A classic buffalo plaid is surprisingly simple to paint. The four-step process only requires three coordinating paint shades and a handful of simple tools, making it the perfect weekend project.

Buffalo check

Buffalo check isn't just for flannel shirts. This trendy plaid is making a comeback in every aspect of home design, including textiles, accents, and wall treatments. Though you could opt for a wallpaper buffalo check pattern, the plaid painting technique isn't as difficult as you might think.

There's a secret formula for finding the perfect color combination for your buffalo check. Start by choosing the shade of your dark stripe. For the medium stripe, ask your paint dealer to mix the dark color at 25 percent. For the light stripe, mix a 1:1 ratio of the medium paint color and white paint. Once you have your stripe colors, follow our step-by-step guide for applying the pattern.

  • Working time 5 hrs
  • Start to finish 24 hrs
  • Difficulty Kind of Easy
  • Involves Painting, Measuring
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What you need

Tools
Materials
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How to do it

Part 1

102847693%20step%201%20measure.jpg
Step 1

Measure and Level

Apply white paint as a base coat to walls; let dry four hours. Once dry, use a metal ruler, a level, and a pencil to mark vertical and horizontal lines spaced 4 inches apart.

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Paint lines
Step 2

Paint Lines

Use a 2-inch angled brush for freehand straight line painting, alternating horizontal lines in the lightest paint color. Let dry. For crisp lines, use painters tape to outline stripes before painting.

Paint medium lines
Step 3

Paint Medium Lines

Use a 2-inch angled brush to freehand paint (or mark off with tape) the vertical lines in the medium paint color. Let dry.

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Fill in the dark
Step 4

Fill in the Dark

Use painters tape to mask off squares where vertical and horizontal lines intersect. Paint these squares the darkest paint color.

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Decorate with Buffalo Plaid

More gorgeous ways to decorate with buffalo check. 

Comments (12)

How difficult was this project?
Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 23, 2021
Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 23, 2021
Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 23, 2021
Better Homes & Gardens Member
June 21, 2020
Difficulty: Kind of Easy
Iris Santos
Better Homes & Gardens Member
June 21, 2020
Difficulty: Kind of Easy
Iris Santos
Better Homes & Gardens Member
June 4, 2020
Difficulty: Very Easy
Thank You and Very Useful Article
Better Homes & Gardens Member
January 6, 2020
Difficulty: Kind of Hard
This is very intense but the end result is just so great.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 18, 2019
Difficulty: Very Easy
This is an awesome project.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 23, 2021
Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 3, 2019
Difficulty: Kind of Hard
mmm
Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 3, 2019
Difficulty: Kind of Easy
Iris's test
Better Homes & Gardens Member
August 22, 2019
Difficulty: Very Hard
Nothing worked
Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 23, 2021
Better Homes & Gardens Member
February 10, 2019
ddgsdg
Better Homes & Gardens Member
December 30, 2018
I have a smallish guest bathroom with trim already in place so I thought this would be a great update. While it looks great, save your money and put up wallpaper. Took 10 hours to just put the tape up and 5 rolls ($50+) of tape. I would never do this again.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 12, 2018
It takes time and help but the is beautiful . So.my advice is to for it you won't be disappointed .
Better Homes & Gardens Member
July 12, 2018
I did NOT do this YET but put "kind of hard" because that's how it seems to me. My question is: my bathroom is black and brown/tan. Do you think black, brown and tan would work for this since you need a dark, medium and light color?

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