Baby Dahl’s Nursery – Painting Stripes

We are now over the halfway mark until Baby Dahl arrives into the world, and are in full swing on the nursery! Everything for Baby Dahl’s nursery is picked out, and now it’s execution time. (When this is posted, I’m actually in my 3rd trimester)!




Since we are waiting to be surprised on gender, we’ve thought hard on giving the nursery a fitting look for both a baby boy or baby girl. I have always adored blue since I was a little girl. My dad & I always specially picked out all the blue M&Ms from the bag and said they were our favorite because our eyes were blue.  We are going with neutral ivory and linen colors, with accents of light blue. (if Baby Dahl is a girl, we’ll throw in a some splashed of pink to spruce up the girliness)!


First on the Nursery list is paint!

I fretted over paint colors,  looking at light blues or maybe chalkboard paint… but as always, I listened to my mom’s mantra “less is more” and stuck with a cream. I chose Benjamin Moore Muskoka Trail. This color is everywhere in our house, but looks much warmer upstairs. I was happy with cream, but wanted the nursery to have a different look than the rest of our house. My mom had the brilliant idea of doing pearled stripes.

After hours of researching stripes and different products to use, we decided the best way to tackle this was to test out some options. I wanted the stripes to be subtle and look like wallpaper.

Option #1: Minwax Polyurethane Semi-Glosspoly2

  1. In my closet, I painted the BM Muskoka Trail  base color.
  2. I taped off a stripe (using original blue painter’s tape) and painted a Polyurethane Semi-Gloss top coat.
  3. 24 hours later I took the tape off.

The Poly gave a very shiny look, and noticeable stripes, but wasn’t the look I was going for. After seeing the poly, I realized I wanted more of a shimmer.

*Key lesson learned – leaving the blue tape on was a mistake! It left blue residue under the paint that would not come off. When using painter’s tape, be sure to take the tape off immediately after each stripe to prevent residue!


















Option #2: Modern Masters Pearl White Sheer

  1. In my closet again, I taped off a stripe with blue painter’s tape.
  2. I painted a stripe using the Modern Masters Pearl.
  3. I immediately removed the tape (no blue residue!)

I didn’t like the contrast between the base color and the pearl (see pics below)… I wanted it more subtle. Also, the Modern Masters paint is very thick– much thicker than normal wall paint! It’s also water-based, so I mixed in water for thinning… but the color was still too dark of a pearl. To get the perfect subtle color of pearl, I added some of the Muskoka Trail paint to the Modern Master + water mix. Perfection!


Let the striping begin! The hardest part about painting stripes is the prep work. Measuring, measuring again, using a level to make perfectly straight lines to tape off… hard work! We used a laser level to set on a stool to shoot a line up the wall to tape – much easier than moving a four foot level over and over again!

IMG_0061Materials needed: 

  1. Benjamin Moore Muskoka Trail Paint
  2. Modern Masters Pearl White Sheer
  3. Water for thinning the paint
  4. Blue Painter’s Tape
  5. Roller brushes (1/4″ nap velour) –>
  6. Laser Level (regular level will work too)
  7. Skinny paint brush for cutting in the ceiling and trim boards
  8. PATIENCE! (but after measuring, it’s truly pretty easy!!) 


1. Choose vertical or horizontal stripes. I chose vertical to make the ceilings look taller.

2. Paint your base color on the wall (this will be one of your stripe colors) & let dry for 24 hours.

3. Figure out how wide you want your stripes to be? i.e. I used 11 inches. 10 inches seemed too small for my room and 12 inches seemed too wide. Will vary based on the look you want & the room size!

4. Time to Measure! Measure the total room in inches.(i.e. a 11’x12′ room = 552 inches). Dived that number (552) by the width (11) of your stripe to give you the number of stripes that will fit in the space. The formula:

Total Room Wall Length ÷ Stripe Width = Total # of Stripes in Room

    5.  Unless this results in a whole number, which is very unlikely, there will be a bit of extra space at the end of the last wall.

 552″ room width  /  11″ stripes  =  50.18 stripes  

(50 whole stripes & .18 of another stripe)

    6.  To get rid of that extra .18 of a strip at the end of your wall, take your remaining (.18 of an 11″ stripe) and distribute it evenly to your stripes. First figure out how many inches .18 of a stripe equals. Multiply the leftover amount (.18) by the length of the stripe (11):

     .18 x 11″ = 1.98″ leftover to stripe 

    7.   Take the leftover amount (1.98″) and distribute it evenly among your stripes. If you have a lot of stripes and the amount isn’t too big, you can distribute it among fewer stripes. I took this ~2″ and added .25 inches to 8 stripes that were on the wall over the door (so they would be the least noticeable).

    8.  Stripe! Use a level & blue painter’s tape to tape off the stripes. Be careful to tape the outside of the stripe, so every stripe it outlined by tape. It will be clear after taping which stripe you’re painting (it will look wider) and which one you’re leaving alone (it will look skinnier because of the tape taking up its space) *I used a laser level to shoot a line up the entire wall to tape against. It was IMG_0050so much faster than using the normal level! 

   9.  Mix your paint. (Described above, I mixed my base color (Benjamin Moore Muskoka Trail) with the Modern Masters Pearl, and added some water for thinning. The ratio was 4 parts Modern Masters to 1 part base paint. Continue stirring in water until you get a thin paint-like consistency).

   10.  Using a roller, start painting your stripes! Take the tape off immediately after you paint each stripe to prevent blue residue.


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