Bathroom Stripes

After seeing many similar projects on the Internet (from bloggers such as Young House Love, and of course on Pinterest), I was inspired to paint stripes in our master bathroom.  Then my friend Katy painted stripes in her hallway which further inspired me.  Don’t fall victim to thinking that painting a “small NYC bathroom” is an easy project.  Little did I know what each inch of our 65 square foot bathroom had in store for me…

I began by measuring our bathroom from ceiling to baseboard, which came out to 87″.  Then, I decided I wanted 9 stripes in total, and I wanted to keep the top and bottom stripes white (as in I did not want to paint them).  This left me with some math: 87 / 9 = 9.66″ stripes.  I used a pencil to mark each wall of the bathroom every 9.5″ because let’s be honest – measuring exactly 9.66″ was really not going to happen.  This meant that my bottom stripe would be just a little bigger than all the others, and that was fine with me. 

I removed the towels and toilet paper.  I would have totally removed all of the hardware in the bathroom, but I worried I would not be able to get them back in place.  I decided to soldier on and just work around them.

Now came the fun part – I used a meter stick level to apply frog tape straight and level throughout the entire bathroom.  The most important thing to remember about applying the stripes is that you must apply the tape inside the 9.5″ marks for the white stripes and outside the 9.5″ marks for the darker stripes. The first wall wasn’t terrible once I started to get the hang of holding the level straight and applying the tape at the same time.  I will spare you the ugly details of me holding the roll of tape in my mouth as I set up the next measurement – let’s put it this way: this project is much easier with two people.  The taping took me about 3 1/2 hours.  Even in a bathroom of our size it takes time to get around the small areas such as the toilet and  the vanity.  

Here is a picture of the tape in place:

Once the tape is in place, it’s best to stand back and see if anything looks uneven.  You should be able to tell with certainty if something is not right.  Luckily, with the exception of the area behind the toilet, I did not have to redo any of the stripes.  The toilet posed a particular challenge because it is nearly impossible to get behind the tank with a level and apply tape in a straight line.  But, I managed by working with small pieces of tape and checking every time I applied a new piece.  Also, it’s good to remember that no one should be looking behind your toilet tank, so really the important part is just around the tank on either side.  When you are certain your tape is straight and you are pleased with the results, it’s time to shop for paint!

After taking a few trips to Home Depot and looking at paint swatches for days, it was finally time to paint!

I began by taping a plastic drop cloth around the bathroom, being sure to adhere it well above the baseboards just in case there was a paint drip and around the toilet so that no paint would get on the tank.  I also tapped off any exposed hardware, switch plates or marble that might come into contact with paint.  

I used a small foam roller to get the majority of the walls painted.  I used a smaller brush when I needed to get into tiny crevices – which seemed like it was all the time in this bathroom.  Once you are satisfied with the paint coverage, immediately remove the tape from the wall.  If you let the paint dry before you move the take you risk also removing your paint.  And what a tragedy that would be after all this hard work! 

Here is a picture of our bathroom after the tape was removed and the stripes were finished.  The picture on the left it a shot of a corner of the bathroom, the picture on the right is the opposite corner by the shower:

Here is a detail shot for anyone interested:

I am thrilled with the results, but also feeling the pain of my hard work – I am so sore!  I hope bathroom painting also counts as cardio because I am exhausted…

Have you ever tried painting a room in your home?

The Future Mrs. Wolf

  • Juliet

    This looks amazing! Well done.

    • The Domesticated Wolf

      thank you!! xx.