How do I paint stripes on walls correctly?

Stripes are a great way to add interest to otherwise plain walls. Fortunately, painting stripes on your walls can be easier than you might think. Follow the steps below for flawless results.

Place painter’s tape around the edges of your windows, doors, ceiling, floor trim and anything else that’s not being painted.

Choose a base color and apply it to your walls. Your base color should be the lightest of your paint shades. Allow your base color to dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions and apply a second coat, if required.

Before measuring and marking your stripes, you’ll need to decide on the direction and width of your stripes. Vertical stripes create the illusion of height; horizontal stripes create the illusion of width. Thin stripes work best in small rooms, while wide stripes work best in large rooms.

Once your base coat is dry, measure the entire perimeter of your room in inches and then divide the total by your chosen stripe width. If your result is a fraction, adjust the width of your stripes until you get as close to a whole number as you can.

Once you’ve decided on the width of your stripes, begin marking off each stripe with a pencil and ruler. While marking, use a spirit level to check that your lines are straight. If your walls aren’t straight or your chosen stripe width may cause your pattern to look asymmetrical, start your stripes in an inconspicuous corner, such as behind a door, where your starting stripe can be a little narrower or wider than the others.

Outline every other stripe with painter’s tape. When applying the tape, press it firmly against the wall to ensure a good seal between the tape and the wall.

Using a roller if your stripes are thick or a brush if they’re thin, apply paint between the taped-off areas using the W technique. Allow the paint to dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Then apply a second coat, if required.

When the paint is nearly dry, carefully remove the tape. If you wait until it’s completely dry, you may find it difficult to remove the tape without damaging the paint.

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