- Artist and TikToker Shannon Huber tried to give her bathroom a makeover using tape and black paint.
- When it didn’t go as planned, other TikTok users offered advice and hacks to fix it that worked.
- An interior designer told Insider it’s a good idea to practice this DIY on a sample board first.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A TikTok user was able to rescue a bathroom wall “DIY fail” with help from her comments section. But an interior designer told Insider that doing a test run before attempting a similar project might be a better idea than trying to salvage a disastrous home-makeover project gone wrong.
Minnesota-based artist Shannon Huber shared her DIY misadventures in a multi-part series of videos on TikTok. It all started when Huber tried (unsuccessfully) to use tape and black paint to give her ordinary bathroom wall a makeover by turning it into a “cute accent wall,” as she explains in her first video, which has 14.4 million views at the time of writing.
The first video shows Huber taping down the wall in angled lines and then painting the whole thing black before trying to peel away the tape to reveal the pattern. When Huber takes the tape off, she finds out that the clean lines she was trying to achieve have turned out to be quite messy – the tape didn’t successfully keep the black paint in place.
In a couple of follow-up videos, Huber shared that she has smoothened out the messy lines with white paint and then colored them in with a golden marker. Both of these fixes, Huber said, came to her as recommendations from other TikTok users in her comments.
“I thought [that] was a great idea. So that’s actually what I ended up doing,” she told Insider.
However, to avoid the problems Huber ran into, an interior designer suggested trying out the design on a smaller surface first.
“It would be a good idea to do a sample board to work out all of the issues,” Iantha Carley, an interior designer and owner of Iantha Carley Interiors, told Insider.
TikTok users shared tips for avoiding this kind of mistake when painting over tape
While many TikTok users offered helpful advice for making the wall look better despite Huber’s initial missteps, a few others offered some more basic painting advice.
“In case you reattempt, the first coat should be whatever paint is under the tape. Then, the primary paint on top,” one of the top comments suggested. In Huber’s case, the base coat was white and the primary paint was black, so she should have first laid down the tape, then painted a white base coat, and then painted a black coat over that.
Insider spoke to a professional contractor who offered similar advice on how to get the clean lines Huber wanted.
“Paint your base color a couple of coats and let it dry thoroughly for a couple of days at least,” James Lackford, a contractor based in Maryland, told Insider. “After taping, repaint the entire wall with the base color first.”
“This seals the tape edges with the base color and prevents the bleed-through that this project had,” he continued. “Paint your top color after letting your base dry an hour and remove the tape as soon as the paint is dry.”
“Perfect edges every time,” Lackford added.
Huber spent 2 weeks and about $US50 ($AU68) on her DIY accent wall – including both the initial attempt and her subsequent fixes
Huber told Insider that she and her family bought an “older home” in the summer of 2020 and wanted to renovate it themselves.
“We learned how to put flooring in just from watching YouTube videos and we had a friend help us,” she said.
She added that the bathroom in particular needed “a lot of work” and was supposed to be her “fun project at the end of the hard work” that they had put in to renovate the house.
While her toddler son napped, Huber stenciled the design she wanted on the bathroom wall with a pencil. Then, she laid out the tape, which took her about four hours in total. Huber estimates that adding a coat of black paint after the tape, correcting the mishap with white paint, and adding golden lines took “maybe two weeks” from start to finish.
To spruce up her new accent wall after the pattern was finally fixed, Huber also added a couple of wooden shelves that she made. She told Insider that while she’s not particularly handy, her career as an art teacher inspires her to make things from scratch.
“I love creating things, I love making my own decorations,” she told Insider. “So anything that I can make myself, I do try to do that and it helps us save money.”
“It also kind of adds some more personal touches to our home,” she added.
DIY home-renovation projects are very popular on TikTok
TikTok is full of creative people sharing their ambitious DIY home renovations.
In December, TikTok user Melissa Mondragon shared a video showing how she transformed her granite kitchen countertops into realistic faux-marble for under $US200 ($AU271).
At that time, Carley told Insider that she was skeptical of how well most people could re-create this DIY.
“I would think you’d need some serious art skills to really pull [a DIY marble countertop] off well. From some of the photos I’ve seen, most do not,” she said.