I am a firm believer that you can improve almost anything with paint. It’s cheap, comes in thousands of colors, and works on almost anything. Including curtains.
I absolutely love these gray and white striped panels from Crate and Barrel – they are exactly what I wanted for the nursery.
But one 96” panel is $99. On the other hand, these 96” plain white panels from Ikea are $25 for a pair. Not only that, they have a similar grommet top which I love and they are a nice thick, light-blocking fabric.
The only thing missing is the stripes – that’s where the paint comes in. Luckily, I have been hanging around enough risk-taking DIY blogs to know curtains are totally paintable. So I went for it. And I picked up lots of tips and tricks along the way to share with all of you.
- Before taping and painting, tape your curtains panel down to a large piece of cardboard – I broke down the box our crib came in. This will prevent paint from seeping onto your floor and will also hold the fabric of the curtain in place so that you can get straight stripes.
- Tape off your stripes using blue painter’s tape – not frog tape. Blue painter’s tape sticks just enough to make clean stripes without pulling too much of the fabric’s fibers.
- If you are doing more than one curtain panel, use a template to measure your stripes. I started off measuring each stripe individually and using a straight edge to tape along – but that was taking forever and a day. So I wised up and cut a template out of cardboard to make taping off the stripes easier.
- When taping off your stripes, remember to take the width of your tape into account. The tape should always go on the outside of the lines that will be painted. Which means the tape will be on the inside of the stripes that will not be painted. This way all of your stripes will be the same width once painted. So how do you do this using your cardboard template?
- When measuring the white stripes, I placed the template completely covering the last paint line – A – and then lightly taped a line next to the edge of the template – B. This is simply a guide line. I then taped a line – C- immediately before line B. Then simply remove line B.
- To get nice crisp paint lines, seal the edges of your tape with Mod-Podge before painting. This will keep paint from seeping under the tape.
- I found it helpful to use primer followed by 2 coats of regular latex paint. The primer is not required but it helps keep the fabric from soaking up so much of the paint.
I should probably hem these a bit but otherwise they are exactly what I wanted. And since I used paint and painting supplies that were left over from other projects, they were only $25 a pair – or $12.50 each.
And another plus of painting your curtains – if you don’t like how they turn out, just repaint. The first panel I painted was a much lighter silvery gray. It was lovely and subtle – unfortunately, I was going for graphic and modern. So I simply retaped the panel and painted right over the first shade. It worked perfectly.
And there you have it – these gray striped panels are the perfect complement to the DIY industrial curtain rods I shared a few days ago.
Anyone else out there paint curtains or other fabric before? Or seen any other good Ikea curtain hacks? I love Ikea curtains, by the way.