Hand-Painted Curtains | DIY

One of the first rooms we set straight in this house was the kids' shared bedroom.  You can see the "reveal" here.  In that reveal though, I mentioned that it wasn't finished (is any room ever finished really?) and that I still wanted to add a little bit more flavor before we called it quits.  Fast forward several months to last week, I finally got around to it.  The kids are helping me with a couple more projects right now and then I'll post another (more complete) reveal, but this here is all about the existing curtains I painted.  

I bought these black-out curtains* for their room in the 96" length and they're really great, especially for the price (I got mine via the Warehouse too so they were even cheaper!), but it turns out that they're even better if you want to add a little bit of pizzazz in the form of paint.

Here's what they looked like right after we bought them last year and got them hung:
(We used curtain rods similar to these*.)

With the white walls, they were a little too boring for a kids' room but I had plans...it just took me awhile to execute.  Before I show you what they look like now, let's go into how I did it.

First things first - they needed to be shortened so that they were just grazing the floor.  Puddling on the floor a smidge is great, except in a kids' room.  When they open the curtains in the morning, they're not concerned with them puddling nicely at the floor and so, most of the time, the curtains look a little sloppy.  Shortening them would usually be a simple measure up an inch or so from the ground, cut excess (optional), and sew a straight line (or iron on some hem tape*) but each curtain was a different length (possibly why they were on Amazon Warehouse) - not by much and not noticeable until you measure, but they were.  So for me, it was a measure down from the top, cut off the excess, and sew.  Not much more involved but measuring lots of inches is always a little more complicated than measuring one or two.     

Next up, the fun part - PAINT!

     Handy Paint Cup* - by now you probably know I use this for every small paint job.  (See all of our favorite painting tools in this post.)
     Paint Sample Jar - For this project, all I needed was a sample jar of paint.  I wanted a minty green so I went with Breaktime by Sherwin-Williams partly because it's a fun color and partly because the name was sorta fitting for the kids' room, where they go to get their breaks/naps/sleep in.  (Side note:  I don't recommend picking paint colors based off of their name even though it sounds fun.  This time was just more coincidence than anything.)
     Water - I mixed a little bit of H2O into my paint to thin it so it would go on better.  I didn't know how much paint I'd need so I poured a quarter of the sample jar into my Paint Pail and then mixed 30 oz. of water into that.  I only had to refill once (another quarter of the jar plus 30 oz. of water) so this whole project only used half of the sample jar.
     Paint Brush - I had a cheap one-and-a-half-inch brush laying around so I used it but really, any brush would work, depending on the pattern you're going for.

We have a big counter top in the kitchen that was the perfect place to paint these panels but even a good expanse of floor would work or your dining room table (just make sure you lay down a drop cloth/old sheet/plastic first just in case).

Since I couldn't fit the entire length of each curtain on the counter top, I worked in sections, starting at the top and working my way down.

It took me ages to decide on what kind of pattern I was going to paint onto these.  Ages, I'm telling you.  That's the main reason why I didn't paint them way back when we made over the kids room.  For the longest time I was just going to go with diamonds like the ones on the kids' accent wall in our rental because I loved them so much but, in the end, I was afraid they'd be too time consuming since I wasn't sure how well the paint was going to go on.  (Spoiler alert:  I now wish I would've went the diamond route because this a much easier project than I had anticipated.)

Dots were another option because they're so easy to free-hand.  In the end though, I went with some abstract stripes and dashes.  To make sure they were straight, I laid Anthony's big T square* up against one side and painted along that line.  I didn't paint right up against the T square though because I didn't want to get paint all over it and I didn't want any perfectly straight edges.  I really just used it as a loose guide.

If you don't have a big straight edge like this, you could measure down the curtain and pencil on tiny marks every two-four inches or so to use as a guide.  If you go the abstract route like me, imperfection is applauded so you really can't go wrong.  :)

The process was pretty simple - I just painted stripes or dashes at alternating lengths.  I painted with my paint brush sideways for thinner stripes.

Tip:  Because the paint was pretty thin with the added water, it was helpful to dip the brush into the paint, then wipe any excess paint off on the inside of the Paint Pail before I painted on the curtain.

The paint went on like a dream and after two minutes of painting, I found myself wishing I had done something more involved.  The fabric of these curtains doesn't soak up a ton of paint (but it does take to paint really well) so I was able to paint a good bit before I had to reload my brush.  Each panel took me maybe 10 minutes to finish and that's with a few distractions from tots.  I should've went with those diamonds, darn it.  Or maybe even went with something that had a few colors...each panel could have become it's own abstract painting and it would've been awesome and fun!    But it's ok because they're still pretty cute.   

Here's a closer view of the pattern:  

I'm still amazed at how easy these were and it's got me wanting to paint some more of these same curtains...  Wanna take bets on whether or not the kids will have a whole new set of painted curtains within the year?  ;)

Whatever goes up in the future, these certainly add a little bit more fun to the kids' room...a place where fun should live, yes?

(Seagrass hamper is from Old Time Pottery // similar*.)

So, with all of that, if you're in the mood for some more pattern in your life, painted curtains might be just the thing!  These curtains come in a bunch of colors too so you could go dark* and paint a midnight sky or light blue* and get some fluffy clouds on there.  Taupe* and the seafoam* would be pretty with white dots, scattered Xs, or those diamonds and I bet you could channel some Star Wars with the gray*.  The options runneth over. 

Let me know if you try painting your own curtains!  I'd love to see what you come up with!

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*These links are affiliate links which means that, if you click over and/or make a purchase through the link, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  All of these links will lead you to things we actually paid for or that are similar to the item we paid for in case ours is thrifted/sold out/secondhand.  This extra money helps us with the costs of running the blog.  Thank you for your support and for fueling our love to share all things DIY!