Decorative Painting – Using Geometric Designs for Decorating Impact

Painting geometric designs, including squares, rectangles and stripes, are a popular way to add interest to interior decor. It can be fun to repeat geometric patterns from your upholstery or to add dramatic accent colors to a room of modern furniture.

Painting geometric designs do take more preparation than many of the other decorative painting techniques. Part of this comes from the fact that geometric shapes needed to be masked. More time is usually required to mask off the geometric shapes than it will take to paint.

Careful measuring and positioning is critical. Uneven widths or off-square stripes will not look good! If you want a space between squares, you’ll want to be sure the space is consistent. Make it easier by using a standard width of painter’s tape—3/4″, 1″, 1-1/2″ or 2″.

It’s also important to let the base color harden for a few weeks before you use painter’s tape to create a design. If your project involves a complex design, you may find yourself pulling up the base coat, just because it can take longer for you to complete the second half of the project than you expected.

Effects You Can Achieve

Painting squares on a wall- removing the making tape to reveal the pattern.
Vertical stripes are a great way to make low ceilings seem higher, a common problem in basements and older homes with a “half-story” second floor. Horizontal stripes make a room seem wider and longer. If you have a room that is too narrow, put the horizontal stripes on the narrow wall and the vertical stripes on the longer wall.

If stripes aren’t your thing, you can accomplish similar effects with diamonds. If the diamond is taller than it is wide, it leads the eye upwards, making the wall seem taller. If the diamonds are wider than their height they will tend to make the wall seem wider.

You can use rectangles to achieve the same results. Taller draws the eye up and down. Wider draws the eye across. Squares tend to be neutral.

Circles can be fun. Use low-tack contact paper to make round circles. Fill in the space around the circles using a pounce brush.

Of course, geometric isn’t just circles, triangles, diamonds rectangles and squares anymore. It can also refer to using free-form shapes. You can use curving lines as well.

Make Painting Geometric Designs Easier

There are stencils available for many popular geometric patterns. One of the most popular patterns is one called the “Missing Link.” It a series of interlinking squares that creates a very interesting almost wallpaper like effect. While the effect can be accomplished with masking tape, using a stencil greatly simplifies the process.

You can find stencils that allow you to mimic an array of complex geometric designs—the screens of Casablanca, trellis-like effects, fish scale patterns or fabric-like damask patterns, to name just a few. Using a stencil greatly simplifies the process of adding more complicated designs to your wall.

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