DIY Painted Striped Curtains (yes, I painted my curtains!)

If you caught my sneak peek of my Christmas décor in progress over on facebook (you can follow me and see the preview here), you saw that I have some new curtains in my living room!  I am in process of a few changes in the living room so before we jump into Christmas décor and I get all kinds of questions about them, I thought I would go ahead and share the tutorial.

DIY painted striped curtains

I am so excited about these curtains.  I have been imagining them for quite some time now and just had to figure out if I wanted to buy material or DIY them.  The DIY version won especially when I scored a super great deal on some plain white material.

My inspiration was Nester’s famous striped curtains…

If you hang around in blogland you have probably seen her striped drapes.  But since that fabric is very hard to find many people started DIYing their own version.

striped drapes

Here is a DIY painted version created by Reckless Glamour.

DIY painted striped curtains

Can’t tell the difference?  Yeah, neither could I!  So hard to believe you can paint stripes on it and it literally looks they were made that way.

A month or so ago, I was shopping at my parking lot yard sale and came across a person that was selling lots of materials still on rolls.  I had looked before and never bought anything but I had these curtains in mind so I stopped and checked out their selection.  I knew from my dining room curtains that I would need 3 yards for each panel (or I could cut a 3 yard piece vertically to make 2 panels out of it if the fabric was wide enough) so I needed at least 6 yards for 4 panels.  They were selling this really nice creamy white medium weight home décor fabric for $2 a yard which was a great price!  Or he said I could have the whole roll for $15 and there was at least 10-12 yards on it.  I bought the whole bolt Smile  I figured that way I was safe if I couldn’t cut the panels vertically and I could have leftovers for other projects and even more curtains!

Here’s the materials you will need::

  • paint in whatever color you choose – I used regular wall paint leftover from the kitchen walls you see in the picture below.
  • roller and tray – small foam roller works best
  • fabric medium – see note at end of post
  • fabric or premade, plain curtain panels
  • painter’s tape – paint blocking tape

I went with 96 inches long so that way I could have 12 inch stripes and have 8 even stripes.  I added 8 inches (4 for the top and bottom hem) so cut my fabric at 104 inches long.

DIY painted striped curtains

I moved all the furniture out of the eat in kitchen since that was my biggest space that was safe to paint in.

DIY painted striped curtains

Then the fun began!  I was really dreading the taping off part but it really wasn’t that bad at all.  I used the free swag of FrogTape from my Haven conference bag and it worked perfectly!  Definitely use a painters tape with “PaintBlock”

DIY painted striped curtains

I measured and taped off 12 inch stripes with 4 extra inches on each end for the hem.  (I could have probably hemmed the material before painting but I was just ready to start painting and not looking forward to the sewing part.)

The little pieces of tape are to mark the stripes that I needed to leave white just so I didn’t accidently start painting the wrong stripe!

DIY painted striped curtains

Those white stripes look skinnier because you have to factor in the width of the tape.   So the white stripes are 9 inches plus the two pieces of 1.5 inch tape. (Hope that makes sense??)

You can also see that I extended the tape and actually taped the fabric to the floor.  This kept it completely still.

DIY painted striped curtains

The painting went fast – faster than I thought.  I did one coat and then went right back over it with another light coat.  Depending on your material you may need 2 full coats.

My paint didn’t seep through but this fabric was pretty thick.  You may want to use a painter’s cloth or something under yours.  I just didn’t have anything big enough and knew that I could wipe the paint off the tile if it did leak.

DIY painted striped curtains

I would paint one stripe, go the next stripe and paint it, and then go back and take the tape off the first stripe.   You will want to take the tape off before the paint dries so you don’t risk pulling off paint with the tape.

Yes, I was nervous… did the paint bleed?  Or was it ok?

DIY painted striped curtains

Look at that!  Perfect stripe!  LOVE!

I let each fabric piece dry for 1-2 hours until it was mostly dry.  And then draped them over the dining room table to dry overnight.  I cut each piece vertically down the middle making 2 panels out of each piece.  I don’t like my curtains to be extra thick or billowy since I don’t close them.  They always stay pulled to the side and open.  All of this is completely customizable – so if you want thicker curtains keep a large width of fabric.

