How to Create A Herringbone Accent Wall

Posted by on May 20, 2014 in House Projects | 57 comments

We’ve been working hard on getting Owen and Charlie’s ‘big boy’ room completed before this baby arrives!  Since the baby has given us a couple extra days here, I thought I’d share some of the progress in the boys’ room.  It’s almost complete at this point.  Just some touch up painting, a closet door to hang, and a couple pieces of art to arrange.

Today, however, I’m sharing the painting we did in their room …. including this Herringbone Accent Wall:

How to easily create a Herringbone Accent Wall  |  View From The Fridge

 

Now … the room started off with a very basic beige color on the walls:

Big Boys Room Before  |  View From The Fridge

Room Before … Note those beige walls (and lovely light fixture)

If you know my style at all … I’m not a fan of beige. one. bit.  There was several other ‘problems’ with this room (crumbling trim, warped plaster walls, ‘icky’ carpet, odd open ‘closet’ semi-built in thing, OLD window in need of updating, etc), but since this post is about paint … I’ll stick to that here (stay tuned for the rest to come soon …).

After replacing all the baseboard trim, trim around the doors, and fixing the warped walls, our next step was to paint … Everything … White.  HGTV paint color matched to Cloud White from Benjamin Moore, to be exact.

Matt primed and painted all the new trim with a Sherwin Williams LOW-VOC primer (color matched to Cloud White).  He did all the required coats since the trim paint wasn’t completely VOC free for me (and our little {late arriving} baby 3 here).

Then I helped paint with the NO VOC HGTV paint on all the walls and ceiling.  Once this was complete … it was already so. much better!!!  It was brighter, more modern, cleaner looking, and MUCH more my style (and the boy’s style they tell me).

Next step … the accent wall!!  I was SOOOO nervous about this.  I was loving the all white room (mostly because it was such an improvement over the beige), and I was concerned that adding a dark navy wall.  Would it darken the room too much?  Would I like the herringbone pattern?  Would the lines go up cleanly?  I really, really didn’t want to have to paint over the navy  if it didn’t turn out.  How many coats would that take?!?!

But I loved, loved, loved some of the navy herringbone accent walls I had been seeing on Pinterest.  Like this one for example:

Now … I knew the coral and gold was probably a bit on the ‘girly’ side for my two boys, but that accent wall has been STUCK in my head for … oh, about a year and a half.  I knew I had to at least attempt it in their room or I’d keep thinking about it.

About two weeks ago, I called in backup (my mom), sent the boys off with Matt for the day, and we made the jump!  I’m thrilled to say that I LOVE how it turned out!  Especially with their white dresser, white trim, white crib and white big boy bed.

Here’s how it all went down (including the ‘secret ingredient’ courtesy of my mom).

Step 1:  Tape off all the trim, adjoining walls, ceiling, etc (anything you don’t want to be navy!)

Creating a Herringbone Accent Wall  |  View From The Fridge

Step 1: Carefully tape off all the ‘borders’ of your accent wall

 

Step 2:  Tape off your columns.

I wanted the main part of the wall (the part to the right of the door) to be evenly divided into columns.  The wall was 108″ long from edge of door trim to corner.  108″ divided into 4 columns = 27″.  I made a mark with a pencil every 27″ across the top trim, the bottom trim, and about 1/3 of the way down, and two thirds of the way down.  Quick tip:  I used a yard measuring stick (rather than a tape measure), and it was MUCH easier.

Once the marks were in place, I centered the tape on these marks and stretched one piece of tape from top to bottom (trying my best to center on each mark all the way down).

Create a Herringbone Accent Wall  |  View From The Fridge

Step 2: Make your columns

 

Step 3:   Eyeball your first diagonal line (or use my measurements).

I started by simply stretching a piece of tape across the first column at about the angle that I thought looked good.

Create a Herringbone Accent Wall  |  View From The Fridge

Step 3: Eyeball your first diagonal line.

 

Step 4:  Measure the line you just eyeballed

Basically, you want to be able to recreate this angle for ALL the diagonal lines.  To keep them all the same, you’ll need to know what your slope is.  This sounds very high-school math-y, but really it’s simple.  Measure from your trim along the top of the wall to the TOP of the tape on one side (16.5 in my case).  Then do this same measurement to the top of the other side of your diagonal line (11″ in my case).  Figure out the difference …. 5.5″ in my case.  Since all columns are 27″ across you really only need to remember that the top of one side of your diagonal always needs to be 5.5″ higher than the other side.

