DIY groovy geometric wall border

10:54 AM

A hand painted bright colors wall border made with a triangle template. I used artist acrylic paint for the job as it gives a good coverage and once it has dried is waterproof.  and

Do you have an ugly dirty, and blah wall at home? You know, the kind of wall that looks utterly depressing and really could use a little oomph. I know I have a few, the joy of living in rental in India.

To remedy to that lack of style you could or repaint the entire wall (but it could stay boring), or you could spice it up with a colorful wall border. This is my to go solution, and all it requires is a little time, and some artist acrylic paint.

First, let me show you what I started with (pinterest worthy picture below...just kidding):

This wall has been painted with cheap watered down dispertion. It got dirty really fast and it was the focal point of an already dull, dark and grey narrow kitchen. It was screaming for colors

Isn't that awesome or what? this is the wall in my utility area. Like the rest of the flat, it has been painted with a cheap dispersion that has been watered down to the extreme so that the result is an awful powdery finish that gets dirty in no time. I am not joking, my whole flat is full of hand prints and stains (and don't get me started about all the doodles Ishita added).
This utility room wall is an eye sore and comes right at the end of an already narrow, and very depressing grey kitchen. not much of a focal point. I already did a painted border on balcony, why not another one in what is essentially our laundry room.

First, I washed this wall as well as I could. I wasn't too worried about ruining the paint treatment. It was already ruined anyway. So, I used a brush, water and soap, and then finished it by spraying some "Mr Muscle" and wiping down. Then I let it dry.

When you are doing a geometric border, it pays to have a template to help your draw the border on the wall before painting it.

While the washed wall was drying, I cut some templates for my design out of sturdy paper. I cut one whole triangle, and a half one to use in corners. When you are doing a geometric border, it is a good idea to do a template. Especially if your wall is old, grainy and uneven like mine. I did triangles, but really it can be just about anything you want.

When you work with acrylic paint on your wall, do not use any water in your paint, apply it as it is on the wall. Work from top to bottom to avoid drips and smudges.

Once you have your template ready, hold it against the wall and start drawing the shape. As you can see on the picture above, I did two rows of triangles, one on top, one at the bottom. Once that is done, you can start painting.
I used Artist's Acrylic paint for the job. I love acrylic paint because it is water soluble and once it dries it is waterproof and wont come off the surface you painted easily. Artist acrylic paint can be used on a wide array of surfaces with excellent results. The brand I favour is Camel (widely available in cities in India). I usually buy the big tubes and for such a big project it is a must.

The colors I used are the following:

335 Light blue permanent (my favourite)
284 Medium Magenta
255 Mauve (which is a very deep purple hue)
023 Brilliant Purple (for the accents)
205 Indian Yellow (for the dotted line)

When you paint on walls with acrylic paint it is VERY important to use the paint with as little water as possible, if at all. watering down the paint for that job will result in uneven coverage and the color possibly dripping. If for some reason the paint is a bit too viscous and has trouble getting into a hole or on a bump (it happens on old walls), quickly dip the clean brush in water and gently brush over what has already been applied to the wall. Do not mix the paint and water on your mixing palette.

Make sure you work from the top of your border pattern all the way to the bottom too. In this case, I painted the purple border first, then the blue triangles, then the magenta ones, and finished with another purple border. Once that was done I used the accent colors even out the design flaws and add some oomph to my border.

Accent colors helps correct visual imperfections. On an old walls like this one, the width of certain elements might be affected, so dividing two very contrasting colours like my deep purple and sky blue with a light purple line. Or, adding circles at the bottom of the lower purple border helps the whole thing to blend and look more even.
I used an ear bud (Q-tip) to make the yellow dotted line, this is what works best for that kind of job. You could do it with a small paintbrush, but you could end up with a very uneven job in twice the time it takes with an ear bud (embrace unconventional tools when it comes to painting)

As I progressed with my wall border painting I suddenly reaslised that it was clashing with the rest of the room.

Toward the end of my little project, I realised that my new groovy wall border was clashing with the wooden railing behind the washing machine, and subsequently the rest of the room. So what turned out to be a one wall border, ended up to be a whole room wall border (that is still in progress as I type)

I painted the yellow dots using an earbud (Q-tip) and painted the wooden ledge that clashed with my border to match the look.

I painted the wooden ledge behind the washing machine with the Brilliant Purple hue and added a few yellow dots to connect it to the rest of the design. The wall you can't see in this picture is going to receive the same Triangle pattern border treatment the first wall got.
At this point I'm also considering adding paint to the door and possibly above the window. But if that happens, this will the the topic of a different blog post

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  1. OMGOSH!! This is gorgeous!!!!! <3
    My walls are gross, I would love to be able to do this!!!!!!!

    Looks fabulous!!!!!! xx

    1. All of my walls are gross. That is sadly what happened when painters dilute an already water based wall paint with more water. It gives a really crappy finish.

      Since we have been living in this flat for almost 3 years now, you can I,agile how ugly most of the walls are. ishita scribbled on them, the dog rubbed herself leaving grease on them, and there are many hand prints all over, plus the water splashing from the maid's mopping.
      The walls as they are are so ruined that we will have to pay for painting charges when we get out of that flat. So at this point I am not risking much by adding my own paintings to the walls :-)

    2. Anonymous2:30 PM

      that is what I was thinking. What will your landlord say.


    3. She saw the balcony and one and said nothing. She saw scribbles in the walls and said nothing, she also knows about the upstairs neighbour whose AC has completely damaged our living room floor and did nothing. At this point we will be charged repainting charges anyway. So we are really not worried about the only good looking wall treatment we added :-) we lost painting charges in previous places despite there having no visible damage anyway.

    4. Anonymous6:30 PM

      I think u should gift her your dupatta table runner lol


    5. The question is which one? I have two table runners made from that one dupatta :-)

    6. Anonymous7:03 PM

      I think u should drape both the dupatta pieces on each one of her shoulders. This will restore the prestige of the sacred dupatta.


    7. I really don't thing the landlady is the dupatta wearing type :-) she is the type that has no problem with jeans and t-shirts, the typical casual Mumbaikar.

  2. I LOVE this! I am saving this post so I can do this in the future. It's so lovely!

    1. Oh you'll have to share the results on your blog when you will do it.

  3. Anonymous3:17 PM

    Wow..that design is so..Indian? Back home I'd never have thought of painting in such bold colours. Some kitchens are doing the bright themes but its usually more of red cabinets or wardrobes to spice up a bit. Heck you hardly even see people wearing such bright colours of clothing or shoes. Maybe that's why India is known as a colourful country.

    1. That is one of the thing I love in India, people aren't afraid of colours and prints. In Switzerland you rarely see people wearing anything but earth tones and black, the boldest being pastel colours in the Spring and Summer.

  4. Very pretty!
    I also did a DIY to turn a blah wall into a cool wall! :)
    check it if you like

    1. You wall looks really cool! I love the idea of pasting motivational quote in colourful paper like that!

  5. Anonymous3:46 AM

    This wall looks really cool !


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