Curbly Original
How to: A Painted Striped Curtain Makeover

by Ciburbanity

How to: A Painted Striped Curtain Makeover
When we moved from our NYC apartment to our suburban Connecticut home, I grabbed a neutral pair of curtains from IKEA  for the one window in our master bedroom. I still really like them, but... design's a moving target and after a couple of years tweeking the rest of the room (headboard, nightstands, new bureau) the curtains felt a little flat.  I wanted to bring some color up in there:   

I love the simple look of striped curtains; graphic, bold, clean lines.  So where to find a set of striped curtains to match our colors and decor? Make 'em, natch!  Like any good blogger, I've done my research (code for stalking a long list of other drool worthy blogs) and painting fabric is apparently not that complicated.  Score 1 for the new painted curtain plan.  Whenever I need simple curtain panels, I head to Ikea; for this project, I opted for the Ritva panels- I thought the fabric was a little more textured/ interesting than the simple cotton they also had on hand, and I liked the clean top of these more than the other choices with grommets.


  • White curtain panels ( such as the Ritva from IKEA, $25)
  • Painters tape
  • plastic drop cloth
  • foam roller
  • ruler/ straight edge
  • latex paint

Step One: I googled around and found that the only reason to wash the curtains first was to remove any sizing that might get in the way of the paint soaking into the fabric.  A way to test is to drop some water onto the fabric and if it beads up... you'll need to wash it.  If the water drop soaks in, then so will your paint and you're good to go! I just dove in with painting.  Lay your curtains out onto a drop cloth first as the paint WILL soak through onto the surface below.

Step Two: Iron.  (I skipped this step, but I wouldn't be a responsible blogger if I didn't tell you that it would be the best way to go...)

Step Three:  Measure twice.  My curtains needed to be 92" long so I figured a stripe that was roughly 9 1/4" would look perfect.

Step Four: Tape your lines. You folks are smart, so I won't go into detail for how to tape... but go slowly, and really press the edges of your tape into the fabric as best you can. (I happen to have a tool in my arsenal called a bone folder for making sharp creases in paper.)

Step Five: Roll on your paint.  Move in small increments and roll your paint until the fabric seems saturated.  I used the same paint color we have on our nightstands.

Step Six: After the paint has dried a bit, remove the tape.

Step Seven: Hem if necessary... I sewed my hem because I wasn't sure whether a ironing/ hem tape would work with the paint.

And.... scene!

I'm lurving the new colorful striped curtains.  They bring a little more interest to that wall of our room and the color is SO much prettier and brighter than the previous curtains. The Ritva panels are a thinner fabric so there are areas where you can tell the paint wasn't saturated through... We don't pull our curtains closed at night because of a shade, but you might go over the stripes with a second coat for a thorough color if you don't want to see the light coming through the paint in areas.


More about Charlotte from Ciburbanity: "My family and I left the glorious urban chaos of New York City for the quiet dust-free Connecticut suburbs in 2012. As much as I miss the city, this new suburban life allows me the space (and craft stores) to get my DIY on! You can read more about us here!" 

Continue Reading

Click here to read all posts