Painting Plaid Walls with Kenny Barrett of GROWop Boutique in Phoenix

Sometimes a plain coat of paint on a wall just isn't enough. If you're looking for a way to shake things up at home, why not go plaid? To find out how it's done, we met with Kenny Barrett, who recently helped plaid-ify the outside walls of GROWop Boutique in downtown Phoenix. And just so you know -- painting your preppy wall is a lot easier to pull off than you might guess.

See also: Making Terrariums with The GROWop's Kenny Barrett and Joshua Hahn Building a Gallery Wall with Jennifer Nestlerode

Materials: - Plaid image or pattern for inspiration - Base color paint (approximately one gallon, but it varies based on surface size) - 4 to 5 different shades of paint (approx. one quart each, this will also vary) - Paint roller for base coat - Different sized paint brushes (1, 2, and 3 inch, depending on desired thickness of stripes) - Ruler or measuring tape - Dark pencil

Important things to keep in mind: - Consistency is key for this project. The plaid pattern is dependent on how the stripes fall within your grid, so make sure you keep the squares in consistent order with each other. - Again, your example pattern is what dictates how your own plaid surface will turn out, and it will vary accordingly from the GROWop wall. - Barrett insists that using tape to paint your lines is a bad idea, because it creates a mess and will peel off the layers of paint underneath each stripe. - Instead of tape, use the dots on your grid as visual markers to keep your stripes straight as you paint them.

Method: 1. Before painting, find a plaid image or piece of fabric (in Barrett's case, a skirt from inside the GROWop store) from which to base the design and color scheme of the surface. There is no set formula for how to paint your plaid pattern -- it will depend on your color choices and the pattern you are looking at.

2. Paint the base coat of the surface using a roller. This should be the lightest color of paint that you have assembled.

3. When the paint is dry, use the ruler and pencil to make a grid for the plaid print. You will measure out in one-foot by one-foot squares, marking a dot at each corner. Barrett recommends beginning on one side of the wall and measuring out dots vertically, each separated by 12 inches. Continue this pattern over the whole surface. Don't worry -- it isn't the end of the world if your squares aren't perfect. Their purpose is to ensure that your plaid stripes logically line up and to keep your pattern consistent across the surface.

4. Use your largest brush and a slightly darker paint color to paint both vertical and horizontal stripes within the squares. Their exact placement is up to you and your example pattern, but Barrett recommends a central alignment.

5. Next, to create the most realistic plaid effect, paint tight clusters of lines using your next darkest colors, as shown in the picture. These can be horizontal or vertical, and the placement of the lines along your squares once again depends entirely on the pattern you are looking at.

6. Your last set of stripes will use your darkest color paint and finest brush. Paint horizontal and vertical lines with this color based on your pattern. For a strong plaid pattern, have these dark lines fall on top of the lightest areas of your surface, as exemplified in the picture.

7. Make any desired touch-ups to your pattern, but remember the order in which you painted the stripes. You don't want one of your very bottom colors to end up on top. The way that the lines overlap is key to achieving the most realistic plaid style.

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Valerie Hoke
Contact: Valerie Hoke