How to Paint Perfect Stripes Every Time!

Cheryl Phan
by Cheryl Phan
3 Days
Have you ever wondered how professionals paint such perfect stripes? The ones that are perfectly straight, no bleeding and they are all evenly spaced?
SHHHH! I'm going to let you in on my secret! I'm going to share my 6 tips on how to paint PERFECT stripes every time. I'm going to share my 6 tips on how to paint PERFECT stripes every time. I'm also going to share with you how to measure the room so your stripes will end up perfect symmetrical horizontal and vertical stripes.
OK, so before you get started you need to decide how wide you want your strips to be. Smaller stripes tend to make the room look smaller and wider stripes tend to make the room appear larger. Funny how that works! Measure the room horizontally in inches. Example: a 10' wall would be 10'x12"=120" if the room is 10'x10' the overall inches would be 480". Let's say you want your stripes to be 6"; you would end up with 80 stripes around the entire room 480/6=80. That's pretty simple right? Well let's take this scenario, say the room is 10'x9' the overall inches would be 108+108+120+120=456". Let's say you want the stripes to be 5"; you would end up with 91 stripes with 2" left over. HUM? What do you do with that extra 2". Keep reading to find out. Now that you have your room measure out, you're ready to start taping your stripes to the wall.

First TIP: start in the least conspicuous area (behind the door) you can add " to the last 4 stripes behind the door and no one will ever notice.

Second TIP: Very important; use 2" blue tape (30 day release, it's orange on the inside rim of the tape) This will not pull the base coat off. Start by taping off the ceiling and base boards.

Third TIP: use colored chalk to make small dots down the wall when measuring, DO NOT USE PENCIL or A CHALK LINE. The pencil will show through the paint or you may even miss painting it and have a real mess on your hands also the Chalk line make a huge mess.
Fourth Tip: Take your tape measure and wrap a piece of tape around inches you want it to be (this will keep you measurements accurate).
When measuring your next stripe, start your measurement from the far left side of the tape (note: 2" of this tape is covering your next stripe) and measure it to your marking point. Continue doing this around the entire room until you're done. Also note, if your stripes are larger than 4" you will have a gap that won't be painted so I'd recommend tearing off small pieces of tape and sporadically placing them in that area down the wall so you don't mistakenly paint it.
Sixth Tip: after you're done taping off lightly brush on the base coat color over the edge of the tape where you're going to paint the stripes. This will seal it and keep the paint from bleeding through. This is the most important part of the process.
Using a 4" hot dog roller, Roll the paint color in the areas you want your stripes. Make sure you cover it completely. Also, pay close attention not to paint over the areas you don't want painted.
Remove the tape slowly from bottom to top. After removing all the tape if you see any chalk dots on the wall; take a cloth and wipe them off, if it smudges take your base coat and an artist brush and cover it up.
Voila! Perfect Stripes!!!!

If you have questions and want to network with a group of other fabulous DIYers & painters, please join my Facebook group: ASK CHERYL PHAN.

Cheryl Phan
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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3 of 6 comments
  • Cheryl Phan Cheryl Phan on Aug 24, 2015
    Thanks Cindy, It did come out great. My client loved it.

  • Susan Priestly Susan Priestly on Aug 26, 2015
    I've been told to use a metal ruler as the fabric ones stretch and can ruin your lovely design. Might be a good idea. Excellent Idea!!!

    • Cheryl Phan Cheryl Phan on Aug 27, 2015
      @Susan Priestly I wrap a piece of blue tape around the measuring tape so I make the mark in the same place every time. But yes a metal ruler works as well.