I hemmed each side and then hemmed the top and added short pieces of ribbon on the back to make back tabbed curtains.  I love the pleated look but don’t like visible tabs or drapery hooks.  Here’s the back of the curtains.

DIY painted striped curtains

I moved my curtain rods up much higher than they were before (I can’t believe the difference that makes in the feel of the height of the room!)   You always want to go wide and high with your curtains.

hang curtains high and wide

I hung them and then marked the exact length that I wanted them hemmed so they just barely grazed the floor.  Finally they were all hemmed and hung!

DIY painted striped curtains

I LOVE them!  The room looks so much brighter and more modern and just more my style.  The first day or two every time I cam down the stairs the height completely through me off – the room felt so different.  And then I thought I may have made the stripes too wide – 12 inches.  But now I have had time to get used to them and I love the wider stripes.

DIY painted striped curtains

I wanted this room to be more neutral so that I could add pops of colors in the accessories rather than be tied to red as my main accessory.  I can still use red in here or yellow or teal or blue or whatever color I want now.

DIY painted striped curtains

You will be seeing lots more of these curtains especially since we put our Christmas tree in this corner.  I really wanted them done and up before Christmas because I am doing a neutral theme on the Christmas tree and didn’t want the red curtains to interfere.

Here’s another shot of the stripe line.  Almost perfect.  Unless someone gets right up close to the curtains and examined and felt them they would never know they were painted.

DIY painted striped curtains

Once they were hung and the sun was shining through them, I did see a few spots where the paint was thin.  So I did go back and touch up those spots.  If I would have done 2 full coats, that could have been avoided.  But it didn’t even take me 10 minutes to touch up those spots.

DIY painted striped curtains

I love the hidden pleats.  My favorite curtain style.

DIY painted striped curtains

And here’s a few tips if you decide to do this yourself:

1. Use plain, pre-made curtain panels to avoid any sewing.  If you check out the tutorial I linked above from Reckless Glamour she used premade white curtain panels from Target that cost $20.  I have also read of people using Ikea curtain panels.

2. Use fabric medium.  I tried to find some but the ladies at Michael’s had no clue what I was talking about.  The painted stripes are a little “stiff” but I do think they will loosen up over time.  And the stiffness does help hold the “pleats” in place.  But I am not positive how well these will wash.  I won’t wash them unless completely necessary.  I do think they will hold up ok to a gentle cycle since I know the paint on my paint clothes has not come off after MANY washes.

3. Wear knee pads.  If you have them and you are painting/taping on the floor wear them.  I didn’t have any but I may just borrow some if (or should I say WHEN!) I do painted curtains again.

4. Customize them for you!  If you want thinner stripes do thinner stripes – I could have done 8 inch stripes and at first I regretted not doing them, but now I am very happy with mine.  If you want them thicker/wider or longer/shorter do what works for you.  And in any color.  Just search painted curtains on Pinterest and you will find all kinds of colors.  You can also do stenciled painted curtains – that might be my next project. Smile

Just for fun . . . let’s see some before and afters.

Before with red curtains

living room before - red curtains

After with TALLER DIY striped curtains.  See the difference in the height of the room?? Smile

living room after - DIY painted striped curtains


living room before - red curtains


living room after - DIY painted striped curtains

So yes, I may be the crazy paint woman who paints her light fixtures, lamps, air vents and pretty much everything in site, but I love the outcome and it allows me to have the things I want at a greatly reduced cost.  I used paint I already had and about 6 yards of my $15 material and probably have another 6 yards left.  So these curtain cost $7.50 for FOUR panels.   This is why I DIY, this is why I paint everything in site, this is why I yard sale. Winking smile

If you have any other questions about how I did it make sure to ask away in the comments.

And this started today!

A Homemade Christmas

Head over to Christa’s and check out her Pottery Barn knock off that cost her all of $1.00.


