Showing your Stripes: How to guide for painting stripes

Showing your Stripes: How to guide for painting stripes

Copyright © 2003 Kylie Ardill

Paint is always a low cost way to add sparkle to a dull space. My bedroom ensuite is one of these spaces, in need of a lift but without the budget to renovate, I decided to paint stripes to add some temporary interest. Below you'll find a step by step guide on how to create this look with painted stripes in your own home!

You will need:

  • 1 paint roller for each colour; about the width your stripes will be or smaller
  • Paint tray
  • One tin of each of the paint colours you are using in semi-gloss acrylic (I used less than 1 litre each of my two colours for this small room)
  • Low tack painters masking tape
  • (be sure it is LOW tack otherwise the tape will peel the paint off when you remove it)
  • a spirit level with a straight edge for ruling lines
  • a light coloured pencil that will paint out in two coats or less
  • a sharpener
  • ladder

The colours shown are Dulux's Antique White USA and Taubman's Bleached Canvas. Please note that if you have a dark colour on your walls you should check with your paint supplier to find out whether you will first need to undercoat your wall before painting.

STEP ONE ~ Marking Your Lines

For this room I chose an 8cm width for my stripes to keep with the scale of the room. Once you have decided on the width for your stripes place visible but small marks spaced out at that interval, horizontally, along the top of the wall. This is your guide as to where your stripes will be.

Ensure that you use a sharp pencil which is light in colour. I used my green 'painting' pencil which I know paints out in two coats. If you use one that is too dark you will need a number of coats to cover the lines. Keep your pencil very sharp so that your lines are crisp and easy to tape up.

Once you have marked out your distances use a spirit level with a straight edge to rule vertically down your wall. Start at the first mark you made and hold the spirit level to it, use the spirit level as your guide to make sure the lines will be straight and use your pencil to rule along the straight edge of the spirit level. Repeat at each horizontal mark until all have been ruled into vertical lines.

STEP TWO ~ Taping Up

Once you have all your lines use LOW TACK masking tape to tape vertically down the lines you just drew for every second stripe. This gives you the tape lines for your first colour. Its easy to lose track of which colour each stripe will be when you haven't started painting so be sure to double check where you have your tape as you go along to make sure you are marking up the correct stripes.

Smooth down the edges of the tape very firmly with a painters trowel or similar tool to prevent bleeding of the paint once you start painting.

My first colour is Antique White USA.

STEP THREE ~ Painting the First Colour

Load your paint roller with your first colour, it is better to underload than overload when painting stripes. If you have overloaded the roller you can roll it out on a piece of paper or cardboard to remove some of the excess paint.

Roll paint down your taped stripe until all are done. Wait the required manufacturers time for re-coating (usually 2 hours for semi-gloss acrylic) and then apply a second coat. Some paints may require a third coat depending on what the base colour is.

STEP FOUR ~ Re-taping

Once your first stripe is dry you can remove the masking tape and begin taping to paint the alternate stripe in your second colour. Using the lines of your first colour as a guide, re-tape on the inside line of the stripe you just painted.

For my room I did not want perfectly cut lines, I wanted some feathering and a tiny amount of bleeding along the edges to soften the look and keep with my fun feel for this room. To create this edge I reused the tape that I had already used to paint my first stripe. It wasn't functioning as well as new tape from the roll would have so gave me the 'feathered edge' effect.

To get very clean and crisp lines for your stripes you will need to use new masking tape from the roll when you re-tape for your second colour and use a trowel or similar tool to press it firmly down into place.

I had already painted my bathroom wall in Taubman's Bleached Canvas some time ago however wanted to freshen up the paint. If your wall is already the colour you wish to use for one of the stripes you can paint your first colour only and leave the alternate stripes as they are. Another alternative to freshen up your base colour, though using more paint, is to go over the entire wall before you start marking your walls for painting a stripe.

I chose to paint my Antique White stripe and then touch up the alternate because I was running short of Bleached Canvas.

STEP FOUR ~ Painting Your Second Colour

As per your first colour, use your roller to paint your second colour and then recoat after the drying time has passed (again usually two hours). Once the second coat of this colour is touch dry, which usually takes about 30 minutes, you can remove the tape and your stripes are done.

Note that for some colours you may need a third, or even fourth coat so check first to be sure you have good coverage after your second coat.

For before and after photographs see below.


About the Author:

Kylie Ardill has an eBay business called decadent*chic. She lives in Sydney, Australia but ships all over the globe! Her style is an eclectic mix of French Chic, Shabby Chic and French provincial with a twist of decadence and a rather large dash of her own personal style. Visit Kylie at her website Decadent Interior Decor

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