How to paint and create strips on your walls
Learn how to give a blank wall some personality with stripes. Stripes are a great decorative painting technique for your walls. Horizontal stripes make a room appear more spacious; vertical stripes make the ceiling appear higher. Read the steps below on how to apply paint stripes to your wall.
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Choose vertical or horizontal stripes. Horizontal stripes make a room appear more spacious; vertical stripes make the ceiling appear higher. Striping is a very simple technique. And the final effect can add to the perceived size and dimension of a room. Just remember to measure and tape carefully.
When you have all your supplies ready, and the room cleared for painting, paint your base coat of paint on the wall using the lighter of the two colors you have decided to use first. Let it dry at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.
After the base coat is completely dry, begin measuring and marking the walls for the stripes. Measure the wall, starting in the corner that's least seen. Next, divide the wall. Stripes should be between 4" and 12" wide.
Tip: A width of less than 4" would be too narrow and busy; more than 12", too wide and heavy. Place the first strip of tape or mark in that obscure corner where you began measuring.
Using a tape measure, plot/mark the wall with lines corresponding to the width of the stripes you wish to paint, this will keep you from having to measure each stripe as you tape the wall.
If your stripes are going to be the same width measure the wall and divide by that number or measure the wall and divide by an odd number to reach a desired stripe width.
Tip: An odd number of stripes will insure the stripes at the corners are the same color. This makes the design more cohesive. If you plan to paint all the walls with stripes you will need to adjust accordingly.
Next, use a level or straight edge to create the outline for your stripes. Use low-tack /safe-release tape.
Tip: Remember that because you will be painting only every other stripe, you'll need to tape out the pattern so that every other stripe is outlined by the tape. Make sure to tape outside the chalk line; fresh paint will cover up the lines.
Tip: If making the lines with a chalk line, use blue chalk because red or yellow is a permanent color.
Tip: If the measurements don't work out perfectly, any small differences likely won't be seen because you started in an obscure corner. If you want to be more exact, adjust the width of the stripes on the last wall. A 1/4" to 1/2" difference won't be visible to the eye.
- Two different paint colors – Basecoat and coordinating color for stripe pattern
NOTE: You may want to paint more than one color stripe OR tone-on-tone (the same color for two stripes utilizing different sheens) so plan accordingly when purchasing paint.
- 1" or 2" low-tack/safe-release tape
- 9" roller frame and cover
- Mini roller frame and cover
- Roller pan with liner
- Pencil, colored pencil or chalk to mark lines
- Tape measure, carpenters level, straight edge