The narrowness of this space inspired this octagon-and-diamond motif. "The large scale works well," Brian Carter, a decorative painter in Atlanta, says. "And the homeowners also liked the traditional feeling of the pattern," which is not unlike ones seen in Victorian-era encaustic tile and in floor and ceiling treatments that go back much further. Carter devised a pattern with an octagon across four boards and a diamond the width of one board, all on a single template. He outlined the shapes carefully and used plenty of painter's tape to keep the geometry crisp.

Shown: Benjamin Moore's Arborcoat Waterborne Exterior Wood Stain tinted to match Sharkskin 2139-30 and Iron Mountain 2134-30.

Download and print out the template here.
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    Tools List

    • roller tray
      Paint tray
    • roller frames
    • paint roller with extension
      Roller pole
    • scissors
    • one-and-a-half inch paintbrush
      1½-inch painter's brush
    • sponge

    Shopping List

    Exterior stain, tinted. Get 1 gallon each of a base color and a darker shade.

    Roller cover (¼-inch nap for wood)

    Heavy paper or poster board

    Painter's tape Get two rolls.