The Curtain Solution {DIY Painted Curtains}

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

This curtain situation in my kitchen stumped me for the last month or so. I showed you the brownish-gray drapes I bought from Ikea first:

And after living with them a day or two, (and asking for your advice. Thanks, BTW!) I decided to take them back because they made the room look dark.  Then I bought navy drapes, also from Ikea, that made the room look even darker, so back they went.  And so, it’s like I always say, when all else fails, go for the DIY! Well, maybe I never said that, but I’m going to start. Here’s what I ended up with:
I loooooooove them. Color-blocked drapes for only 25 bucks! DIYing it lets you do your own thing and create something totally custom. Now for the break down on my DIY Painted Curtains:The curtains came from…..Ikea! Surprise. 🙂 These things are so awesome because they cost $25, and that’s for 2 panels. Woohoo! The panels are 96 inches long, but come with fusible webbing to hem them without sewing. (Another plus in my book!)

It’s a good thing they provide the stuff to hem them because they were way too long when I hung them up. I also felt like they were just a little too uninteresting and, since this is a high-traffic area (we let the dog in and out through the slider, go out to the deck to play, and close the drapes at night), I knew that white would get soooo dirty really quickly.
Then the idea of color-blocking them popped into my mind and I knew that that was the solution! It would hide the dirt on the bottom of the curtains, while still allowing the room to feel airy, bright and clean. Yesss!!!  I ironed, measured, hemmed, ironed some more, measured some more and then got to work painting them using this method. It worked like an absolute charm.
While painting curtains might just be the bane of my existance- don’t ask me why, I really don’t have an answer- I am so happy with the results and the fact that it was so inexpensive. I already had the paint on hand from our first Nate Show episode, which was super convenient, and so it really was only 25 dollars for a pair of custom drapes!
They totally compliment my fabric-colored pendant light and bring a little more color to this side of the room.
And now, I think, I’m taking a break from kitchen stuff. We’ll see how long that lasts….
Oh yeah, I added a picture of my hubs and me eating souvlakis from our favorite place in Athens, Greece (which is where we met!) right next to my “People who love to eat are always the Best People” quote. Makes me smile every time I see it.
And did you know that if you put a penny in the water with your tulips they will *supposedly* stand up straight instead of drooping? Just a little tip I picked up from Emily that I thought I would pass on to you. You’re welcome. I’ll let you know if it works. 😉
One last thing: lest you think my kitchen is darn near perfect, here’s the other side of it: one of the doors to our laundry area, that never actually fit properly, ripped off the doorframe last week. Sadly, it is always that disorganized. *Sigh*
My daughter told me today that she does not appreciate me painting everything (she’s four!), but man, I sure appreciate how you really can paint everything!
What unusual things have you painted?
*Monica once spray-painted a pillar candle. Hilarious!*



P.S. Did you hear about the awesome new Pinboard we’ve started with five other amazing bloggers? You’ll definitely want to check it out for loads of home decor and crafting inspiration.

The comments +

  1. AVBergantino says:

    I like the color blocking drapes and you can’t beat the price but is there a reason you didn’t make the colored portion match up to the height of the wainscoting? Makes it look a little “off” to me. Just my 2¢ 🙂

    • To be honest, I didn’t really think about that, but I knew that I didn’t want the stripe to go any higher than what I did because I didn’t want it to look like I painted half the curtain blue and kept half white. I really wanted it to look like just the bottom was color-blocked.

      Thanks so much for reading!


  2. Anonymous says:

    Did you add anything to the paint? I thought latex paint would crack on fabric if you don’t add conditioner…am I wrong?

    • Nothing I found when searching for other projects using latex paint on fabric said it would crack, but I’ll sure let you know if they do! Probably the best, most permanent way to do this would be to use acrylic paint mixed with a fabric medium. Then you could wash them and it wouldn’t feel stiff. I figure that for $20 bucks, it was worth the experiment! 🙂

      Have a great weekend,


  3. Katherine says:

    I’m sooooo in the painting-everything mode. Nothing as unusual as curtains yet, but I’ve done two boring brown bookshelves and am spray-painting all my patio furniture. Gray just wasn’t me enough.

    • I’m right there with you- nothing is safe from paint in my home! :)And I’m pretty sure you might just see a post from one of us whose name begins with “M” about spraypainting patio furniture really soon!


  4. This is great and we have IKEA curtains in our living room that are white. I considered doing the same thing for the nursery but white and toddlers don’t always mix. Painting the bottom portion a color to keep dirty hand prints from showing up!!

  5. I noticed that picture of you and Kev when I was there yesterday. It fits perfectly there! And I really, REALLY like the curtains :).

  6. Beth Brevik says:

    OOOOH I LOVE this solution! I like the light airy feel of the white curtains, and I always love a pop of color. What shade are your walls painted? It looks like a perfect neutral.

  7. Janet says:

    I like the way you think! And decorate. White would show the dirt too quickly, paint it dark,lol. We have 3 big dogs. Our closest IKEA is 50 miles or so and I love it there (got my island there in the returns room for a song) but hubs doesn’t want me going that far alone (health issues) and his own keep him from being drained. Thinking about paying shipping, frugal as I am. Always loved the lamp shade BTW. I’ve got a vase of tulips now, penny tip well timed!

  8. Anonymous says:

    what color are your walls painted?

  9. Judy says:

    The painted curtains are 100% ingenious and beautiful!! They add so much to the room and really highlight your beautiful lamp shade. One question… Are the curtains washable after they have been painted? You are so gosh darn creative!

    • Thank you, Judy! No, I won’t wash these since I used latex paint. If you want to try this and make washable curtains: use acrylic paint mixed with a fabric medium. I’m just a)cheap and wanted to use what I had on had and b)impulsive! 🙂


  10. The drapes came out awesome and I think the best thing you did was stick with the white style and jazz em’ up! They look so much better than the brown. Awesome work. And I’ll have to try to the penny trick in the tulip vase 😉
    xo Jenna

  11. Anonymous says:

    Love the idea Jess I never would have attempted painting drapes:0 When you get tired of them you should add more blue horizontal stripes just two more and each one should get a little thinner just a thought!

  12. Kathleen says:

    I love how you color blocked the curtains. I recently painted a sheet and made it our shower curtain. It sounds crazy when I actually say it like that. You can see it on my blog:

  13. Anonymous says:

    I just purchased the same paint you used. Did you prime your walls first? I have a light creamy beige/tan on walls now.

  14. Great Post. I have not been visiting the site recently. Took a visit again and there were some great comments on the site. Excellent post. Keep up the good work.

  15. Margaret says:

    Love the curtains! Planning the same project with the same IKEA curtains, but I’m wondering: did the paint bleed through the fabric at all?

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