If you saw the recent pictures of my study makeover, you’ll know that I promised you a tutorial on how I made that show-stoppingly simple gold paint pen wall.
Seriously, it was the easiest wall treatment I have ever done. Period.
It was also the cheapest. Actually, it cost me $6.
Yep. For reals. The only outlay was for two gold paint pens at the luxury price of $3 each. I bought mine from Officeworks – here is the brand I used. But any brand would do. You just need a paint pen with a sizeable tip, nothing too fine or it won’t show up. I’d also steer away from oil-based markers as they’re harder to work with if you make a mistake, and you may not get the best results painting over them with water-based paint if you ever decide you’ve had enough of your gorgeous gold wall. (Is that ever going to happen? Doubtful!)
You will also need a spirit level and a ruler. That’s all!
I got the gold paint pen idea from this post on Vintage Revivals, but gave it my own twist with a different geometric pattern. My patterning inspiration came from a picture frame I found while shopping one day. I snapped a piccy with my phone. It’s true what they say – inspiration is everywhere!
What I’m loving about this pattern is that it’s simply diamonds, but the addition of some horizontal lines adds so much extra interest. Suddenly your eye starts seeing hexagons, larger diamonds, and hourglass shapes. You kind of just want to keep looking at it.
To make my faux wallpaper, I started by removing the big ol’ mirror that was hanging on the wall.
Then I had to figure out the dimensions of my pattern. I decided on roughly the size I wanted my diamonds to be – not too big, as this is a small area. Somewhere between 25 and 30cm would be ideal for the width across the middle.
With that in mind, I measured up my wall (which was 324cm long) and then started dividing that length by the number of diamonds I thought might fit across the wall until I got a value within my parameters. I knew that dividing the wall by ten would give me a diamond width of 32.4cm, just a touch too big, so I started by plugging in 324 divided by 11 and discovered that with 11 diamonds across the wall, each one would be 29.4cm wide. Not bad. When I divided by 12, however, I got a value of 27cm – perfect! It’s easier to work in whole numbers if possible, and that value was right in the middle of the range I was after.
So, that meant my wall would have exactly 12 diamonds across it, at 27cm wide each. (That’s almost 11″, for my U.S. readers).
Height-wise, I wanted my diamonds to be fairly long and narrow, rather than short and squat. So I chose to make them nearly twice as tall as they were wide. I settled on a half-diamond height of 26cm (roughly 10″). I measured the height of the wall and it came in at 256cm. 256 divided by 26 gives us 9.84 triangles – pretty close to 10. That means that the bottom of my tenth row of diamonds would be very slightly cut off by the skirting, which was fine by me. Just make sure you start at the top, which is most visible, and work down.
|This blank wall is making my head hurt. So many numbers.|
Are you with me? Once you’ve figured out your numbers, it all gets easier from here.
STEP ONE: Mark up the wall with a pencil. I measured from the top all the way down, marking off increments of 26cm on the edge of the wall.
STEP TWO: Starting at the top pencil mark, measure across the wall for half the width of the diamond (in this case, 13.5cm), and make a mark. On the next line down, measure across 27cm – the full width, and mark it. Repeat all the way down the wall, first measuring half the width, then the full width, and so on.
STEP THREE: Use your spirit level to work across the wall now. From each of the marks you just made, measure the full width of the diamond and mark it, all the way across the wall.
This is where I did something silly. Instead of just making a pencil mark at each point, I drew a line straight across the wall with my spirit level. Don’t do this. It’s completely unnecessary and meant that at the end of the whole process, I had to spend well over an hour rubbing out redundant pencil lines while watching Bachelorette reruns on daytime TV.
They rubbed off okay, but I can still see shiny horizontal marks from where all that erasing took place if I’m standing in the wrong light.
STEP FOUR: The prep work is done – it’s time for some fun! Grab your super-expensive gold paint pen and, using a ruler, start connecting the dots to make diamonds.
Make sure you give your pen a good shake and depress the tip on a spare bit of paper before you start, and periodically throughout, to keep it running smoothly. I was worried about getting blobby bits, but it went on surprisingly smoothly with no blobs whatsoever.
One thing to watch out for is smudging the wet paint lines with your ruler. You’ll want to avoid putting your ruler over top of a line you’ve just drawn (for instance if you need to rule another line crossways) – better to move on and connect the dots elsewhere, then come back to it.
Of course, there will be smudges no matter how careful you are. I kept getting a little build-up of wet gold paint on the edge of the ruler, so I kept a box of wipes handy to wipe it down every few lines. If you do get a smudge, the great news is it will wipe off with a wet-wipe if you’re super quick (too slow and it will make a smudgy mess, so don’t bother) – but even so, all is not lost. Secret tip? Just wait till it dries and rub it off with an eraser.
Yep. I discovered this trick by accident, and it totally works. So then I stopped worrying so much about smudges and removed them all with a rubber at the end. They erased perfectly with no marks left at all. Cool, huh? #magic
STEP FIVE: Your diamonds are complete! It’s time to add those funky little horizontal lines. I started with my first complete diamond at the top, and worked my way down the wall, adding lines across the middle of every diamond all the way down.
And that’s it! Wall completed! It took me about 3 hours total, including completely unnecessary line erasing / Bachelorette-watching time.
Time to hang the mirror back on the wall and enjoy this new glammed-up little corner of our home.
Let’s chat: Would you be game to draw on your walls? (Better you than the kids, right?!)