Lately, it seems like everyone has paint under their fingernails. You can paint upholstery, carpet, fabric, plastic and pretty much everything you can think of. One of the fun realizations I had was that I could paint a perfect window treatment or panel for my house! Sometimes, I get such specific ideas in my head about a room, that it is hard to find what I am looking for (or hard to pay for it once I find it!) I feel completely liberated that I don’t have to look anymore. If you have old window panels that you want to update, or if you just want to buy some and paint them, here is what you do:
1. Decide what pattern or color you want for your panel. Also, decide which kind of paint you are going to use. For fabric, I often use a flat paint, but satin would work well too. Also, decide if you are going to use a fabric paint or a latex paint with a fabric medium. You can go without, but you will be left with very stiff drapes. I don’t mind them a little bit on the stiff side, but I still use a medium so that they aren’t sooo hard.
2. Gather your supplies. Here is what you will need: Pencil, Plastic or Paper to go underneath your project, tape, paint, tape measure, straight edge, stencil or other pieces that will help with your pattern, paint, fabric medium, foam roller, tray, paint brush.
3. Lay your panel out flat. Of course, only do this on a flat surface and I would do it somewhere other than your nice flooring, that could possibly get soiled during the process.
4. Depending on your pattern, this is the place that you will tape off your pattern, or tape on your stencil, etc. Be sure to be meticulous in measuring to be sure that you are getting straight lines and the pattern is consistent.
5. Find your starting point and begin tracing your pattern lightly with a pencil.
6. Tape it off. This is really important and it is even more important to press the tape down very hard to seal the edges of the tape. This is the step that is most crucial to having a flawless design.
7. Roll the paint on to your taped pattern. Be sure to really go over the area to work the paint into the fibers of the fabric. Go over the fabric until the paint is all the way through to the other side of the curtain panel, so that they don’t look bad from the other side. If you let the paint bleed a little bit, but not all the way through, when the sun comes in, they will look blotchy and spotty.
A really great place to look for inexpensive panels is IKEA or thrift stores or seconds stores.