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How to Paint Wall Stripes

Painting stripes is one of the easiest ways to add dimension to any room without using wallpaper.

More in Painting

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Apply the Base Color

Determine the width and direction of the stripes, keeping them in proportion to the room. Narrow stripes in a large room get lost and wide stripes in a small room look out of proportion.

By alternating between flat and semi-gloss paints, you can create a dramatic look. Painting the base color 24 to 48 hours before striping will allow the flat paint to cure.

Once dry, you can decide the width of your stripes, keeping them 4 to 12 inches apart. Marking dots on the walls as you measure will make taping easier. Don’t forget to tape off the ceiling and baseboards. Creating a tape legend with painter's tape that is marked with the desired width of stripes can help reduce the amount of measuring needed.

Step 3: Make Sure the Lines are Straight

Using a chalk line or laser level will ensure that your lines are straight as you apply painter's tape. Smoothing down the edge of the tape with your fingernail or putty knife will give you good, clean lines.

When using a level or chalk line to ensure lines are straight, do not use red or yellow chalk, as they are permanent.

Step 4: Cover the Entire Stripe

Since unpainted areas will show up when the paint dries, be sure to completely cover entire stripe with your semi-gloss paint (Image 1). The tape can then be removed while the paint is still wet (Image 2).

You can create a faux chair rail with a horizontal stripe four feet from the floor or a faux molding around the top of the wall.

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