Chevron Wall Tutorial. - Pretty Real

Chevron Wall Tutorial.

7:44 PM

I did it!  Finally, after a full week and a half, I finished Genevieve's chevron and chalkboard wall.  The inspiration room for Genevieve's toddler room had an entire chalk wall.  I loved that idea but I also had seen a few chevron walls that I loved.  I only wanted to do one accent wall- I knew I couldn't handle a bunch of chalk scribble everywhere (let's be honest here) and wasn't sure if a chalk wall and a chevron wall would be too much.  Well add to that the cost of chalk paint and the effort of a chevron wall and you have Genevieve's wall- 2/3 chevron and 1/3 chalkboard.  I was a tiny bit scared after all my hard work it would look weird- or silly.  I'm sure a similar wall exists but I haven't seen one with chevron, chalk paint, and chair rail.  But when I pulled that last piece of tape off...and stepped back, I LOVED it.  It was perfect.  OK, not really, but to the naked eye it was perfect! ;)

So before I get into the step by step of how to paint a chevron wall, here's a photo of the wall.

And now for the chevron wall tutorial.  I don't usually write tutorials because I'm not great at it.  I typically use someone else's and the thought of writing it out step by step is kind of nauseating (oh is that wrong to say?).  However, since I googled and searched many chevron wall tutorials and used a few, I figured one more in the blogosphere wouldn't hurt--and just might help someone.  And I'm obsessed with her wall. As in, when I finished it, it was about 4 pm.  The house was a mess. I was supposed to be making dinner.  I was still in my pajamas and it was T minus 1.5 hours till Joe walked in the door. And I'm literally lying down on the floor in her room (with my head on this softness) staring at it.  What can I say? I'm hopeless.

So here goes.

What you will Need:
A level
A yard stick is helpful
Tape (I used a roll and a half).  Make sure it's the same size if you're using multiple rolls)
A pencil
Paint (obviously). 

Step by Step Instructions:
First, measure the wall.  Mine was 122.5 inches.  Now other tutorials say "I knew I wanted [X] chevrons/points"- and I read that and think "how did you know?!"  So here are some tips to figure out how many chevrons you want (by chevrons, I don't mean the total number of stripes, I mean how many points; think the point of the zigzag or triangles).  

  • First, think of how wide you want it to look.  The fewer chevrons the wider the pattern.  The more chevrons, the more zigzag-y it will look. 
  • Secondly, think of the work involved.  The more chevrons, the more taping!   
  • Lastly-if you can't decide or visualize how many chevrons you want, try taping off a couple in different sizes.  I did that and it was so helpful in seeing exactly how wide I wanted them (as a side note, you could create it on paper instead of taping the wall).

Next, using the tips above, decide how many chevrons you'd like.  I wanted 5 (the sweet spot between a wide pattern and not a ton of taping).  So you divide the wall length (122.5 in my case) by the number of chevrons (5 in my case) to get the total length of each chevron (24.5 in my case).

The Next step is to find the halfway point in your chevron.  For me it was 12.25 inches.  (please note- the drawing is not to scale!).

Then, mark your three points (I used a pencil and made a big dot).  These are represented by the red dots in my drawing.  Then, I used a pencil, and a level to draw a straight line down from my center dot.  None of the other tutorials I consulted said to do this so maybe I'm just dense but I found it incredibly helpful when "connecting the dots" (see next step). You can see in my "drawing" the line down the middle and in the photo the line I drew. 

Next, connect the dots with your tape. The first one is the hardest I promise! 

After you have that one, work in columns.  Measure X inches down from each point (using a level to make sure your lines are straight).  For me X = 12 inches.  The tutorials I consulted both measured 12 inches so I used that measurement too but I suppose you could make them more or less narrow if you wanted to.  Side note- DO NOT ATTEMPT WITHOUT A LEVEL!  I tried because I didn't realize we didn't have one and was all set to get going.  Then after taping and re-taping, thought I had it down, measured it, and the lines were at least a 1/2 inch to an entire inch off!  Another side note: It's important to make sure when you're taping, you're being consistent with taping from the outside of your points.  That will make sense when you tape your first triangle.

