April 30, 2017
This living room was given a character boost with wide horizontal stripes on the walls, and metallic decoration added to the coffee table. #2 Use flexible masking tape to create the design. Apply metal leaf size to the curvy stripes. #5 Cover the tacky sized area with the leaf mixture, pressing down with your fingertips and a dry brush. #7. Seal with spray varnish. Score the edges along the tape with an Xacto knife, then lift the tape off carefully.

Anyone who enjoys paint projects knows how handy good painter’s tape can be. It helps you paint straight lines and into tricky corners, and protects areas not to be painted. Painter’s tape is not as sticky as masking tape, so it is easier to remove. You’ll find different widths for a variety of projects. Remove tape with care, pulling it off toward the fresh paint. Here are two projects that were made possible with the aid of painter’s tape.

I was asked to refresh an open plan living space on a budget. The homeowner was looking for something different, she definitely did not want a repeat of all white again, but couldn’t decide on a colour. If you can’t settle on one colour for your walls, why not try a mix? Since the walls lacked any kind of architectural interest such as mouldings or panels, we considered painting stripes. These wide horizontal stripes allowed for a range of colours and added lots of character to the room. We chose four colours from the same colour chip, ranging from taupe to khaki. Over a creamy white basecoat, four equal sections were marked off and the stripes were filled in graduating from dark to light down the wall.

This is a variation of a technique called ombre painting, where shades of colour run into each other, blending to make a gradual switch from light to dark. The ombre effect is very popular now, showing up in fashion, wallpapers and fabrics. Here we used ¼” masking tape to separate the colours, which gives a cleaner, more geometric result. Choose colours to reflect the mood you want to create. Midnight blue to sky blue or rustic red to pink would produce a dramatic dining room wall. Calm shades of violet suit a blissful bedroom.

Glass table tops are a perfect complement to a modern space. And if you want to make a personal statement, it’s easy to decorate glass. Mark off a design using masking tape or contact paper and apply glass paint to the underside of the surface. When I discovered flexible masking tape, it opened up a whole range of design options. For the coffee tabletop shown here, I marked off a rectangle and then taped off curvy lines inside the rectangle. Instead of paint, I chose imitation metal leaf to fill in the spaces. To produce a sparkly appearance, I used silver and gold leaf, ripped them up and mixed them together in a paper bag. A coat of aquasize, which is a water-based gilding adhesive, was brushed onto the curvy stripes to be decorated. When the size is clear and tacky to the touch it’s ready for the leaf. Pat the leaf down over the size using dry fingers and a clean, dry paint brush. Let dry completely, about 5 hours, then gently brush over the stripes to remove any loose pieces. Seal your design with several coats of clear spray varnish. As sprays become airborne, tape plastic over the rest of the glass to protect it from the spray, and wear a mask when spraying.

Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to You can follow Debbie on Twitter at, and visit Debbie’s new website,