for the first coat of black paint!

This was the result after two coats of the “same” colour of paint. Now, I would recommend you prime the tape even though it adds more time to finish your project. The reason for that is because this actually helps seal the tape and prevent any of the paint from bleeding. I did two coats of this because hubs used a foam brush (!@#$%^&*) to do the first coat of the first couple of stripes and it just didn’t look like it would do much of anything. I also marked the ones to be painted black with tape.I would also recommend the use of wide painters tape. As you can see in the picture below, I only used the thinner ones because that was what we had on hand and yes, I did paint over the tape a few times.

First coat of paint

First coat of paint

I should mention that I had to cancel all my plans that I had for the day to finish painting my closet. I didn’t really have to do it all that afternoon but by the time I had finished the first coat of paint it was already 2:30pm. Even with the taping done the night before, it took me until 5pm to fully finish that one little room *sigh*. I did make time for a shower, lunch and a quick clean of the house before starting on the second and final coat of paint.

Isn't it beautiful?!

Isn’t it beautiful?!

Voila! Part 1 of my new closet is complete!

Paint I used:
White touch-up paint: Cloverdale
Black: Behr, Carbon


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