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How to paint stripes perfectly

How to paint stripes perfectly

Painting stripes to create a feature wall is a cost-effective and super stylish technique.

When done precisely, using carefully selected colours you can inject your choice of atmosphere into your room; dramatic, serene, playful, creative, modern, or otherwise. Most of all, striped walls will instantly make a room feel bigger.

Vertical striped walls add the illusion of height to any room, and are ideal for a living room wall, bedroom wall, or in a play room. Horizontal striped walls give a sense of expansiveness and visually widen the space. Horizontal stripes are often used on the bedhead wall, in hallways, children’s bedrooms and in commercial spaces such as waiting areas, dining spaces and offices.

Achieving crisp straight lines is not difficult, and besides the obvious, painter’s tape, brushes, pencil, measuring tape, leveller and two paint colours, you just need patience and the top tips below.

The best way to paint stripes is to follow these 6 steps:

1. Paint the whole wall in the lighter colour

Start with a clean, dry and even wall. Using good quality paint, cover the entire wall in your lighter colour paint. By default, this base colour will become one of the stripe colours. Allow the paint to dry for at least 24 hours before moving forward.

2. Measure up your wall and calculate even increments

This is the step you want to get right. For vertical stripes, measure the exact length of the wall from side to side, noting down the centimetres. Be sure to roll out the tape measure corner to corner or edge to edge. For horizontal strips, measure the exact height of the wall from top to bottom or floor to ceiling.

TIP- For maximum aesthetic appeal, you should paint stripes at each end of the wall an therefore calculate an odd number of increments.

Stripes look best when they’re between 10cm – 30cm in width. Work with your wall measurement to come up with evenly divided increments, e.g. for a 240cm wall, you could have 15 stripes at 16cm thickness.

3. Draw up your lines and mark the ones to paint

With a pencil you should mark the top and bottom walls at each increment (vertical stripes) or right and left (horizontal stripes). Use a leveller to continue your pencil markings the entire length of each line. Draw an X in pencil in the centre of the stripe panels you want to paint.

As mentioned, for best looking results mark an X on both of the end stripe panels and work your way in.

4. Tape the lines and burnish the tape

Apply frog tape or quality paint masking tape against the outer side of the pencil line, along the edges of the stripes you are not painting. This will protect the base colour against any bleeding from the new paint. Apply pressure all the way along each piece of tape using a card scraper (or credit card will do) to burnish (completely flatten) the tape for crisp straight lines.

Be sure to mask the borders of other surrounding walls, windows, edges as well. You don not want your beautiful straight lines to ruin bordering areas.

5. Paint the striped areas

Time to get painting. Using your second paint colour, work your way from top to bottom along your panel of stripes. Paint over the pencil markings to erase them from sight. Be confident with your strokes. Best straight-line stripes are achieved with 2-3 coats of paint.

6. Remove the tape like a pro

This final part of the stripe painting process is crucial. Removing the painter’s tape too early can cause splatter and also spoil the crisp edge effect. As a rule of thumb, only remove the tape once paint feels dry to the touch. This is generally 18-24 hours after application.

Pulling off the tape to reveal your vertical or horizontal lines should be done at a 45-degree angle. Whilst gently pulling the tape pay attention to the excess. Do not allow it to drag or flap down as this will mark other areas of your wall.

Now it’s time to enjoy the artistic effect of crisp painted stripes on your (new favourite) wall. Remember, there are no limits when it comes to striped wall painting in Melbourne. You may want to use 3 or 4 colours, you may want uneven line widths, or only a couple of lines through the middle or towards one side of the wall.

Need expert help to paint a striped wall?

 The Melbourne painters at One Day Paint guarantee the best striped wall advice and service.
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