How To Paint Curtains

I’m breaking away from nursery posts today to bring you a living room update!  Our big projects are coming to a close (more on that soon!), which means I have been focusing on decorating details.

One thing we’ve been living without since demo (late July) is curtains.  It’s like living naked for the world to see.  So exposed.  I mean, cool, if that’s what you’re into.  But um, I dig privacy.

Since we have so much neutral happening in our grand room, I wanted some curtains with a punch.  As it would turn out, punchy curtains are really hard to find unless you want to pay $50+ per panel from a fancy store or custom order on Etsy.  Pretty much all other curtains are simple and neutral.

For a good long while, probably since Avatar was the cool thing… I’ve been wanting to try making fabric paint with textile medium.  Painting curtains was the perfect experiment.

I started with a plain white set of IKEA LENDA curtains, drew out a design on a scrap paper, got some votes, then started taping.  Nothing is trustier than FrogTape for crisp lines.

How To Paint Curtains

I mixed regular latex paint with the textile medium in an old mixing bowl that I was planning on tossing.

How To Paint Curtains

The ratio is 2:1.  2 parts paint to 1 part textile medium.  The handle broke off my measuring cup, so I used this old one to measure out 2 cups of paint.

How To Paint Curtains

I was so worried that the textile medium would change the color of the paint, but it didn’t.

How To Paint Curtains

My preferred color of mustard was Sherwin Williams Kingdom Gold (6698).

How To Paint Curtains

I rolled on the paint to cover the curtains nice and saturated-ly.

How To Paint Curtains

I let it dry over night for good measure.  The next day, Buster watched while I joyfully peeled the tape off.

How To Paint Curtains

However, I made a HUGE mistake.  Michael, I’ve made a huge mistake…  Normally when I paint, I use these old sheets as a drop cloth, and it’s fine.  But I REALLY should have been wise enough to use a heavier drop cloth, or a tarp.  The curtains were completely fused to these sheets.  Peeling them apart was akin to what I imagine an exorcism would be like.  Very gripping.

How To Paint Curtains

But the trouble didn’t stop there.  Because it majorly bled through onto my floors.  It was like a school bus died all over my front room.  For anyone wanting to know how to get paint off floors, warm water with a little Dawn and some elbow grease does the job.

How To Paint Curtains

Luckily the only mishaps were with my supplies.  The painted curtains were more than perfect.  It’s the love affair of the century.  Move aside William and Kate, we have new things to gawk over.

How To Paint Curtains

The final step is to heat set the fabric paint.  You can iron, or tumble dry.  I tumbled of course.

I used this tip to hang the curtain rod.  Please disregard my swollen pregnant hand and robe sleeve.  Take some cardboard and make a template to mark the holes.  Flip the template, and use it on the other side of the window for a perfect match.

How To Paint Curtains

The curtains need to be hemmed, but I’m not sweating that chore until after Thanksgiving.  We have people to entertain!

How To Paint Curtains

They are extra beautiful at night.

How To Paint Curtains

And extraordinarily magical from the outside.  I’m sure all my neighbors think I’m the coolest :)

How To Paint Curtains

And for pinning convenience, here you are!

How To Paint Curtains

Now that you’ve read my adventures in painting curtains, are you going to paint some fabric of your own?

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  • Emma (Broke Ass Home)

    Those turned out super nice! I’m also sooo happy you got the paint off your new floors- I probably would have had a heart attack.

    • Kenz

      I am happy about that too! I was pretty furious to see paint all over those floors. But it wasn’t too bad to get out. Luckily!

  • Julia @cuckoo4design

    I’m a huge fan of painting curtains. I bought the Ikea Merete curtains in bulk so I can paint as many as I want ;)
    Yours turned out great besides the fact that it was a mess on your beautiful floors.

    • Kenz

      That is such a smart idea to buy them in bulk! I feel like I’m going to be doing this every time a room needs new window treatments. It’s such a fun way to customize things and add a punch of pattern or color.