And in case you love math as much as me … the slope of my line below happens to be .204 (but this is really not crucial information to the creation of this accent wall … just proving I can remember my high school math).

Create a Herringbone Accent Wall  |  View From The Fridge

Step 4: After eyeballing your line, measure your ‘slope’

 

Step 5:  Add more diagonal lines to your first column.

You could space ALL lines evenly.  I wanted some variation, so I used two distinct intervals … 6″ and 11″.  From top of one line of tape to top of the next line of tape, the smaller interval is 6″.  The larger interval is 11″.  I just alternated these intervals down each column.

Create a Herringbone Accent Wall | View From The Fridge

Step 5: Create two spacing intervals (in my case 6″ and 11.5″)

 

Step 6:  Add diagonal lines to next column

Moving on to column 2, the diagonal lines will obviously be opposite the first column.  I picked a starting stop (eyeballed it again).  From there, I measured how far down from the top trim it was, made a mark on the other side of the column 5.5″ further down than this, and connected these two spots with the top of my tape line.

That was my starting point.  From there, I just measured off my alternating intervals from this tape line for all the other lines in that column.

Step 6:  Start column 2 by placing your first diagonal line (slanting the opposite way as the first column).

Step 6: Start column 2 by placing your first diagonal line (slanting the opposite way as the first column).

 

Step 7:  Once all lines are taped off (pattern fully on the wall), apply the secret ingredient to all edges of the tape lines.

This Matte Medium (see below) is the key to creating those perfect, crisp, clean paint lines.  You simply paint it on with a foam brush.  It dries almost immediately, so you won’t have to wait long before painting over.

The secret to getting perfect paint lines every time

 

Brushing on the Matte Medium:

Step 8:  Apply Matte Medium along all tape edges

Step 7: Apply Matte Medium along all tape edges

 

Step 8:  Paint on your first coat of paint.

I used HGTV paint color matched to Benjamin Moore’s Midnight Navy.  We used the satin finish, but I would probably recommend the flat if we were to do it again … especially if you have old, uneven, plaster walls like we do!

Create a Herringbone Accent Wall | View From The Fridge

Step 8: Paint your first coat!

 

Step 9:  Finish remaining coats!  

Looking much better …

Create a Herringbone Accent Wall | View From The Fridge

Finish Remaining Coats

 

Step 10:  Wait until last coat is fairly dry … then carefully peel the tape off to reveal …

Create a Herringbone Accent Wall | View From The Fridge

Carefully peel off paint to reveal your herringbone pattern

 

That’s it!  We finished it in a day, and I’m absolutely thrilled with the results!

How to create a herringbone accent wall | View From The Fridge

Stay tuned for more details on the boys’ room makeover and (hopefully) the big reveal soon!

Also … follow along with me on Instagram to hear the latest on Baby 3′s (already late) arrival!!

signoff

 

 

 

57 Comments

  1. Oh I just LOVE how your wall turned out! What a fun accent wall for your boys’ room!
    Stopping by from The Makers Link Party. :)
    Sarah
    Sarah recently posted…Chalk Paint Powder Room VanityMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Sarah! I LOVE how it turned out! The pictures don’t even really do it justice! Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Tuesday!
      XO,
      Katie

  2. I can absolutely see why this wall was stuck in your head and I love the result! That color….love! And can I just say I love the light fixture too :) Hope you are having a fantastic week!
    Corey @ TinySidekick recently posted…The Makers {link party no. 18}My Profile

    • Thanks so much, Corey!! I’m glad to hear your family is safe after your week last week! Thanks for the party today! Hope your week is much calmer this week … :)
      XO,
      Katie
      Katie recently posted…How to Create A Herringbone Accent WallMy Profile

  3. This turned out amazing! I love it. Perfect to grow with!
    Kelley @Miss Information Blog recently posted…Quick Tip Tuesday: How to Customize the Size of a Casserole DishMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Kelley! The boys really don’t care right now, but I’m hoping that when they DO form an opinion, that they like this wall (or at least don’t DISlike this wall). Have a great night, and I’ll ‘see’ you tomorrow evening for the party!

