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How to Roll on a Painted Pattern

Starting at $150
Project cost
About 2 Days
Estimated time

The base of a bookcase is the perfect place for a pop of color or pattern. To lay a foundation, we first removed the shelves added a base coat of Sherwin-Williams Emerald® Interior Acrylic Latex Paint in matte in Pure White SW 7005. For the pattern, we selected a semigloss finish in Copper Wire SW 7707 applied using a cut-rubber design roller, in a pattern called Quills from Rollerwall.  to put down feathers in a semigloss finish one vertical row after another—like wallpaper. The roller creates a natural frame on all sides; to avoid this, you could roll the pattern on wallpaper liner and paste it in place. But once we'd arranged a few of our favorite things, all we could see was our built-in's lively new look. Learn how to use patterned paint rollers in our guide below.

(This article originally appeared in This Old House magazine. Author // Deborah Baldwin. Photos // Andrew McCaul.)

Visit your neighborhood Sherwin-Williams Paint Store!

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Step 1

Mark the Design Roller

To achieve wallpaper-like repeats, mark the roller with a + at any point and with a − halfway around. You’ll start the first row with the + up, the next with the − up. Insert both rollers in the frame; you should have a frictionless close fit.

Step 2

Load the Paint

Fill the tray with latex paint in a semigloss finish. Remove the design roller and run the foam roller through the paint, covering it completely. Roll it once on paper to remove excess. Now mount the design roller and roll it on paper to make sure it’s right-side up.

Step 3

Put Down the First Row

Align the + on the design roller with the top left-hand corner and move from top to bottom, angling the roller at about 45 degrees.

Step 4

Make a Second Pass

Align the next row with the − on the design roller at the top. Draw the roller down, taking care to avoid a gap between the rows. After three rows, or when the paint begins to fade, repeat Step 2.

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