      • Julia @cuckoo4design

        Yup, me too. No more buying standard curtains. Painting is the way to go ;)

  • Bethany Kline

    I love them!! I love a good mustard, part of the reason I <3 Dwight. ;-)

    • Kenz

      Oh yeah! They are very Schrute-esque!

  • Stephanie, Sandpaper and Glue

    ooh I love how it looks outside- I didn’t expect that! they look fabulous, you choose your pattern well. and glad the paint came off your floor- I’ve spent plenty of hours on my hands and knees scrubbing with dawn and swearing my rushed-no-tarp-ed-ness.

    • Kenz

      I love how it looks outside too! It was really unexpected, but really fun. I actually didn’t know it looked that way until Aaron came home from work the day I hung them up, and he was like “You NEED to come outside and see this!” It was pleasant :) And damn us for never using tarps! haha. May we learn from our mistakes!

  • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

    Oh man Kenz, these are FABULOUS! I tried doing this same curtain-painting-technique once upon a time, and when the paint dried it shrunk the curtains SO MUCH that they were way too short! I’m pretty sure I cried. And then threw them in the burn barrel and blocked the whole experience from my memory. I love the arrows and the yellow! Your Living Room is gorge.

    • Kenz

      It shrunk them?! Oh my word! That’s horrible. I was a little worried that might happen, which is why I didn’t hem them before painting, but it didn’t seem like any shrinkage happened on these. Maybe it was the fabric of the curtains you used? :( You should try again. You are the true artist, and I KNOW you would come up with some rad action way to take it to the top!

  • andrea @ mykindaperfect

    i’m so glad the horror of the bleed-through was not only made up for by the amazingness of the curtains, but that it was pretty easy to clean up! the curtains look FANTASTIC!!!

    • Kenz

      I can’t even tell you how much I freaked out when I saw all the paint on the floor. I had a pregnant-melt-down. The WORST kind of melt down a lady can have. haha, but all’s well that end’s well. I agree, I’m just happy the curtains turned out without error. They really add a fun element to the room :)

  • http://www.gohausgo.com/ emily @ go haus go

    Those are so good Kenz! I painted curtains one time on top of cardboard and when I picked up the curtains the cardboard came with it. Three years later I still have bits of cardboard stuck to the back of my curtains. No one is the wiser but me!

    • Kenz

      Oh man! That would drive me insane.. even if I was the only one who knew. I was stomping and swearing the whole time I was trying to pull the sheets off the back. I’m sure a tarp would be the very best option. NEXT TIME! We’ll be so much more prepared!

  • thediynurse

    I love how they turned out!

    • Kenz

      Thank you! I’m so happy with them :)

  • Katja @ Shift Ctrl ART

    I love how they came out and you know I am very fond of that pattern myself :) Love a good arrow :) The yellow is perfect :)

    • Kenz

      Oh yes! Your entry wall! Always good for drawing the eye up! I was so nervous to do the yellow. I’m NOT a yellow person. But it really goes so well with everything.

  • Gretchen

    ooh, look at those! they turned out great–go you! I have drop cloth curtains for my sun room that I’ve been meaning to paint (and hem!) FOR-ever. Now I’m all inspired :)

    • Kenz

      Yesssssss! Do it Gretchen!! And make sure to use a tarp, haha.

  • Cassie Bustamante

    they look awesome! and thank goodness acryilc paint can clean ok off hard surfaces. :)

    • Kenz

      Amen to that!

  • Amber @ Wills Casa

    I love the pattern you chose. It’s bold and gorgeous! It’s even better that the neighbors can share in the awesomeness. I hope you made Aaron clean those floors. Poor guy I’ve been really hard on him today.

    • Kenz

      Thanks! I am loving them too. I definitely had a few helping hands scrubbing the floor :)

  • http://www.desertdomicile.com/ Caitlin @ Desert Domicile

    They turned out so great, Kenz! I love the pattern and color you chose! That photo of the paint on your new hardwoods almost did me in haha Glad the paint came up easy though!

