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herringbone paint walls

So, I definitely painted the walls in my bar to emulate this wallpaper that I’d been adoring.  I had shown you all my plans last week and I was surprised by the responses.  After all of your feedback, I decided to tackle the paint.  I thought, I could always wallpaper over the paint if I botch it.  I will say that I love the way it turned out, although it was really difficult and a huge pain.  Unless you’re doing plain walls with no trim, doorways, angles, or curves I have to honestly say that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.

Do I love how it looks?  Sure.  Do I think it looks as good as if I were to attempt wallpaper in the same space? Probably. Did it almost induce tears? Yes.

The project as a whole wasn’t terribly difficult, it just took a lot of patience.   I really got up-close and personal with some ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape and my Sherwin Williams paint in Uncertain Grey during the process, but I find all of that taping kind of cathartic.  It took a lot of little chunks of time, waiting for drying, repeated painting, etc. Aside from the tedious details and the waiting, the biggest issue was the uneven walls and the difficulty to get a regular pattern on an irregular surface.

herringbone walls paint effect

painted herringbone walls

The effect is textural and subtle.  I used a grey instead of the beige of the original wallpaper because I plan to paint my entryway navy blue and wanted a nice bridge between navy and the green tea color in our kitchen.  You can continue reading for the step by step on how I executed this feat!

herringbone walls process copy

herringbone walls - paint effect

I started by painting the entire room white.  I measured out ten inch segments and taped off the segments with ScotchBlue Painters Tape, making sure that every other stripe was the full ten inch width.  I started by painting every other stripe with my darker color and made a diagonal texture with a hair comb.  I went in the same downward direction on each of these stripes. I used a very ‘rigged’ triangle as a template that I made out of a yardstick because I wanted a 30 degree angle.  I’d recommend just buying a regular old triangle and doing a 45 degree.

herringbone wall tutorial copy

herringbone paint effect

Once all of the stripes in that one direction were complete and the paint was 100% dry, I removed the tape and re-taped, exposing the full 10 inches of the alternating white stripes.  I repeating the painting and combing action, but in the opposite direction. Then, once that paint was dry, I un-taped everything to reveal the pattern!

painted herringbone on walls

I’m sure you can imagine with all of the taping, un-taping, re-taping, it’s a laborious project, but I do love how it turned out.  What are your thoughts?  Any desire to tackle a similar challenge?


If you’ve got a need to paint something, but aren’t necessarily up for the walls, connect with ScotchBlue via ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Facebook Page, and ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Twitter Page!



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  • This is amazing! In absolute awe of these DIY herringbone walls! Book marking this for when we move!

    Clothed in Confetti

  • This looks great! All your hard work definitely paid off!

  • It looks great!!! Love it!

  • Wow, your bar area turned out amazing. I can only imagine the patience it took to complete the project, but well worth it in the end. Beautiful.

  • Oh wow! This looks so gorgeous and luxe! Love that you didn’t have to spend a ton of money to achieve this effect… just some time and a LOT of patience I’m sure. Great Job!!

  • Wow… Some patience! You did an amazing job! Looks very professional and the added texture really makes the space pop!

  • I am obsessed with this and will absolutely be trying it in my den!!

  • I love how it turned out! I’m impressed that it only “almost” induced tears though!

  • It may have been a pain, but it looks absolutely stunning! And now I want to do something similar, because your painted version turned out so perfect.

  • The end result is so classy.

  • It was worth it! It looks great. I will not be attempting it, however– I think I lack the patience. 🙂

  • It is beautiful! Love it!

  • It looks amazing! I appreciate your honesty though. I definitely have no patience so I think this project would drive me crazy.

    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

  • Wow amazing job! I don’t think I could do that, not enough patience.

  • Girl, you absolutely did it! Looks gorgeous and elegant and the comb application vs. painting thin lines to create the herringbone pattern was genius. My hat’s off to you!

  • I love it. And I think the grey is better in your house than the beige wallpaper ever could be. Congrats!

  • it looks so good! torturous, but good!

  • Wow that looks good! I’d say it was well worth the trouble. It has the appearance of a very expensive wall treatment.

  • Bravo!!!!!!

  • Love it!!! Going to try it on my new place this June. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    Thanks for the idea!


  • This is great! I love the look it gives. Might try this on a small wall we have. If we use a dark color/thick paint, I’ll probably just mark the line with a pencil lightly and not bother with tape.

    Thanks for the tips!

  • Love it! I am going to tackle theis project today in my master bedroom. I love your “rigged” angle and will be rigging an angle of my own to avoid a trip into town. Thanks for the tutorial!