Work in columns all the way down, and then start again, until you're done (5 columns/points in my case).  It really does get easier the further along you are. If your house is 50+ years old like mine and the walls aren't straight don't drive yourself crazy measuring and re-measuring. I say this because I would use the level- everything would show being "straight" and then I'd measure and the measurements would be off!  I could feel the frustration bubbling up but decided at that point (beginning of my second column) that I was just going to use the level to make sure the lines were straight and that to the naked eye it would look fine. Just know that if you use a level, your lines are straight.  

Lastly- trim your points.  I couldn't find husband's exacto knife so I used a Martha Stewart Craft knife.  And yes I have a few holes in my fingers to prove it. ;)  This tutorial has a good "what if" photo of points left untrimmed.

Points not trimmed

Points trimmed...and I really didn't have to trim every point (because you're only painting every other line) but my OCD nature wouldn't allow me to trim some and not the others!

 Finally- painting!

You can see from the messy corner why I'm not quite ready for a full room reveal!

Having fun with her chalk wall.  :)

Disclaimer: This is how I did it.  I'm sure there are a gazillion other (and perhaps better) ways to do it.  But I wanted to share my experience.  Also, I'm sure if you took the time to measure each line on my wall and figure out the angles, it would be off.  It's totally not perfect.  But when I look at it, I can't tell. And I'm pretty certain Genevieve can't either! I'm really tough on myself and my projects so if I can handle this and love it--imperfections and all, so can you! (meaning you can love YOUR project not mine! lol.  am I making sense here?!).

Lastly, chalkboard paint and chevron are super ubiquitous.  But I unapologetically am in love with them both-- trendy or not.  That's all. ;)

I found lots of tutorials.  You can see a handful on my "how to" pinterest board.  The two I found the most simple and helpful were The Tall Chick: Jumping on the Chevron Bandwagon (LOVE the title!) and Olivia Grayson Interiors: How to Paint a Chevron Wall. Thanks Tall Chick and Olivia Grayson for the inspiration and instructions!

[UPDATE May 2013]: I received the following comment and wanted to share:

"I just did a chevron project and read this as well as other blogs to figure it all out. I'm thrilled with the results! I did 2 walls and just want to mention, if doing 2 walls you MUST make the corner a "point" in the chevron. This realization is the result of doing it wrong the first time which I realized after taping an entire wall. Soooo Important information if doing more than 1 wall!"
Please note: This is a comment from a reader--I can't vouch as I haven't done two walls but just wanted to throw this out there! If you're planning on doing two walls you might want to do your homework to map it all out and make sure they flow!  Good luck!

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  1. Beautiful... thanks for giving credit to my tutorial. Now both of our girls have fabulous chevron walls, and I'm also thinking of jumping on the chalk wall bandwagon. I don't care if everyone else is doing it... There's a reason for that... they're cool! :)

    1. love your logic tall chick! ;) you're so right! btw, I'm a tall chick too! 6 feet. ;)

  2. i can't believe you tackled this, tiffany. it looks AWESOME. either i am copying you when i have kids one day . . . or i am going to attempt to hire you! ;)

    1. abby if i'm being honest- i kinda can't believe i tackled it either! but i love it! i'm sure you'll create adorable kid spaces for your future children!!

  3. Love this so much!!! You did an amazing job! Your elephant is adorable too!!!

    1. thanks so much Steph!! :) I am going to use elephants to decorate her toddler room so I figured I'd start with some 'free' elephant art. ;) Thanks for visiting the blog.

  4. From Dawn in Illinois: I love this! So awesome that you were able to work out a chevron pattern so perfectly.

    1. Thank you Dawn!! It was a little tricky at first but got easier and easier with each taped line!

  5. Tiffany, Thank you so much for this post. I must have read every chevron wall tutorial out there and yours is the one that made the most sense to me. It helped give me the confidence to create my own wall. I just started my own blog and one of my first post was on my wall. I linked up to your site so everyone else could be encouraged to make their own wall just like I did.

    1. I'm so glad you found value in this post! I felt a bit silly putting yet another post out there but I figured another option couldn't hurt! ;) I'm perusing your blog now! :) Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I just did a chevron project and read this as well as other blogs to figure it all out. I'm thrilled with the results! I did 2 walls and just want to mention, if doing 2 walls you MUST make the corner a "point" in the chevron. This realization is the result of doing it wrong the first time which I realized after taping an entire wall. Soooo Important information if doing more than 1 wall!

    1. Thanks so much for your advice! I'm totally impressed that you did TWO walls in the first place! ha! I will update the post to include a note about your experience!