How to Paint Perfect Wall Stripes

Whether they are horizontal or vertical, stripes are just one trend that I hope won’t go out of style any time soon. This flexible motif adds visual attention and will help showcase a room’s nice points and de-emphasize defects.

Use vertical stripes in a room with low ceilings to create the illusion of height, or utilize broad horizontal stripes in a space with high ceilings to ground the area. Play with the size and color to create a exceptional appearance — subtle tone-on-tone stripes of equal size produce a subdued and relaxed environment, while vibrant, contrasting stripes changing in size produce a more contemporary and graphic impact.

Now that I have you prepared to bust out of your painting supplies, here’s a helpful how-to that can help you attain perfect stripes each moment.

Meg Padgett

Measuring tape
Painter’s tapeLevelPaint To paint flawless stripes, you are going to need one base color — either the existing wall color or a new colour — and at least one other color to paint over the top of the base to produce the striped effect.

This base shade has an eggshell sheen. I custom tinted the paint by taking a discounted gallon of powdery blue “oops” paint from my neighborhood hardware store and including a little bit of charcoal to attain a neutral gray-blue.

Meg Padgett

1. Measure and strategy. Once you have applied the base color, assess the height (for horizontal stripes) or width (for vertical stripes) of your wall so that you can size and distance that the stripes evenly. As soon as you have that information, measure and mark each stripe. Use a level to ensure that the lines are right. I tracked lines with pencil over the amount of the wall for error-free guides.

I utilized 12-inch stripes for the majority of the wall, starting from the middle, which left smaller stripes on the top and underside. To make it easier on myself, I opted to paint the top and bottom stripes white to match the trim.

Note: Take into account any fittings and features that occupy the walls, such as light. You will want to plan the stripes so that the attribute will sit inside among these instead of straddling two.

Meg Padgett

2. Tape your stripes off. After you’ve chosen the stripes that are going to be painted, then tape them off with painter’s tape by running the tape across the top and underside of the corresponding pencil lines. Repeat the procedure for any extra stripes. This will produce broad and narrow stripes. In this case, you will only be operating with the wider stripes.

Run your finger along the edge of the tape to ensure good contact with the wall and then remove any air pockets.

Note: For this project, I tested both Frog Tape and Blue Painter’s Tape and achieved the same perfect results for each. Think masking tape is a great substitute? Think again. Masking tape may leave a sticky residue and pull paint off the wall, leaving unsightly bare spots that are difficult to cover.

Meg Padgett

3. Paint another coat of your base color. With the tape in place, paint a light coat of the base shade at which tape and wall meet. Do this to both the top and underside of where the stripes will be. This will create a barrier, preventing the paint you’ve chosen for the stripes from bleeding under the tape.

Meg Padgett

4. Paint your own stripes. Following the protective layer has dried, paint your own stripes. Use a small roller to make this process quick. I picked a semigloss white for my own stripes.

Meg Padgett

5. Allow the paint dry and remove tape.

I would rather take out the tape after the paint has dried for one hour. The paint is dry enough to avoid smudging but still flexible enough to not crack.

Meg Padgett

Stripes are not only for your walls. Use these same recommendations to add stripes into other things — flooring, rugs, curtains, furniture and bedding (though as far as I love stripes, I’d probably hold off on painting all of these items in one space).

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