bedroom with painted moroccan star wall design
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How to Paint a Curvy Moroccan-Star Design

The secret to making this hand-painted pattern? Two templates you cut out of paper

When it comes to small tools with great impact, few painting accessories can compete with a template. To make one, simply draw a shape on heavy coated paper or flexible cardboard, cut it out, place it on the wall, and outline it in chalk, as if drawing around a cookie cutter. Repeat. Once you've outlined your whole design, put the template away and paint freehand right over the chalk. Here, a tailored bedroom in minimalist shades of brown, bronze, and ivory got a welcome infusion of color and pattern with the help of two templates, three cans of paint, and a small brush. Atlanta-based decorative painter Brian Carter loosely based the design for this accent wall on a Moroccan tile, then added a twist. "Blowing up the pattern keeps it from being fussy," Carter says, while the wavy, diamond-shaped stars it creates and the way it's interrupted by the ceiling and corners keep it from appearing too rigid. Bronze dots, dabbed on with the same brush, add a graphic touch to the pale blue-and-cream scheme. For the how-to, read on.


Steps // How to Paint a Curvy Moroccan-Star Design
1 ×

Morrocan Star Overview

 
Step One // How to Paint a Curvy Moroccan-Star Design

Morrocan Star Overview

The secret to making this hand-painted pattern? Two templates you cut out of flexible posterboard. Download these patterns to get started on making the large and small templates.

 
2 ×

Make the Chalk-Line Grid

 
Step Two // How to Paint a Curvy Moroccan-Star Design

Make the Chalk-Line Grid

man using yardstick to make chalk grid for wall stenciling
Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Put down your base coat. Once it's dry, measure the wall side to side and snap a vertical chalk line down its center. Snap more lines to the left and right at 18-inch intervals till you hit the corners. About 3 inches from the ceiling, mark the bottom of the top row of interrupted stars with chalk. Move down the chalk lines, marking dots at 18-inch intervals. Using a yardstick, connect the dots diagonally and create a grid of 18-by-18-inch diamonds.

 
3 ×

Make the Templates

 
Step Three // How to Paint a Curvy Moroccan-Star Design

Make the Templates

hands cutting out stencil used for wall painting
Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Using a piece of 18-by-18-inch posterboard folded into quarters, and the pattern available here, create a template for the larger Moroccan star. Create a second, smaller star by tracing the second pattern, available here.

 
4 ×

Trace the Large Template

 
Step Four // How to Paint a Curvy Moroccan-Star Design

Trace the Large Template

man using paper template to create painted wall design
Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Placing the large template under the topmost dots, use chalk to outline a row of whole stars. Continue, working in vertical rows. Outline interrupted stars last, bending the template to help.

 
5 ×

Trace the Small Template

 
Step Five // How to Paint a Curvy Moroccan-Star Design

Trace the Small Template

man using paper template to create painted wall design
Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Center the small star within each of the large stars you just drew, and outline it in chalk. (Note: The outlines of adjacent large stars create similar shapes that don't get small stars, so you should end up with a pattern that has equal numbers of two-template and one-template stars.)

 
6 ×

Paint the Large Stars

 
Step Six // How to Paint a Curvy Moroccan-Star Design

Paint the Large Stars

man painting moroccan wall design
Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Using a ½-inch round artist's brush, paint the large stars right over the chalk outlines. Make sure the stars touch at all four points. Let dry.

 
7 ×

Paint the Small Stars

 
Step Seven // How to Paint a Curvy Moroccan-Star Design

Paint the Small Stars

man painting moroccan wall design
Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Paint the small stars over the chalk outlines. Let dry.

 
8 ×

Paint the Dots

 
Step Eight // How to Paint a Curvy Moroccan-Star Design

Paint the Dots

man painting moroccan wall design
Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Using the same brush and an accent color, paint dots at the intersections of the stars. Give the dots a second coat as needed.

 
9 ×

Erase Chalk Grid

 
Step Nine // How to Paint a Curvy Moroccan-Star Design

Erase Chalk Grid

man using sponge to erase chalk line after painting wall design
Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Once the dots are dry, use a damp sponge to erase the chalk-line grid.

 
 
 

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