When designing my athletic, football-loving 11-year-old son’s bedroom, I wanted it to reflect his active personality while still looking clean, modern, and not too childish. Since kids grow up so fast and their interests change, I wanted to make sure that the decor could easily evolve with his hobbies.
I started by painting the room in a fresh neutral color, choosing a custom dark grey that matches my son’s comforter from Pottery Barn Kids. Next came the thick white stripe to accent the walls, bordered by two thinner black stripes. Not only do the stripes give the room a sporty vibe, they provide a great background to make wall art pop.
Now, I’m going to be honest; these stripes took me FOREVER to paint! But I think it was well worth it. First, I started with the wide, 18-inch stripe painted in Polar Bear White by Behr. The key to keeping the painted lines looking clean is to make sure that they’re perfectly straight, so one of my tricks is to use a board.
I placed a 5 ft board on the floor and against the base of the wall so that the top of it marked the the top of the stripe. I penciled in a line every 8 inches or so to make sure that the tape would stay level when I applied it to the wall. Afterward, I had my husband cut the board 14” inches shorter so I could mark the bottom line of the stripe, repeating the same process.
My other “secret weapon” to make crisp lines is to use caulk, which, in my opinion, is the best way to do this. I used thick green frog tape to mark my lines, smoothing it on the wall so that there were no gaps or bubbles (remember this especially for textured walls), and traced the edges of the tape with a calk gun.
Be careful not too much caulk, as the line applied should only be the width of a string of yarn. Using more than that could result in the excess sticking to the tape as you pull it off the wall, ripping the paint off with it.
Next, I pressed the caulk with a damp cloth, which helped it sink into all the little crevices, then I let it sit for about a half hour. I peeled the frog tape when the caulk was almost dry – if you let it dry completely, the tape will adhere to the wall and ruin your beautiful new paint job!
After I had painted the wide white stripe on all walls across the room, I took off the tape, making sure that all the caulk and paint were dry and the lines looked straight. Once I knew that my lines were PERFECT, I placed a strip of thick green frog tape evenly along the top and bottom of the white stripe. The plan was to paint the black border stripes along the outside edges of the white stripe (as opposed to above and below the white stripe, directly onto the grey wall).
Once I had my strip of tape in place, I marked the top and bottom of each – these marked the thickness for my black stripes. Next, I peeled off both pieces of tape and placed new strips above and below the marked lines I had just made (that way, I’d be able to paint black in the space between). That’s how I knew exactly where my stripes were suppose to be placed and that the lines would be clean.
I proceeded to caulk all edges along the tape, as I did before. After the caulk was set, I painted the black stripes with Tricorn Black by Behr. When the paint was almost dry, I took the tape off and finished by doing minor touch-ups. Voila! My beautiful, three-lined stripe was complete!
All this prep and careful painting resulted in over 10 hours of work. Luckily, the end product made it all worth it! These striped accent walls look extra sporty and add interest to the room. I love how the white stripe pops against the grey wall, while also picking up the white paint that’s elsewhere in the room. The baseboards and barn door are all colored with Ultra Pure White by Behr in a semi gloss to make the trim pop.
After the walls were dry, I wanted to make sure that the room’s finishing touches were perfectly personalized for my son. I ordered some vinyl football decals from Sweetums Signatures, which look especially bold against the background of the white and black stripe, then hung some canvas prints of him playing his favorite sport. Instead of a boring ceiling light or a fussy lamp, I installed this cool silver multi-way light that’s almost like a mini spotlight for my little sports fan. And, perhaps the best part of the remodel (at least in my son’s opinion): a custom-made DIY Nerf gun wall. (Stay tuned for the tutorial!)
Now, my son can play, cheer, and dream in his new sports-themed space. If he ever grows out of his football phase, the decals can be peeled off and the pictures can be replaced. (But somehow, I have the feeling he’ll never grow out of that Nerf gun wall!) The beauty of the wall paint is that it’s neutral without being boring. It could be converted into a nautical-themed study, a film-lover’s entertainment room, a chic guest room… just about anything!