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Add gingham walls

Using a paint technique for gingham walls is one way to add interest to a boring wall. Using soft shades of colour from a single paint swatch you can easily transform any room.

In this project from Southern Living you can see how a gingham paint technique can be applied to any wall in a home.


Tape measure
Blank sheet of paper
Masking tape
Laser level or spirit level and straightedge
Two paints in your choice of colours (base paint and stripe paint)
Scumble glaze
Paint roller






1. Using a tape measure, measure the height and width of each wall. If you have decorative cornice and skirtings, make sure you measure only the wall space between these.  It is helpful to then draw a diagram of your room (with measurements) on a blank piece of paper to use as a worksheet for the next step.

2. Based on the size of your room, decide the size and scale you want your checked pattern to be and then determine the width of the individual painted stripes. The stripes on the wall pictured are 30cm wide.  The stripe width should divide evenly into the overall height of the wall. For example, if your wall is 2,4 metres tall, making stripes 30cm wide will result in eight complete stripes from top to bottom.

When the stripe width is determined, sketch the stripes on your room diagram to use as a guideline for Steps 3 and 4.  When your placing your vertical stripes it may helpful to start in the center of each wall and work outward so that partial stripes will fade into the corners and be less noticeable.

3. Paint the walls with your desired base colour and let dry completely. Mark the horizontal stripes on your wall. You can draw the stripes by hand, but it will save time and improve your accuracy to use a laser level.

Leaving the top stripe the base colour, use masking tape to mark guidelines for the alternate horizontal stripes that will be painted. When you are finished taping, paint the inside edges of the tape with the base colour and let dry. This will seal the edges and prevent the stripe colour from seeping through.

Mix 1 part paint with 2 parts mixing glaze in a pail. Paint the desired stripes. Slowly remove the masking tape while the paint is still wet, and then let dry overnight.

4. After the horizontal stripes have dried completely, repeat the process for the vertical stripes. First mark the vertical stripes on the walls and then use masking tape to make guidelines for the stripes that need to be painted. Don’t forget to add in the extra width to the corner stripes, if needed.

Paint the desired vertical stripes. Where the vertical stripes overlap the horizontal stripes, the paint will be darker, giving the look of gingham. Again, slowly remove the tape while the paint is still wet and then allow it to dry completely overnight.

More examples of gingham walls

Here are some more examples of how gingham walls, whether small or large blocks, can add interest to a room.