how to paint chevrons tutorial {readers requests}

 I am posting my tutorial on the chevron walls in my home.  We have seen chevrons throughout many blogs and in interior design.  Some people hate them.  Some people are tired of them.  Some people cannot get enough of them (that would be me).  To be quite frank, I think I sat sat on this post out of the fear of chevron hate mail.   So I feel honored that there are some of you who want me to teach you how to make this design.   Thank you so much; you guys are the best.

I wrote up this post back in the day (okay, not really that long ago) when I shared photos of Owen walking down my hallway.  Some readers asked about the walls and how I did them, and then I received an email recently asking about my walls again.  Thank you for kicking me in the butt to get this posted and overcoming my fear of hate mail.  All I needed was a finale shot, and the other day was perfect.  Matt was home to tend to Owen, so I could take some pictures.  Otherwise, toys and random poses of my son would be included.  Let's be realistic here.  I can't make the room look nice when a toddler is running around, tearing things up, and making a new mess after I just cleaned up the last mess.  Oh, and let's not forget to mention the crusty, sticky finger prints all over my coffee table.

How the wall came about

When we first moved into our home, we had a somewhat long, narrow hallway that was beige.  It was the traditional painter's beige that is found in most remodeled or new homes.  I faced a dilemma because part of the hallway's wall was exposed in my living room.  I thought about putting up a huge picture or grouping frames on this bare wall that faces our front door.   You know, something like this.

Because the hallway was long, I felt that it needed something on the walls.  Another dilemma I faced was the width of the hallway.  If I were to put pictures down the hallway, people would have to stand close to the opposing wall just to get a good look at them.


How about something graphic?  I LOVE graphic walls.  How about something that can be changed for new owners.  I LOVE paint.  I LOVE wallpaper.  But wallpaper would be a big pain in the butt when it came time to resell our home, especially if I chose graphic wallpaper and bold colors.  By accident, I stumbled upon a beautiful chevron wall on Apartment Therapy.

I heart chevrons.

So it came to be.  Ah, doesn't this look so nice?  (You can refer to paragraph two if you don't know what I am talking about.)


Items needed:

A design
Ruler, if needed
Tape, if needed
Blue painter's tape
Paint (I used a darker taupe color over my beige walls.  I wanted there to be a contrast, but I also needed the colors to be neutral.)
Painting accessories

I do not have too many photos since I didn't document this project when I did this, but just bear with me.  I will get you through it!  :)

Step 1.

Determine the width and length of your chevron (though to be honest, I didn't do this.  I just made a template not thinking about any of that). You will need to draw two rectangles for your template (or if you have a large enough piece of cardboard, cut out a V).  Cut out your templates. Tape them together and make sure the corners are square!  (90 degrees . . . um, not talking about the band)
(**Do note that I did not measure my walls to determine how many chevrons were needed.  I know some people suggest doing that, but I just went on a whim with mine.)

Step 2. 
The next two steps are probably the trickiest.  Refer to my amateur sketch in Step 4 for additional help.  Place the template somewhere on the wall.  I started mine at the end of my wall, because I thought that would be the easiest.  Trace your template with a pencil.

Step 3.
You should have V rectangle on your wall when you remove the template.  You will now line up your template at the top of your V and overlapping it to make a new V.  (You're making the chevron shape)  Trace the template again.   

Step 4.  
Take your level and line it up to the tops of your V.  You want to make sure your chevron is level or else people will think you were drunk when you painted your wall. :)  Don't skip this step!!!!  If it was not level, you will need to erase your lines and use the level to help you get a leveled V.  An extra pair of hands might be beneficial.  If it was level, continue to repeat step three.  So I would not have to use the level every time, I drew two V's and then I placed the template below what I had drawn and continued tracing.  It should line up perfectly.  But feel free to check periodically, if you like.
You should have straight chevrons if
1.  Your template is square.
2. You build off of your leveled drawings. 

Excuse my amateur pic.  Learning to use Gimp is on my 2012 goal list. 
Step 5. (photos are below)
Take your painter's tape, and tape off the pattern.  Each point on the chevron shape will require different taping methods.  You may find an easier way of doing this, and that is great! 
To tape off the top of the point, you will simply tape it off, and overlap the tape to make a nice point.  You will do the same for the point that is facing down.
To tape off the inside of the chevron, you will need to tear off a piece of tape.  Take your scissors and cut a straight line at the end of the tape.  This nice straight edge will give that nice sharp point.  Place the straight side of the tape along your pencil line.  Tear off another piece of tape to finish off the chevron. Repeat this step until you have taped off what you want to paint.

Step 6.
Paint your chevron stripes, and take off the painter's tape.  I like to do this immediately after placing my second (or third)coat.  You are done!

Warning:  Painting chevrons is time consuming and tiring.  Depending on the square footage, it can be a very tedious task for some people.  If you were to paint walls like mine, it will take you a few days.  BUT it is SOOOOOO worth it!!

Here I am painting at 41 wks pregnant.  Shh.  Don't tell my midwife.

Am I crazy?

Is my baby okay?

Was the hard work worth it?
Yes, the walls and birthing were worth it.

 The view from the front door.

Owen and Matt saying hello.

Due to the width of the hallway, I thought it would be best to not apply chevron around the door or on the frame.

There are other tutorials on the web, so you may find one that works better for you.  Here are a few that I found. 
Caitlin Wilson Design 
The Tall Chick
Are YOU afraid of painting chevrons or any other bold design?  You know what I tell myself?  It's just paint.  So what if you screw up?  So what if you don't like the color?  That's the beauty of paint.  You CAN COVER IT UP.  Happy painting!  :)
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  1. 1. you are amazing for painting while that preggo :)
    2. I heart chevron and think you made the right choice for the hallway it looks amazing!
    3. great tutorial!

  2. Looks amazing! Loving the chevron! And I can't believe you were painting at 41 weeks crazy lady! But I totally get it. We all get that crazed burst of energy right before giving birth! Thanks so much for sharing:)

  3. Nancy!!! I'm so impressed. I LOVE the chevron and am trying to keep myself from putting something similar in every room in my house. Saw your tutorial on remodelaholic and felt a little starstruck - my old roommate is on remodelaholic. Wow. Everything looks awesome in your house. Please tell Matt I said hi!

  4. Lisa Wilson2/20/2012

    A) I love the wall and think you are amazing for doing it, all while big pregnant :)
    2)I now feel crafting inferior LOL

  5. Anonymous3/15/2012

    What were ur paint colors bdewood@aol.com

  6. You did a beautiful job! I came across your blog via Pinterest.

  7. Severe lack of chevron anything in the UK so very happy to find your post. It looks awesome! Think my long narrow hallway may benefit from a chevron makeover. I've seen another blog with ombre chevron curtains so would love to combine both ideas and paint a turquoise ombre chevron wall! Just need to convince other half... Your pictures should help with that!

    1. Thanks! That was probably my curtains you saw. :)

  8. What paint color is the blue?


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