  1. absolutely gorgeous, Christina! LOVE the before & after pics!! great work!
    Christa @ BrownSugarToast recently posted..Clusters of GoodnessMy Profile

  2. Amazing!!! I have been looking for fabric for months(: thinking your painting tip may be my best option! I love how they turned out!!!
    Molly recently posted..Toilets, toilets, and more toilets!!!!My Profile

  3. FABULOUS! What a huge difference. I have also hung my curtains high and wide and that in itself is a game changer! Great job.
    Jae recently posted..Door CrashedMy Profile

  4. Once again, you amaze me!! What a transformation! Love the curtains, and love the DIY part even better!! : )

  5. Your curtains look awesome girl!! I’ve bee drooling over the Nester’s curtains for sometime now & have been debating on painting my own! Maybe after the first of the year…I am way too busy right now!! Thanks for the tutorial!
    Tonya @ Love of Family & Home recently posted..Simple DIY Christmas Wreath TutorialMy Profile

  6. Wow, I adore those curtains…and your fall decorated living room!! You did a fantastic job! 🙂
    Gabbi @ Retro Ranch Reno recently posted..Banner Letdown.My Profile

  7. The curtains look fabulous! You make painting curtains look so easy, but I would be so apprehensive!
    Antonella @ The Comfortable Home recently posted..Trimming the Exterior of the HouseMy Profile

  8. LOVE, LOVE, LOOOVE them, Christina!!! You did a great job and it completely changed the look of the entire room! WIsh I was brave enough to try stuff like that…maybe someday! 😉
    Rachel recently posted..A Thanksgiving Thank You {Five Minute Friday}My Profile

  9. Kelly Palmer says:

    Wow! I love them Christina! You did an awesome job and I love the wide stripe. Can’t wait to see the room after your Christmas tree is up!

  10. Heather Collins says:

    They came out perfectly and add so much to the room! So glad you decided to try the painting 🙂 I can’t get over how much more modern and streamlined the room looks….the red doesn’t jump out at you anymore, yet you can use as much as you want with the neutral curtain background. If you stencil a set, I’d be interested to see how that goes. I’ve been planning on stenciling my office curtains that have to cover a huge triple window…been reading blogs, but haven’t had the time/money to invest in it yet. Your blog is such a great source of inspiration 🙂

  11. Wow! You did a Fabulous job on your curtains! I was searching for a great tutorial for painted curtains and, I have to say…yours is the best! I’m painting my curtains this week, wanna see them when they’re done? 🙂 Love your blog!
    kristin recently posted..52/52 Challenge :: DIY Book Page Wreath $11My Profile

  12. Amy Podolek says:

    I love the color you used on the curtains! Do you remember what it was!?

  13. My walls are pretty much the same color as yours and I’ve been drooling over striped curtains for weeks! I’m gonna just jump in with two feet and make them! Would love to know what color you used on the stripes. Thank you

  14. Curtain bg is a leading supplier of readymade to measure net curtains. Any drop available, free postage over and fast delivery, buy online today.

  15. Hurrah, that’s what I was searching for, what a material! present here at this blog, thanks admin of this web site.
    Therese recently posted..ThereseMy Profile

  16. Hi
    It’s been nearly a year since you posted this post and
    I was wondering regarding the stiffness of the painted stripes, has it gone down? I’ve just painted mine and noticed how stiff it was. I’m loving the curtains I painted but having this stiff paint makes me rethink everything nonsense.


  18. sherry Goodman says:

    Hi..I just love what you did with the curtains. I may just try it soon. I was wondering if you can tell me what color and brand of paint you used on the living room walls. Its the perfect color! thank you sherry

  19. Iove it how much fabric medium and how much paint do u mix together?

  20. Gave wrong address

  21. Okay, I’ll give this a go then, it’s worked so well for you. I also paint everything in sight. I had no idea there were others!
    I just have to work out how to do a geometric shape rather than stripes. I might just try spray paint as I have a great colour that I’ve put on my lamps..

  22. Michalakis says:

    A serious question: how are you going to wash these?

  23. It’s an awesome idea! Never painted my curtains yet.


  1. […] you are probably going to have the paint brushes out this summer anyways, why not keep them out and paint some striped or stenciled curtains?  Still love […]

  2. […] curtains over at The Nester’s, I fell in love. Christina at The Frugal Homemaker has a great tutorial on painting stripes onto curtains, which I plan to use very […]

  3. […] Christina from The Frugal Homemaker has an awesome tutorial on how to paint curtains! […]

  4. […] so paint it was. During my research (this was a serious project, can you see?) I came across this blog which suggested actually using fabric instead of wall paint to make it safe to wash the curtains […]

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