I can still remember the first time that I painted horizontal stripes. It was in my daughter’s nursery and it took me forever. Well, actually three days and that seemed like forever. “Practice Makes Perfect” as the saying goes and boy is that true. After 20 years of painting I have mastered the art of painted stripes. Here’s my latest horizontal stripe job. I’m here to give you a few tips and you don’t even need to be good at math. Just get out your calculator. This one’s pretty easy,,,,aside from the height of the room.
Prep the wall
For this lakeside cottage I chose to have two colors and have the sizes of the horizontal stripes the same. In general a larger stripe is more casual and a thin stripe more formal.
- Paint your entire wall or surface in one of the colors you want in your stripes. Preferably the lighter stripe. Let dry for at least 24 to 48 hours. We chose Sherwin Williams Shoji White SW 7042.
- Measure the height of the wall from the ceiling down to the top of the moulding. (If you have crown moulding you’d start at the bottom of that.)
- Why cut in to the trim and ceiling twice? That’s just plain silly! I have the top and bottom strip stay the existing wall color. I decided that I wanted 9 stripes total . 4 of the stripes being painted. If your not great at doing it in your head I suggest sketching it all out. After all these years I still sketch. No one wants to paint over mistakes. The height of my wall was 163″.
Doing the Math
- Divide your wall height by the amount of stripes you want. If you want to avoid painting one of the top or bottom stripes make sure your number is odd
- My stripes ended up being just over 18 inches each. It is very rare that it works out perfect. In the whole scheme of things that extra .1 won’t make a difference. Double check your measurements and math.
- Starting at the top I measure out just over 18 inches and mark a small line that will become a pencil line dividing the two colors. Measure again making sure you have 9 18 inch stripes.
- Using a level I mark very softly with a pencil my horizontal lines.
buying the best supplies
- Using Painter’s tape ( I prefer the orange core 3M) tape just up to the line. Do not tape on the line. Chance are you will have to touch up so make sure that you paint over the pencil line assuring full coverage. If you get confused on what side of the line to tape use a post it note or piece of tape reminding you what area you need to paint. Double check your tape that firm against the wall. When it came to the smaller height in the hallway I had no choice but to paint the top.
- Now we are ready to paint our horizontal stripes. I prefer a smaller roller so that I can manage it better around the edges and in the close corners. I chose a slightly darker off white color Sherwin Williams City Loft SW7631. Use a brush to cut in where the roller can’t get to. Give two generous coats letting it dry in between applications. Check for any missed spots.Tips and Tricks:I start at the top so that If I lean into the wall I don’t get paint on myself. Work your way down completing each stripe before starting a new one. 10. Remove tape at a 45 degree angle so that you have a clean break between the paint and the tape. Go slow. Your work is DONE
- Step back and enjoy your hard work! If your top color bleeds thru your tape just touch up with a small artist’s brush. Let dry before hanging art or decor. Painted Striped Walls
- Here are some of my other horizontal stripes painting projects. Some are more elaborate that others. Remember you can play around with width size and sheen of the paint to create different looks. Where would you like to add these fun stripes to your space? Maybe you would like vertical stripes or even chevron stripes! I have tutorials for them all. This whole painting project took me just under 6 hours for start to finish. On to the next project! Thanks for stopping by and let me know if I can help you with any of your painting questions. xoxo Amie