  4. Your wall turned out beautiful and I will definitely have to remember the trick with the Matte medium! In fact I think I still have some in a huge bottle from art class many years ago. Thanks for sharing at The Makers! Pinned :)
    Katie @ Upcycled Treasures recently posted…The Makers Link Party #18My Profile

  5. Oh I love the herringbone pattern! So adorable.
    Megan Walker recently posted…Let Me Tell You About…A Giant Red Flag When Apartment SearchingMy Profile

  6. How presh is that?! I love this room – the high windows are fabulous!
    Thank you for sharing this at Brag About It Link Party on VMG206.
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Megin recently posted…Brag About It Link Party | No. 55. | VMG206My Profile

  7. oh I LOVE how it turned out!! I remember seeing that pin a long time ago and loving it, so glad you tried it!
    sara walk recently posted…TELL: PINEAPPLE PLANTERMy Profile

    • Yes … I do love that pin still, but I’m so glad I can stop thinking about it. The gold and coral with the navy from that pin really are stunning, though! Thanks for stopping by!
      XO,
      Katie
      Katie recently posted…How to Create A Herringbone Accent WallMy Profile

  8. Great tip on getting a clean line! I did grey and white horizontal stripes in our nursery but I’m really loving the navy and white herringbone! Maybe for the next baby. ;) It looks great in your room!
    Shelly recently posted…JoyMy Profile

    • Hi Shelly,
      I just painted grey and white stripes in our newest baby’s nursery, and I love them!! I’ll share soon … Now I just need this baby to arrive to go IN the new nursery!!
      Thanks for stopping by!
      XO,
      Katie
      Katie recently posted…How to Create A Herringbone Accent WallMy Profile

  9. Just a quick comment to let you know how impressive your wall turned out. I’ve never seen that design before. Stopping by from the Carolyns Homework Link Party.

    • Thanks so much for your sweet comment! I’m glad you like it, and I’m so glad it turned out. Thanks for stopping by. HOpe you’re having a great week!
      XO,
      Katie
      Katie recently posted…How to Create A Herringbone Accent WallMy Profile

  10. Love it! I love the color you picked too, so vibrant.
    Leslie recently posted…How to keep the sparkMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Leslie! I am happy with the navy … just thinking next time I should have purchased the flat rather than satin. Our walls are far from smooth (house is 150+ years old), so the sheen on the satin is not exactly ideal. The pattern, however … I love! Thanks for stopping by!
      Hope you’re having a great week!
      XO,
      Katie
      Katie recently posted…How to Create A Herringbone Accent WallMy Profile

  11. What a great wall and I’ve got to try that medium for making the masked lines look so good! Well done!
    Marilyn Clark recently posted…Win a Family Trip for Four from Atlantic LuggageMy Profile

    • Thanks, Marilyn! For some reason, tape doesn’t stick well to our plaster walls, so this Matte Medium was a lifesaver!! And it was so easy! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great night!
      Katie recently posted…How to Create A Herringbone Accent WallMy Profile

  12. I’m oh so loving that wall!!!!! Amazing!
    Christine recently posted…From Dream To Reality #118 – Link up your projectsMy Profile

  13. Katie this wall turned out amazing, seriously!! You should be so proud of it. I love that blue you choose and that light fixer looks great with it. I would love to have a wall like this in my house, I can’t wait to start doing projects likes this. PINNED!!
    Courtney @ Crafts by Courtney recently posted…DIY Easter Family Portrait InspirationMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Courtney!! I can’t wait to see your new home and all your decorating and fun, crafty touches! Hope all is going well in NC!! Thanks for stopping by!
      XO,
      Katie
      Katie recently posted…How to Create A Herringbone Accent WallMy Profile

  14. LOVE this!! I wish I had known the matte trick before we painted the stripes in my daughter’s nursery!!

    • Thanks, Brooke! I love stripes, too! That’s what we just painted in the new nursery, and I love how those turned out, too! Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Awesome wall! Great work.
    Mindie Hilton recently posted…Win A Family Trip For 4 #AtlanticLuggage #adMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Mindie! I’m so happy I decided to paint it!

  16. love love love the way this looks!!! pinning for later :) xo, jess
    http://www.dreamingofleaving.com
    jdigi82 recently posted…Instagram Blog Hop Co-Hosted by Me!My Profile

    • Thanks so much, Jess!

  17. Love the stunning accent wall! I’m so glad you went for it! Now that it’s done, c’mon baby number 3!! Mommy wants to meet you! ;) Hope your newest addition decides to come soon! (and smoothly!) Enjoy your week!

