House For Six

Taking the Plunge...Into Ombre!

Deme Crinion10 Comments
Normally, I'm not one to jump onto the latest trend when it comes to design, and when I do it's usually in a very non-committal way...pillows, accessories, etc. But in this case, I just couldn't resist!  I have loved all the colorful ombre inspiration on Pinterest.  The graduated color adds such interest and still manages to be cohesive. 

Check out this lovely dresser....

Or these painted wall medallions...

And these ombre chevron curtains from Owen's Olivia that have been all over the blogsphere.  So charming.

There's plenty of inspiration for taking ombre to your walls too.  All of it very colorful!  I still love this color effect as much as I did when I first saw it, so I knew I wouldn't tire of it easily, but I still wanted to make sure that I could live with it for the long haul.  So where to go with it?

I knew I wanted to do something fun in the breakfast nook area since that would be a place for the kids to not only eat, but create with their arts/craft supplies.  I had planned on stripes, because let's be honest, I'm a bit addicted to them.  But I also knew they would help that small space feel larger.  Since, grey and white stripes were already on the agenda for the nook,  I decided to go for the ombre! 

I decided to do both walls that frame the nook, to further define the space.  I thought 5 stripes would work best for this and since my walls measured 94" tall (not including the base board), that put each stripe right around 18.5 inches.

I started by measuring down 18.5" from the ceiling and marking that on the wall.  I started at one end and continued across both walls making a mark every foot or so.  Then I measured down another 18.5" from those marks, all the way across....and so on two more times until I had my stripes marked.  Then I carefully taped out the stripes using those marks.  

Take care to be conscious of which sections or blocks you will be painting first.  Make sure you place the tape on the appropriate side of the marks.  Since I planned to paint blocks 1, 3, and 5 first, I placed the tape below the first mark, above the 2nd mark down,  below the 3rd row of marks, and above the last row of marks.

Here she is all taped and ready to go.  I taped one night (hence the poor lighting) and didn't paint until the next day, so I needed my calendar up and out of kid reach :)

Now the fun part!  I began with a Valspar paint chip.  We had already selected "Granite Dust" for the new wall color in the kitchen.  It's less blue and more grey than this photo reads.  So I picked up one gallon of the "Granite Dust" and then 1 quart of "Comet Dust" and "Notre Dame".  These would be stripes 1, 3, and 5.
I also asked for 1 quart of "Granite Dust" lightened 25% (for stripe 4) and "Notre Dame" lightened 25% (for stripe 2).  This may have worked with a darker paint chip but since the darkest color here was in the medium range, the lightened shades ended up looking like "Comet Dust".   

I'll share how we fixed that in a minute, but for now here's how she looked after the first round of paint.

 I gave this a full day to dry, then peeled off the tape and lined up new tape for the last round of stripes.

 Here's the all important key step when painting stripes....everything I read mentioned sealing the edge of the tape by first painting over the edge with the base color.  This way any bleed through is the same color under the tape and it prevents any of the other color from seeping through.  So here I sealed the top edge of the tape with the under color. 
 I did that for all edges that framed the last two stripes (2 & 4).  After that dryed, the last two colors went up!  To get the right middle shade, I mixed 1/2 of the 1st stripe color with 1/2 of the middle stripe color for stripe #2 and did the same for stripe #4, mixing 1/2 of the middle color with 1/2 of the bottom color.

All painted!  At this point I was actually a little worried.  I could see a difference in the color of each stripe but it was very slight.  I wanted subtle but not so subtle that they all blended into one grey blob.  I hoped when we pulled the tape that it would be better.

With baited breath we pulled the tape and.................whew!  Just what I hoped for! 

 Distinct stripes gradually moving from a medium to light grey.  And sealing the tape worked wonders!  Perfectly straight lines with no bleed through!

We still have some patching to do...

Otherwise we are ready to fill this space!   

The benches, table and chairs are all in the garage getting a fresh new look and I can't wait to pull it all together!  This ombre wall is such a fun backdrop for the kid-friendly space we are trying to create and still subtle enough that it's not too trendy.  I hope Mia thinks it's a decent substitute for the rainbow striped walls she requested!