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Painting Stripes on Walls

An important item when deciding on painting stripes on walls to consider is “contrasting your colors”. One should be brighter/darker enough than the other.
I’d suggest that you first try out a couple of stripes first before tackling the whole room. This way, if you don’t like the colors or even the spacing/width of the stripes, you can easily prime over them and start on a fresh slate.

Before painting stripes on walls, you will need to get the preparation done first, such as repairing any holes, patching, sanding and taping, etc. see my page on interior painting preparation for a quick refresher on the steps involved.

Ok, now you have chosen the two colors and finished prepping the room. The question people ask at this point is what color should they paint first? Simply put, it should be the lightest of the two colors or the “flattest” of the finishes.

Apply the first color now to the wall(s). You need to wait at least 24 hours for this coat to cure enough before moving onto the next step of using painter’s tape…

Measuring for Painting Stripes on Walls

For planning out the proper spacing of the stripes and sections, you’ll need to do a bit of math 🙂

When planning your walls, the stripes are usually between 4-10 inches wide.

Using a tape measure or long ruler, start marking out your chosen width at the top of the wall with a pencil – don’t use ink as it bleeds through most latex interior paints.

Some minor adjustments may be needed to keep an equal distance between the stripes for the length of the wall that you are painting.

It’s a good idea to then use a long level to transfer the final marks vertically to the bottom of the wall for each line and draw a light pencil mark down the full length so you can easily apply the painter’s tape. If you have a laser level on hand, all the better.

There is a 3M “Scotch” product called “Safe-Release Painter’s Tape” specifically designed for freshly painted surfaces and even shows a picture on the box of its use in painting stripes on walls! In at least, try to purchase a less-adhesive brand of painter’s tape.

Once you apply a length of painter’s tape along a vertical line, run a putty knife over the tape. This will help eliminate any seepage of paint under the tape.
Time to paint the darker, second color. Cut in the ceiling and bottom baseboard areas as normal with a good quality sash brush.

Using a small 4-inch roller, start applying the second color in the alternating sections. If your stripes are of a smaller dimension, you will have to find a smaller applicator or use a brush.

Once you’ve completed one wall, very carefully and slowly, remove the painter’s tape. This should be done while the paint is still fresh (semi-wet).

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