    ~Abby =)
    Abby @ Just a Girl and Her Blog recently posted…Our Top 5 Tips for Living on One IncomeMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Abby! Still waiting on #3, but hoping he/she comes SOON!!! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’re having a great week!
      ~Katie
      Katie recently posted…Cook It! Craft It! Share It! #5My Profile

  18. Oh wow! This is gorgeous. I absolutely love it. Thanks for sharing with Hump Day Happenings.
    Jenna @ A Savory Feast recently posted…Hump Day Happenings #11My Profile

  19. Great job and great math skills. I love the color you chose.
    Carmody recently posted…Whale Mason Jug – DIY Vinyl DecalsMy Profile

    • Ha! Thanks for noticing my math skills … has always been my favorite subject! Hope you’re having a great week!
      Katie recently posted…Cook It! Craft It! Share It! #5My Profile

  20. I LOVE this! I would love to do this in my house one day. That navy looks so great in that room too!
    Kate recently posted…New Mandala TutorialMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Kate! I’m so glad I decided to try it! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great long weekend!
      XO,
      Katie

  21. I absolutely love this! It looks so 3 dimensional. Thanks for sharing. and stopping by the Creative Spark Link Party hope you stop by again next Wednesday.
    Michelle from Weekend Craft recently posted…Scrappy Tape up on the Etsy ShopMy Profile

  22. Fabulous project Katie… What a wonderful blog your have.. so happy you linked up this post for my party..
    Thanks Maria
    Simple Nature Decor recently posted…FABULOUS FRIDAY: COOKING IN THE WILDMy Profile

  23. I too have had a huge crush on that herringbone wall picture you saw on Pinterest! Thanks so much for the great tutorial!
    Made From Pinterest recently posted…Super Saturday Link Party #45My Profile

  24. Oh WOW! This is just stunning! I love everything about this wall. I am amazed at how clean and crisp the white lines are, thanks for the tip on using the matte medium.
    Kim @ The Cookie Puzzle recently posted…Party in Your PJs # 4My Profile

  25. The wall treatment turned out great! Love dark blue, white and orange together. Thanks for linking up to The DIY’ers!

  26. Wow! What a great accent wall. I’m sure it took a lot of time, but was well worth it! I’d be thrilled if you’d link up at this week’s Off the Hook!
    Lauren recently posted…Off the Hook Monday #3 {Link Party}My Profile

  27. I love the accent wall!! I also love that you used Sherwin Williams since my husband works there. :D Gorgeous work. Thank you for linking up with us for Fabulously Frugal Thursday.
    Heather M recently posted…#PinterestFoodie 41My Profile

  28. This looks so awesome! Your instructions are perfect. Ok, that just looks amazing :) And I’ve been looking for a good butter crust! Thanks for sharing at Do Tell Tuesday!
    ~Steph
    Steph @ Crafting in the Rain recently posted…Do Tell Tuesday #25My Profile

    • uh, also, sorry for the weirdo comment! I accidentally pasted what was in my clipboard into part of it apparently-ha!

  29. Hi Katie! Congratulations you were chosen as a feature this week on Creative Spark Link Party on Weekend Craft and you were pinned to our group feature board! Stop by and check it out and link up for next week! http://bit.ly/1hd62JH
    Michelle from Weekend Craft recently posted…Creative Spark Link Party #4My Profile

  30. Congrats! You were featured on Friday’s Five Features over on DIY Vintage Chic. Stop by and grab yourself a button! http://diy-vintage-chic.blogspot.com/2014/05/fridays-five-features-no-42.html

  31. Yet another feature for this amazing herringbone wall!! We are featuring you over at Link it or lump it tomorrow Katie, woot woot!

    PS- For the latex medium.. do you paint it exactly on top of the tape without getting any on the wall? Or are you painting it on the wall where the wall meets the tape? I want to go and get this stuff and use it but just want to make sure I am using it right!

    • Awesome!! Thanks so much for the feature! When you paint on the medium, you don’t have to be careful at all, and you’ll want some on the tape, and some on the wall. I used a foam brush, and sort of painted it on with the brush half on the wall, half on the tape. No clue how it works, but it does!! Hope you’re having a good weekend!

      Thanks again!

  32. Oh wow, that’s really cool! I’d love to try it as a really pale and low contrast design somewhere in my house… hmmm!

    Thanks for sharing your technique!
    Mandi @ LevelUpHouse recently posted…DIY Bathroom: Staining a Bathroom Vanity with Gel StainMy Profile

  33. Hi Katie,

    This project is featured in Pin It Monday Hop Party. We just went live. Hope to see you there again. This is beautiful.

    Here’s the link stop by anytime: http://pursuitoffunctionalhome.com/?p=5218

    Judy

    • Thanks so much for the feature, Judy! I stopped by to check it out, and I just love all your features today! Thanks again!
      XO,
      Katie

  34. Good idia

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