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Tone on Tone and Sanded to the Bone

We all know the feeling: We discover a trend that seems like such a good idea at the time, and just have to do it. We may even love the results. But then the fateful day eventually comes when we want to go back. Or we have to go back. And we discover that actually getting back is a lot more difficult than we would have ever remembered. Take perming your hair, for example. So many of us went down this road back in the day in hopes of achieving those on trend, wild curls. If you were one of those brave hair pioneers, you know what I’m talking about, and you also know how hard it was to get your hair back. Enter Tone on Tone Wall Stripes.

For our purposes, let's pretend #ToneonToneWallStripes are the perm hair trend. In the right setting, and in the right room, these textured wall stripes are a great idea. But when the time comes to get your wall back to the way it was originally, a LOT more work is required to fix it. If you follow me on Instagram, you may be familiar with the serene setting that I love to call my new office. I recently moved into this office that was previously my husband’s, and if you recall from this little gem, I wanted to make this office as light, bright, and girly as possible. Easy, right? Not so much.

Before I got my grubby little Miss Lizzy hands on this room, it was a quite masculine room- one of the only rooms that we didn’t paint when we moved into our house a few years back. It was a dark, chocolate brown color that the rest of our house originally matched. Before even moving our stuff in, the rest of the house was changed to grey, but we decided to keep this office the way it was. It fit the bill of what my husband needed for his work space. But when my husband started working at home full-time and built himself a primo work space in the basement, I got to move in and make this room mine. First item on the list? Paint that room grey {all neutral everything is kind of my jam}.

Now, you might be wondering why an entire DIY blog post Is dedicated to just painting a room. Seems a little unnecessary, right? I mean, painting is pretty transparent, is it not? Well… not in this case. Painting over Tone on Tone Stripes proved to be much more involved than I had hoped. This was made even more evident when we got a hefty quote to get it done professionally…. But why on earth would we pay an insane amount of money to have someone else do a project when I can do it myself (right, frugal hubby)?

The Project

Those trendy at a time Tone-on-Tone stripes. Again. I love these in certain settings… but I wanted a clean, light slate for my work space, so they had to go. After much research (there is a really great tutorial about this here as well), I quickly knew my fate. So, sand, sand, sand was in my future. If only it was the kind of sand that came with an ocean.

The Details


Electric palm sander (an absolute must)

Medium to Fine grit sand paper

Plastic covering (lots and lots of plastic covering)

Face mask (also an absolute must)

Primer and Paint in one (I loved this one from Sherwin Williams)


As I mentioned, this project seems pretty self-explanatory, but I am here to share some of the things I learned in hopes that your project will go a bit more smoothly. First things first- cover everything in the plastic covering. I mean everything. After you are done sanding, a powdery paint dust will be left behind. I knew this would happen, so I covered the furniture that had been strategically moved to the center of the room, but I didn’t cover the carpet. This didn’t end up being the end of the world, but it left me with A LOT of vacuuming to be done after. So, spring for the extra plastic covering and cover your floor too.

Next, get your muscles and palm sander ready to sand away. I found that a medium (lower end of medium at that) grit sand paper worked the best. You might think that a rougher sand paper will help to achieve results quicker, but don’t go too rough on this. If you use too high a grit of sand paper, as it will tear the drywall. You are then stuck with mudding and more sanding. And nobody has time for that. So, exercise patience and try not to rush it. I personally found that working on each line in a vertical movement (as opposed to circular) was the most efficient. You will have to use a little elbow grease, but it will be worth it in the end to have a nice clean slate to work with. I found that using a thick paint like the Sherwin Williams Paint and Primer and one was helpful in providing full coverage as well.

The silky smooth results. We used Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams. I love it and find that it is really a “true grey.”

I was so pleased with the results and was more than happy to get rid of the last bit of chocolate brown in our house. And what I was left with was an office that now seems a lot larger, due to both the lighter paint color as well as the removal of the textured lines. So, if this project is something that you see in your future, know that you CAN achieve the results that you desire, albeit a bit of effort required. But sometimes, once you reach the end of the line and see all the work that you put in, it gives you even more satisfaction than you would have expected.

Good luck, and as always- never hesitate to reach out with any questions!

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