How to Make a Baseball Seams Stencil Wall

Tippytoes-baseballfinished2Rocket’s room required negotiation. He wanted it painted San Francisco Giants orange, which is…bright. We settled on a toned-down orange and only on two walls to dilute it further or else it would have felt like drowning in orange juice. To get him to negotiate, I offered to paint baseball seams on two walls.

The idea was from Simply Mom, who has better pictures, and more information in her comments on how she did it. Not only am I thankful for that, but for her note in the comments (to paraphrase) that it looks best from a few steps back. If not for her honesty, I would have given up because up close, it looks wobbly, but from a few steps back, it looks awesome. It looks amazing to the eyes of a six year old, which is what matters most to me.

First, the walls were painted Benjamin Moore’s Mountain Peak White. I took a Major League Baseball Rocket got at a Mariners game with me to the paint store to color match. But that’s only because I’m detail oriented. Any white, especially a soft white, would be fine.

Second, we tried to imagine where I’d like the seams at their closest point on the wall. This ended up being about 51 inches from the top right corner of the first wall. The problem was, due to a door and a window, 51 inches didn’t work well on all of the four corners, so we fudged it a little on those sides. We cut a string to the length that would reach our desired farthest point, Kevin held one end of the string in the wall’s corner, while I tied the other around a pencil, pulled the string taut, and lightly drew in the curve. That was the easy part.

Tippytoes-baseballlinesTippytoes-baseballlines2

Third, I used a foam brush and leftover paint from our family room (Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter) to paint along the pencil line. Anytime I stopped or slowed, the line wobbled. The thickness of the line varies, and up close, it looked wonky. The variation is somewhat obscured by the red stitches, in the end.

Tippytoes-baseballlineswobbly

Pressing on to step four, once the gray line dried, I started at the edge of each curve, then marked off four inch increments. Those would be for the red stitches.

Fifth, once ready to paint red, I cut the end of the foam brush (and wished I’d bought a tiny square brush…) for a blunt end. I painted red from the marked points to create stitches. The stitches are each four inches long, and I’d generally mark a spot four inches on either side of my centered seam spot, so this was almost like a dot-to-dot drawing. Some stitches are good, some are awful, but again, from a few steps back, it’s all good. For the red paint, I bought a 2oz sample of a Benjamin Moore red. (I went into the store to buy Heritage Red, but they were out of the small sample size, so I picked something that looked similar.)

The sixth step should be step back and enjoy, but for me, it meant more work. When I returned after letting things dry, I found this:

Tippytoes-baseballmessed

Someone decided to check to see if the paint was still wet…in several spots. When it was found to be wet, what better place to wipe off the paint than the white wall? Or your own sweatpants?

My step six was to touch up the white paint. It took about four coats to cover the red. Then it was finally complete.

Tippytoes-baseballfinished

Now he wants me to freehand a giant, black SF on one orange wall. No.

Comments

  1. Great tutorial!! I was sitting here trying to figure out why my painted baseball wasn’t looking like a real ball when I found your post!! (I had the seam the same shade and thickness as the stitching… DUH what was I thinking!! Easy fix though, thanks for the tips!)

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