I’m in love with my new hallway wall! Unfortunately, it’s only one wall right now instead of two. Sad day. Read on to hear the whole, terrible story.
To accomplish this pizzazz in my hallway, I followed the same basic plan that I used in my bedroom (adapted from Vintage Revivals). The only change I made this time was to create a stencil. Since the pattern was just repeating triangles and because I wanted all of the triangles to be exact matches of each other, I made a stencil from some extra black poster board I had lying around. To make the stencil, just measure an equilateral triangle in the size you want (mine is 12″) onto your poster board using a ruler, trace with a pencil, and cut out. Easy peasy. (I forgot to snap photos of this step while I was working, but you can see my stencil in action in the gif below.)
Once my stencil was ready to go, I opened my Photoshop plan on my computer, sat it on the kitchen counter behind me, and went to town counting and tracing the number of triangles I needed in each row based on my plan. I did use a pencil to lightly trace my design first like I did last time. I find that double checking everything with the level is much easier when you’re tracing with a pencil rather than with the actual paint, so I swear by this step, but it isn’t actually necessary.
There I am going to town in my snowflake pants. This part of the project took me about one and a half episodes of Gossip Girl on Netflix. It’s really quite easy, but I will tell you: if you are as out of shape as I am, your arms will be killing you by the end. Also, don’t mind that giant, embarrassing pile of junk on my kitchen counter. I was in the process of sorting recyclables before I realized it was way too cold for me to walk all the way to the recycling bin and switched to painting. Oh, winter.
After I finished with my stencil, I had a wall that looked something like this:You can just barely see the faint pencil lines. Again, I really like including this tracing step because it’s easier for me to make sure everything is level, but it also gives me a chance to step back and ensure I love the placement of the design before committing it to paint.
Then, grab a clear ruler. I use a clear plastic fabric ruler like this when I’m working on these projects. I think I actually got mine at Walmart a while ago for a little bit less than that price on Amazon, but you can find them at most craft stores as well. It’s a great, long straight edge, and the clear plastic allows me to keep an eye on all of my guide lines while I work.
Once you’re completely happy with your guide lines, it’s time for the paint. I used a Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Pen in Metallic Gold this time around. I bought this pack from Amazon back when I did my bedroom walls since it included gold, silver, white, and black markers, and I was still deciding which color to use in my bedroom. You can also find single markers if you don’t want to commit to a whole variety pack like I did.
The one thing I did not plan for when working on this project and the reason I only have one wall complete rather than two was the quality of the paint on my hallway walls. This one crucial element made all the difference!When I moved in to my apartment, I repainted one wall in the living room, 2 in the dining room, and all the bedroom walls. Luckily, the first time I ventured into drawing on my walls with a Sharpie, I choose the bedroom which was covered in nice, new, high-quality paint. My hallway walls: not so much. They were covered in flat finish, chalky white rental paint, and my Sharpie pen was not a fan. In fact, after the first 3 lines, it flat out refused to draw on the wall anymore, and I was about ready to give up on the whole project. I tried everything I could think of to coax it into working: shaking it like crazy (and spraying paint all over myself before realizing I should probably cap the marker before shaking the life out of it – don’t make paint decisions while angry, my friends. It will end poorly.), twisting and rotating the pen while drawing, pressing the tip on a paper towel before moving to the wall. Nothing.
So I gave up at about the point you see in the photo above and started Googling other methods to achieve my desired golden pizzazz. In fact, I almost bought a pot of liquid leaf but decided to sleep on it before jumping into a whole new method.
In the morning, a miracle happened. My Sharpie pen worked. I have no idea why, but I woke up and decided to give it one more shot before running out to Ace to buy some gold leaf paint. I’m so happy I did because whatever was ticking off my paint pen the night before was entirely resolved, and gold paint started flowing freely! I finished my wall up in about 35 minutes and called it a successful day. In the end, I’m not entirely sure if I just had a dud of a paint pen, if the poor quality of the paint on my walls was the main culprit, if the metallic pens are just more temperamental than the regular pens, or if some bizarre combination of elements caused my issues the night before. But, boy am I glad it finally worked itself out because I love the new wall!The shine is just right, not too overpowering, but just enough to catch a bit of sparkle from the overhead light. Plus, the gold helps tie my
ugly beige closet doors and my mail catcher together creating a more cohesive color palette in the space.
So, lessons learned from Sharpie Paint Pen Adventure 2:
1. consider the paint on your wall before staring – If you have a flat finish, this might not be the best project, or you may want to consider running a new coat of semi-gloss or gloss paint over the area before you start.
2. remember all that glitters isn’t gold – In other words, if you’re planning to work with a metallic paint pen, you will probably need to stop to shake your marker at least every two lines to keep the paint flowing.
3. don’t lose hope – Even if it seems like your paint pen came to your hands straight from the pit of Tartarus to ruin all of your accent wall dreams, it might just need a moment to adjust. Try taking a break – I suggest Netflix – and then come back to the project later. Who knows, it might work for you like it did for me!
4. prepare to be amazed – Even if you end up like me cursing the day you ever decided to add a little glitz and glam to your walls, try to remember that the end result is so totally worth it!
Good luck! Let me know if you try it or if you have any paint pen horror stories of your own to share!