Sunday, July 14, 2013

The White (and gold) Stripes

Here it is, the post you have all been waiting for.  Ok maybe nobody has actually been waiting with bated breath for this post, but I have been very excited to show this project to you!! 

Remember how I mentioned that I thought the white grommet-topped curtains in our family room could stand to have a little more flavor?  Well, call me Emeril, because flavor them up I did!  BAM!

I spray painted my curtains. 

That's right, you heard me.  I spray painted my curtains, and I liked it.  Here's how you can do it too.

The curtains that flank our patio doors are actually four separate panels.  I took each panel off the rod, laid it out flat on the floor and measured it to help me decide how wide my stripes should be. The length of the curtain was just over 83 inches, and I knew that I wanted to have 7 stripes (4 white and 3 gold, so that the curtain would be more white than gold), so I decided to make each stripe 11.75 inches wide.  The bottom stripe would be slightly wider, but I knew that it would not be noticeable. 

So, I started at the top of the curtain and measured down 11.75 inches, making a tiny pencil mark along the left edge, center, and right edge of the curtain (all 11.75 inches from the top).  Then, I taped a strip of blue painter's tape along that line, making sure that I line up against all three marks to ensure that my stripe would be straight.  Once I had my first line taped off, I measured 11.75 inches down from that (again at both edges and the center) and placed another strip of tape, and so on. 

The thing that I had to remember was that whether the tape should be placed above or on below my pencil mark depended upon whether that stripe would be white or gold.  For the white stripes, I wanted the painters tape to be placed within the area to remain white.  For the gold stripes, I wanted the painter's tape to be placed outside of the area that would be painted gold.  Looking below, you can see what I mean.  The white stripes appear to be thinner than the gold stripes, but that is just because the portions covered by the blue tape will be white when removed.

White, gold, white, gold, white, gold, white

I cannot put enough emphasis on the importance of making sure that you seal the painters tape firmly.  A good seal ensures a clean paint line when you remove the tape and is essential to the success of this project.

Next, I used strips of a clear plastic drop cloth to cover the stripes that were to remain white.  This part was easy; I just cut the drop cloth in the widths that I needed and used painters tape to keep them in place.  Once again, a good seal on the painters tape is essential to ensuring that you don't end up with gold paint in areas that are supposed to remain white. 

Then it was outside for the spray painting portion of the project.  Believe it or not, I just used regular old Rustoleum metallic gold spray paint.  A lot of it.  In order to get good coverage of the white curtain, it took 2 coats of spray paint, which equaled about 2 cans of paint per curtain.  Since fabric has so many nooks and crannies within the weave, I would recommend doing the first coat from one side of the curtain and the second coat from the opposite side.  Using multiple angles ensures that you get complete coverage. 

 After one coat, there was still some white peeking through.
 But after two coats the coverage was very good.

About five minutes after the second coat had been applied, I removed the tape and the plastic strips.   I wasn't quite sure what to expect...but the lines came out AMAZING. Look at those perfect stripes!

Once I had the first panel done, basically all I had to do was repeat the process with the other three panels...with one small exception.  Although I had four identical white curtain panels that I bought all at the same time, they were....irregular.  Some of the panels were slightly longer than others, and if I measured the same distance from the top of each curtain, the stripes might not line up with each other. That would look terrible, and this concern almost derailed me.

  My husband pointed out that the constant was the grommet, since all of the grommets hung from the straight curtain rod, and told me that if I started the first gold stripe the same distance underneath the grommet on each curtain, they would be even.  I could then measure my 11.75 inches on all of the stripes below that.  Which is exactly what I did, and......

 ...they lined up beautifully! 

  I can't get over how much I love them!  I feel like that add depth and interest to the family room.  They look cool next to my patterned chair.  I think they are my best project to date!!

But now I wonder if I should somehow stripe the white grommet topper curtains in the other half of the room? But I worry that might be too much. What do you think? 

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  1. Em they look Awesome! Maybe like 2 tiny gold stripes on the bottom of the topper curtains? But only if you want, it looks fine how it is!

  2. Thanks Megan! That's a good suggestion! I'm so torn!

  3. Love your striped gold curtains!!! So classy and timeless!

    1. Thank you Selene! I just checked out your blog...I love it!

  4. Excellent idea, thank you for sharing!!!!….I wanted to invite you back to share more at my linky party going on now. Add as many projects as you like. Hope to see you there…

    Christina at
    Thursday SWEET HAUTE Share Linky Party

  5. Emily, seriously... Spray painting curtains? I thought, she's totally off-the-wall, I have to see this... And BAM! You knocked me out with this FABULOUS project! It looks gorgeous, what a brilliant upgrade to plain panels, I absolutely love it. Great job!


    1. Oh I won't lie...I wasn't so sure it was going to work myself. Which is probably why it felt so fabulous when it did! Thanks for your sweet comment, and for stopping by!!

  6. lovely! are the original curtains 100% cotton or else?