Painting Stripes... | Little House of Four: Painting Stripes...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Painting Stripes...

I'm jumping back to the bedroom to share a quick project I did over the weekend.

Even with hanging a picture above my bed I still felt like the wall behind my bed needed something more.  The picture just looked kind on lonely and out of place on the large wall.   I love stripes and have always wanted to paint them somewhere, so what better place than in our bedroom.  The walls were already painted, so by only investing about an hour of my time totally transformed the room.

This was my first time adding stripes to a wall, so it was kind of trial and error.  I'll share what worked for me and what didn't so if you want to do the same thing you won't make the same mistakes I did. 


This is the most important step and the only way to ensure that you have even stripes.   My wall was 88 inches from the top of the baseboard to the bottom of the crown molding.  I wanted larger stripes so I divided 88 x 7 and got 12.57.  To make it easier, I just rounded to 12.5 inches for each stripe.  Make sure you have an ODD amount of stripes.   This is very important!  If you have an odd amount of stripes you will end up with the same color on the top and bottom of the wall. 

Mark your wall:  

Start at the top and work your way down.  This way if your stripes end up being unevenly spaced the "odd" one will be at the bottom and most likely hidden by furniture.  The best way to ensure an even line is to use a laser level.  I held up my level and made hash marks all the way across the wall.
(Don't be jealous of my painting attire)

After I marked each line on the wall I laid the tape along the hash marks.  When I was done taping a line I checked it with the laser level to make sure it was level. 

How to tape the wall:

If you want to keep your base color on the top and bottom of the wall (like I did) then for the first row lay the top of your tape along the hash marks.  After you get your first line taped off it's important to measure the rest of the wall correctly.  My walls were already painted gray so, to make things easier I planned out my stripes to keep gray at the top and bottom. This way I would limit having to cut in the top and bottom of the wall and also to create more contrast against the white crown and trim molding.  Since my first stripe was gray it was important to measure the white stripe from the Bottom of the first tape to the top of the second tape. 

For the third row, which will be gray again you will measure from the top of tape to the bottom of the next row tape.

As always I had my little helper!

Repeat these steps until all your stripes are taped off.
I thought I did all this correctly until I realized when I got down to the bottom two rows that my stripes were not even close to the same size.  Whoops!  I had to tear off the last few rows and re measure all over again.   The lesson here....measure and re measure until you know it's correct.  As you can see in the pictures I ran out of frog tape and switched to blue painters tape. 

When you are all done measuring make sure you press the tape firmly against the wall. 
Another tip is to add a piece of tape to the rows that will not be painted.  This is an easy way to ensure that you paint the correct rows.

I used a 6 inch roller so it would be easier to stay within the taped off area.  I found this to be much easier, but then again I have never done this with a larger roller. 

 Yup, I painted right on my brand new carpet.  That's how I roll! (no pun intended)

First coat

Second coat

Here's where I learned something else.  Do not use frog tape!!!  I love frog tape for so many things, taping off lines on a wall is not one of them.  After my second coat the tape started coming off the wall and the paint was bleeding through!  Look at the uneven line below, not good!

I ended up ripping the tape off of the entire top row and replacing the tape with blue painters tape.  I laid the new tape just above the messed up line so I could make a new even line.  Second lesson learned...use painter's tape!

I ended up doing three coats of paint on the lower rows and 4 on the top.  I had to do an extra coat to cover the original line that bled through.

Remove tape while it's wet:

Do not wait for your paint to dry.  Remove the tape while it's wet and before the paint grabs onto the wall.

I love how it turned out and was shocked to see that the lines were even and there was barely any bleeding of paint.  Even the first line that I had to re measure and paint an extra coat turned out great.   I'm thinking of maybe painting stripes in the bathroom closet or hall closet? Maybe a fun bright color?  .
  I still have to make the bed skirt and find pillows before I show the full room.  I'm almost there!!!

Stay tuned....


  1. List Paint colors

  2. The gray is Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray and the white is Behr Ultra Pure White. Both are in an eggshell finish.

  3. Wohoo I just pinned this for later. Can't wait to try stripes. Are you still loving the stripes?

    1. I do love them, but I'm acutally thinking of planking the wall or doing some other type of wall treatment. I just did a board and batten wall in my daughter's room and now I want to do something similar in mine!