How to paint a DIY Herringbone nursery wall

I’ve previously spoken about this on Instagram and expressed how difficult it was to choose a suitable nursey theme for my handsome boy. Once he was born, I starting buying monochrome accessories however it never really felt right. I thought I was struggling due to being so used to little girls, decorating a girl’s room came so naturally to me. When I reflected, I wondered if I’d actually spent too much time on Instagram and Pinterest and the room wasn’t going to reflect me, or more importantly, him.

I thought about what the room would’ve been like if I hadn’t been so influenced by what I’d seen online. It was like a lightbulb moment. I suddenly started wanting to fill the room with the colours he already had in there. Blue from a picture bought by our friends when he was first born, orange from the fox we bought him for Christmas, grey to match his cot and carpet. It was clear a cool feature wall was the way forward, full of colour to match his little personality. Quickly, the herringbone painted wall idea followed and we finally had a plan.

Below is the list of materials needed and Step by Step instruction on how you can create this inexpensive and simple DIY Herringbone wall paint project.

What you will need:

Tester pots of Emulsion paint (We used pots from the Valspar range)

4 Paint brushes (One for each colour)


Frog Tape

Right angle ruler

Step ladder

Tape Measure

Children’s paint brush

Step 1: Mark out the Vertical lines

When we set out, we didn’t have a specific width in mind for the columns but knew we wanted them equal. The first thing we did was measure the wall, finding the centre and splitting the room into two halves. Each side was then halved again and then once more which give the desired width of column ensuring they were all equal. If your room is bigger and your columns are too wide, it might be worth splitting it again. It’s worth playing about on the wall with the measurements and deciding how big you want your pattern and columns.

One you are happy, mark with a pencil up and down the wall the same distance apart to make sure the lines are straight, follow the lines and mark with a pencil. Once all the lines are on, frog tape following the vertical lines. Make sure you press the frog tape down firmly to help prevent any bleeding lines.  We did consider using a laser level but my husband said there was no need (I still think it would have been easier!)

Step 2: Draw the herringbone lines

Ok, this part might be a little bit difficult to understand. Hopefully the diagrams will make it easier. Basically, this is how we did it, but as long as everything is equal…….. it’ll look amazing!

For the chevrons, use a right-angle ruler to mark the lines at 45 Degrees.  Start at the top left-hand corner of the central column and make a 45-degree line using your right-angle ruler. Draw a line to meet the frog tape, measure the distance from this line up to the ceiling then half this number. This number will be the measurement for the space between each herringbone line.

Step 3: Paint

Once all the herringbone pattern is measured and taped, use the frog tape to mask off the adjoining walls before starting to paint. Decide which order you would like the colours to fall and make sure you keep the order going throughout. We actually painted two chevrons in the wrong colour and had to repaint them. It’s really easy to get mixed up so try to take some time to get it right the first time. It will be quicker in the long run than waiting for it to dry to repaint and much less frustrating.

Our room is white, so the lighter colours took two coats whilst the darker colours took 4. We used one pot each of Valspar testers for the light colours and 2 pots for the darker colours, which needed more coats. The pots cost £3 each.

Step 4: Remove the tape

Remove the tape ideally whilst the paint is still wet will help reduce bleeding, however it’s inevitable that some will still occur. Once the tape was removed, the wall looked brilliant but it was not perfect. Some small sections that had pulled away with the tape needed to be fixed with a small children’s paintbrush.

The Result:

We are super pleased with how it turned out and it wasn’t as hard to do as people seem to think! It’s a simple, quick & inexpensive way to add a pop of colour to a bedroom. I would love to see it recreated in a girl’s bedroom, I think it would look just as effective in pastel colours.

Paint Colours used:

The Valspar paint colours

Warm shale (Grey), Smoky mountain spring (Teal), Portrait of a blue stocking (Navy), Fire within (Orange).



  1. March 5, 2019 / 11:13 pm

    Such a helpful post! I’ll definitely be bookmarking this for the future.
    I love the way this looks x

  2. Leah
    March 11, 2019 / 4:07 pm

    This is genius! Amazing!

  3. Rodney
    July 5, 2019 / 4:21 pm

    If you keep an consistent measure up the vertical lines ( ex, 12 inch on each vertical lines , you can get the design ) without using a square .

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