Here’s how to create a beautiful multi-layered square paint effect on the wall of any room.

Checkerboard decorative paint technique

Checkerboard squares decorative paint how-to/directions

From Sherwin-Williams Paint

Supplies needed:

  • Two different paint colors – Basecoat and coordinating color for square pattern
  • 1″ or 2″ low-tack/safe-release tape
  • 9″ roller frame and cover
  • Mini roller frame and cover
  • Roller pan with liner
  • Pencil, colored pencil or chalk to mark lines
  • Tape measure, carpenters level, straight edge
  • Utility knife

Step 1:

When you have all your supplies ready, and the room cleared for painting, paint your base coat of paint on the wall using the lighter of the two colors you have decided to use. Let it dry at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.

Step 2:

Measure your wall for length and height. Then divide the length and height by the measurement of the desired square size. Mark the squares using a carpenter’s level, a pencil (or chalk) and low-tack painter’s tape. Make adjustments to the size of your squares as needed to fit the size of your wall. Lay out your grid on the wall. Begin by measuring the desired size of the square down from the top of the wall and use small and light pencil marks going across the wall. (Marks may show through).

Tip:  Make the squares all one size with a set pattern (checkerboard) or do a variety of different sizes in a random pattern.

Step 3:

Place a horizontal strip of tape across the wall with the top edge of the tape at your first measurement. Press the tape edges down firmly to prevent the second color from bleeding into the adjacent square. From the bottom edge of the tape strip just applied, measure the desired size of the square down and apply your next strip of tape.

Continue to apply horizontal strips of tape all the way down the wall. Check your lines with a carpenter’s level occasionally, to make sure they are true.

Step 4:

Starting at the left edge of the wall, measure the desired size of the square across and make a vertical cut in the tape with a utility knife. From that point, measure across the tape, just the width of your tape and make another cut. Remove the cut section of tape you created. This cut section will be the width of the tape only.

This is where you will lay your vertical strips of painter’s tape to make your squares. Measure across the desired square size from the cut section, cut and remove another tape-wide section. Repeat the process across the rest of the wall space.

Step 5:

To complete the block pattern, apply vertical strips of tape crossing through the cut spaces you just made. Continue until the wall has your checkerboard pattern. Be sure to press the tape edges down firmly to prevent the second color from bleeding into the adjacent box.

Step 6:

Paint and fill in the squares with the topcoat (second color) using a mini roller. Fill in every other box down and across, using the same technique.

Step 7:

Allow to dry and remove the tape OR Remove the tape once you’ve painted the wall, angling away from the freshly painted area as you pull.

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