Last week, when I told my studio bathroom wall that I was thinking of something different, several people (my mom included) took a moment to think about it now, before moving on to something else. I suggested I try the black sharpie marker trick on my wall. See if you like the design. Remember those black Sharpie marker accents I did on the music room walls?
The music room walls are painted with stencil designs in two neutral colors used throughout the house: Behr Polar Bear and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray. However, when I first made the stencil, the design looked flat.needed something to give full of energy. So I decided to use a black sharpie marker to outline part of the design to give the design a three-dimensional look.
The painted stencil design is what it looked like originally…
It was very clean, but it didn’t look anything special to me. And it looked exactly like a stencil wall. But when I added the black Sharpie his marker detail, it went from an obvious stencil-like look to a wallpaper-like look. Here’s what it looks like today…
See how the black sharpie marker added dimension to the design?
So, remembering that, some thought we should try it on the bathroom wall before we do away with the wall design altogether. Here’s the wall design before this little experiment: I taped and hand painted a colorful square spiral design. Admittedly, it was a very boring project.
I have no regrets about this design. It’s been fun for the last few years, at least, but I’m hoping for something a little more bold and colorful. When you look at this design up close, it looks very bold and colorful, but it might sound crazy…
But when you step back and look at it from afar (or even when you’re standing at the back door of your studio), the design becomes more and more washed out and loses some of its colorful boldness.
I had already decided that I would go with the next idea anyway (perhaps colorful vertical stripes), so I had nothing to lose by trying sharpie marker accents. So I picked a sidewall location and headed there.
It’s very hard to tell what kind of impact a small sample like this has, but I like the look of it with the black accents. And I loved how the black combined with the new vanity colors.
So I continued working to see if I could see a larger sample and figure out how it would affect the overall design of all four walls.
Unlike the walls in the music room where there was a very distinct and obvious difference between the non-sharpie portion of the wall and the sharpie portion of the wall, I didn’t feel this was affecting the bathroom walls much. Here’s what the “work in progress” looks like on the walls of the music room. Can you see how big the impact was on those walls?
I mean, it’s a dramatic difference! The black accents in the center give the impression that they are about to pop out. It looks three-dimensional compared to other walls.
But on the bathroom walls, black was disappearing in the design. No doubt it’s because this is a multi-coloured design and the walls of the music room were painted in just his two shades of light neutral colors from the start.
I continued and worked on a little bigger but stopped when about half of the side walls were done. I was hoping it would work and make a big change here like it did on the walls of the music room, but I don’t think it will work.
But I’m so glad I tried it! At least now I know for sure. I love trying out ideas, so I don’t see this as a waste of time at all.
But it seems to me that the key to a successful black Sharpie trick is to start with a neutral, stenciled design. That’s where you get the most benefit and the greatest return for your time and effort. Not that it wouldn’t work at all with a more colorful design, but it would lose a bit of impact.
So we move on to Plan B, vertical stripes. Yesterday I googled “colorful vertical striped wallpaper” and one of the first results inspired me a lot.it was This wallpaper mural is from Photowall.
I have no intention of using that wallpaper. First, the colors are wrong. I don’t have a lot of yellow in my murals. In fact, I don’t know if it really is. Besides, I can’t imagine myself using “stripes” so haphazardly. For someone like me who likes things neat, clean, organized (not necessarily in design, in life in general 😀), square, straight and tailored, it’s the It’s a little too much “children’s art”.
However, I am very inspired by bold colors and love the idea of random width vertical stripes. The colorful boldness of that wallpaper inspired me and I can imagine it on those walls. Something colorful and bold like this would look great in a small studio bathroom.
In Addicted 2 Decorating, I share my DIY and decorating journey of modifying and decorating a 1948 Fixer upper my husband Matt and I purchased in 2013. Matt does most of her work because she has MS and she cannot do physical labor. I do my own housework. You can learn more about me here.