Stripes Painting Technique

Thinking about ways and means to achieve a new look without spending a fortune? How about painting some nice subtle stripes in alternating bands of flat and glossy paints? Classic stripes lend a perception of depth to rooms. If you go with horizontal stripes, your room will look larger. Go with vertical stripes and add the illusion of height. Here we explain step by step how you can paint tone on tone stripes:

1) Start by choosing your color scheme:

*Blue on blue in contrasting tones is a calm restful scheme for the bedroom.

Lend Drama

*Stripes in complimentary colors or in contrasting tones lend drama to any space.

*Red on red in contrasting tones works well in the dining room—red arouses the appetite.

*Try soft yellow and cream for a look that is both mellow and rich.

Welcoming Qualities

*Use warm tones of orange and yellow in an entryway for their welcoming qualities.

2) Prep your walls with a base coat in a flat paint, the same color as one of the stripes you'll be painting. Let the base dry for 48 hours.

3) Mask-off with painter's tape the wall where it meets the ceiling and again where it meets the floor or baseboard for later cutting-in.

Tape Legend

4) The width of the stripes should measure between 4" and 12". Less than 4" gives a busy look, greater than 12" makes the room look heavy. In this project we've chosen to paint 8" stripes. Create a tape legend using low-tack painter's tape starting in an unobtrusive corner such as behind the door. Mark off dots with a carpenter's pencil every 8" going around the top of the wall until you meet your starting point.

5) Outline the inside borders of your stripes (called taping out) by running painter's tape down the wall in vertical lines with the outer edge of the tape placed directly on the marked dots. Use a laser level (you can buy or rent this piece of equipment) to show your end point, the bottom of the wall, and apply the tape to the corresponding laser beam. Small imperfections in your measurements of up to 1/4"-1/2" won't be noticeable in the finished product, so no need to worry too much about being exact. Just do the best you can.

6) Run the edge of a credit card down the length of each tape to give you a good seal so no paint bleeds through the tape.

One Coat

7) Paint over the tape line (skipping every other marked-off area) using a semi-gloss paint. One coat is enough.

8) Remove tape, pulling away at angle from the just-painted area.