    • Kenz

      Thank you! haha, I seriously had the same heart attack when I pulled up the “drop cloths” and saw the paint. Oh the lessons we learn when we DIY :)

  • Rita

    I had a mini heart attack when I scrolled to that shot of the paint on your floors–so glad it came off! The curtains look great! I never would have thought to do that. I’m wondering if the paint makes them stiff? Continue to be amazed at all that you do in your pregnant state. :-)

    • Kenz

      The paint makes it a little stiff, but washing it definitely softens it right up, also so does the textile medium. It’s worth it for sure!

  • Michelle

    I’m impressed at how well these turned out. (Not that I’m doubting your abilities. Just paint and fabric scares me). I LOVE the pattern. And I love that you got paint all over your floor. Only because I feel less alone in the world right now. :P

    • Kenz

      We need a support group for messy crafters. :)

  • http://www.bliss-athome.com/ Kristin Cadwallader

    Love your painted curtains Kenz :) They turned out fab! xo Kristin

    • Kenz

      Thanks so much Kristin!

  • http://newlywoodwards.com/ Kim@NewlyWoodwards

    These look so great! I love the color and the pattern you chose. And the patience it must have taken to tape it off!

    I also love the white at the top. Super cute all together. YOu are a genius.

    • Kenz

      Thanks Kim! It wasn’t too bad taping them off. I’m one of those weirdos who finds things like that “calming.” Maybe I need a DIY intervention…
      And I love the white at the top too. It makes it look more like a blanket to me :)

  • http://www.nalleshouse.com/ Anu

    The curtains turned out so well! The yellow goes so well with your room.

    • Kenz

      Thanks Anu! I really like the way the yellow fits in too :)

  • Tara @ Surburble

    Gorgeous! Clever you for thinking up that pattern by solely using Frog tape.

    Seeing the paint on the floor made me gasp. Did you freak right out? I’m so glad that it came up with a bit of scrubbing.

    (Pinned! of Course)

    • Kenz

      Oh, I freaked out nice and good! And thank you :) Pinning is the ultimate compliment.

  • Ashley

    I LoVE them!! I’m half tempted to try that except we’re renting (and we have hiiiiiideeeeoooouuuuusssss vertical blinds in every. single. room.) and I’ve quite honestly lost all motivation to do anything curtain-related anymore (if you recall our previous discussion). Also, I really like that we both included Arrested Development references in posts about curtains. High fives all around.

    • Kenz

      Are you allowed to hang up curtain rods where you’re renting? Because this would be a great idea to cover up nasty vertical blinds! hahaha, And I definitely remember our last curtain discussion. Arrested Development is the greatest. You’re the only person who noticed, which means you are my favorite :)

  • http://www.thechildatheartblog.com/ Deonna

    Hey girl! It’s Deonna from the Child at Heart blog. I have made drop cloth curtains and every paint design I saw was either SUPER complicated or too simple. This is such a cool pattern and I think I’m stealing it. I think I’m going to do one stripe across the curtain…I’ll will have to share the finished pics. Thanks for the inspiration. Your’s look great and I love the paint colors on your walls too! Very pretty!

    • Kenz

      Hey Deonna! Send me a link to your blog! I’d love to check it out.
      You can definitely steal this pattern :) It’s pretty great! I, too, felt like it was a happy medium between being boring and simple/ vs over complicated. I’d love to see your finished pics! Thanks for stopping by!

      • http://www.thechildatheartblog.com/ Deonna

        http://www.thechildatheartblog.com/ We’re doing a blog hop all December so please link up any fun Christmas ideas :) and yes I’ll post some pics soon and will let you about the curtains. I did one and it looks so cute!

        • Kenz

          Awesome! I’ll be sure to stop by :)

  • Ashley Mayes

    Love these! Seriously fabulous.

    • Kenz

      Thanks Ashley! :)