Proof that grey-on-grey can look great: a bedroom makeover
- Cost100-200 £
- Duration3 - 8 h
Grey-on-grey walls can look far from boring – for example, you could use different shades of grey to create a geometric pattern. A bold contrast colour can make for an even bolder effect. Learn how to do it yourself, and how to paint straight lines on walls, here.
- protective sheet
- face mask
- carpet/utility knife
- optional: disposable gloves
- work gloves
- crepe tape or frog tape: approx. 50m
- corner brush
- a stirrer to mix the paint
- masking tape
- paint brush
- emulsion paint in dark grey, enough for approx. 4 sq m
- emulsion paint in medium grey, enough for approx. 2 sq m
- emulsion paint in light grey, enough for approx. 4 sq m
- 1 can of spray paint in light blue or another contrast colour
- 1 tube of emulsion paint in your wall’s final colour
Let's go - step by step
Stick the first part of the pattern to the wall
You need: Cross Line Laser, masking tape, ladder
Before you start painting your wall, you should plan what it’s going to look like – especially if you want to paint a geometric pattern or overlapping panels. First measure the area that you want to decorate and transfer the measurements to a piece of paper. Make sure that the proportions are correct. Now you can sketch out the panels you want and, if possible, colour them in with the right colour. Finally, and this is very important, figure out how much paint you’ll need.
Once you’ve had a think about what you want your wall to look like and you have primed the wall for painting, it’s time to transfer the first part of your pattern to the wall. A cross-line laser can help you do this. To achieve the desired height, either place it on a tripod or clamp it to a ladder or door. Switch the device on and aim it at the wall as per your pattern. It’s best if you stand behind the device during the alignment, so that the laser is between you and the wall. That way you’ll see the line better. Stick the masking tape or Frogtape on the wall, following the lines, and press down firmly.
To ensure the lines are as clean as possible, cut the tape with a utility knife. It’s safest to wear work gloves to do this. First apply tape to the areas that you can paint in one go. Whilst the first few panels are drying, apply tape to the other panels with the help of a cross-line laser. The Quigo adapter plate will help you if you want to position two pieces of tape close together side by side – for example, to paint a narrow stripe. First project a line on to the wall and apply tape accordingly. Then, using the small screw on the plate, move the Quigo upwards, downwards or to the side, to project a parallel line and mark it up with tape.
Cover furniture and flooring and put masking tape around plugs
You need: floor protector or cover sheets, masking tape, ladder
Before you start painting, make some space and cover up all furniture and fixtures that you can’t move. Put down some floor covering to protect your floors, and stick masking tape around the edges of plugs, light switches, skirting boards and window/door frames. If you're using spray paint or a paint spray system, be more generous when taping and covering because the paint mist may disperse more widely.
Start painting with spray paint
You need: paint brush, face mask, ladder, protective gloves, 1 spray paint
Now you can finally begin painting your wall in grey and, where applicable, another colour of your choice. Prepare the spray paint in line with the instructions on the can, and spray it in even strips around 20 cm from the wall. Be sure to wear gloves and a face mask, and take care to spray evenly along the edges. If the paint mist reaches other parts of the wall, don’t worry: after 15 minutes, the paint will be dry and you can simply wipe it off with a dry cloth.
Paint the rest of your wall
You need: Cross Line Laser, ladder, paint roller or paintbrush, a stirrer to mix the paint, emulsion paint
Once the paint has dried slightly, carefully remove the masking tape or Frogtape and move it so you can paint the next panels. Don’t wait too long or you may end up ripping off bits of paint along with the tape. Because paint pigments usually settle at the bottom of a tin, use a stirrer to mix it. Depending on the size of your tin, either pour the paint into a paint tray or simply place a drip tray beneath it. Now you can dip your paint brush and roller in it. Cast off any excess paint before you continue painting the wall. First paint the edges and corners with the brush, then use the paint roller to fill in the areas in between. Allow the paint to dry before repeating the process on the next panel.
Make sure you press down firmly on the Frogtape to prevent the paint from running beneath it. If you're using masking tape, you can go over it with white paint first, leave it to dry a while, then apply the paint in the colour of your choice.
Once a panel is completely dry, begin the next one by marking up the wall using the cross-line laser and tape. Continue panel by panel until you have completed your pattern. For our project, we repeated these steps four times. The more panels/shapes in your pattern, the more times you’ll have to repeat the process.
Once you’ve finished painting, allow the paint to dry and air out. If you’ve painted your bedroom like we have, it’s a good idea to spend the night in a different room. You can move back in and enjoy your grey-on-grey wall the day after.