Tips & Tricks for Painting Striped Walls
Posted by Devin
So I have this corner of my living room next to my front door where my piano sits. I've always thought it was too plain but wasn't sure what to do with it to jazz it up and give it some personality. I really didn't want to add any more furniture as I thought it would clutter up my entryway too much nor did I want to hang too many things on the walls because there is a busy gallery wall on the other side of my space. What to do, what to do... Then one day it hit me: paint some horizontal stripes on that wall! I LOVE horizontal stripes on interior walls and this was the perfect spot to add some to my home. So then about a month of busy-ness passed where I could never find the time for my little project until I finally couldn't stand it any more. I threw out my to-do list for and painted me some stripes! It only took me two hours and of how I love them. It really does add personality to my whole living room. Check out the before and after. (Side note: I also happened to be decorating for Christmas during my project, hence the change in decor.)
As I said, the whole process only took me two hours from start to finish thanks to some tips and tricks I used. Want to paint your own striped wall? Check out my favorite helpful hints!
Tip #1: Paint an Odd Number of Stripes - I think stripes look better on a wall when the top stripe and the bottom stripe are the same color. In order to do this, you will need an odd number of stripes. 7 stripes is a good number for a wall, depending on your wall height. And because you already begin with one of your two colors on your wall, you actually only have to paint the 3 stripes in the other color. Easy-peasy!
Tip #2: Simplify Your Stripe Measurements - In order to determine the height of your stripes, you will need to measure your wall height and divide that by the number of stripes you want to make. My wall is 93" high from the top of the baseboard to the ceiling. Divide 93" between 7 stripes and you come up with 13.29". What a terrible number! Instead of trying to measure out 13.29", simply make the stripes 13" high and leave the stripe at the bottom of the wall larger than the rest. In my case, my bottom stripe is 15". No one will be able to tell and it will make your life much easier when measuring.
Tip #3: Two Person Taping - If at all possible, get a partner to help you tape your lines. I had help from my two oldest boys and it made the taping job go by in a snap! We began by using a yard stick to measure 13" down from the ceiling. Then we put the laser level on the 13" mark, set down the yard stick, and while my son held the laser lever I quickly went across the wall taping along the laser line. It was a snap! Be sure when you are taping to be mindful of whether you should be taping above or below the laser line. For the tops of the stripes you will be painting, tape above the laser line. For the bottom, tape below the line. Simply work your way down from the top of the wall to the bottom, measuring and taping as you go.
Tip #4: Use Good Painter's Tape - I used 3M blue painter's tape for my wall and I had hardly any bleeding at all and nothing worth going back to touch up. It came out great! Don't buy the cheap stuff for a project like this, you are going to want your lines crisp.
Tip #5: Roll It (For Smoothly Textured Walls) - My walls are smooth and therefore I didn't have to worry too much about paint bleeding underneath my tape. With that in mind, I only used a brush to paint the ends of my stripes in the wall corners where my roller couldn't fit and rolled away for everything else. This speeds up the painting process immensely and as I said before, I didn't have any bleeding.
Tip #6: Pre-Paint Over Your Tape Lines (For Walls With Rough Texture) - If you are not lucky enough to have smooth walls, this extra step will save you a lot of time and grief in the long run. Once you are done taping your stripes, paint over the tape edges with a brush using your original wall color, not your stripe color. This will seal your tape line with paint and any bleeding will be in your wall color, not your stripe color. Once that paint has dried, roll your stripe with your stripe color as I recommended in Tip #5. You will have perfectly crisp lines, no bleeding on your rough walls.
Tip #7: Don't Wait For The Paint to Dry - Once you have finished painting a stripe, take the tape off immediately. Don't wait for the paint to dry which can lead to paint sticking to the tape and peeling away with the tape when you remove it. Rip that stuff off once you're done! I painted two coats on each of my stripes so once the second coat was completed and I was satisfied with my coverage, the tape came off.
And that's it! Those are my favorite tips and the ones I found most helpful for my project. For two hours of work and a little bit of tape and paint I already had in the garage, I am so excited about the new look to my corner. Good luck with your own stripe walls!
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