Painting Stripes: 7 Expert Tips for Great Results

grey and white striped bathroom
Want to dress up a basic wall? These pro tips for painting stripes on walls will keep your design in line.

In theory, painting stripes isn't a difficult DIY project. Yet oftentimes, novice painters find it tricky to properly plan and execute their stripe designs. We talked to an expert decorative painter to get her tips for painting stripes. She recommends the following simple interior painting tips for wow-worthy designs.

1. Pick a Pattern

Before painting, draw an arrangement of lines on the wall with stripe heights or widths of 3-15 inches. This tip helps you get a feel for the design and allows you to make any changes in pencil. For a classic look, draw stripes of uniform widths (as seen here), or go for some visual variety with uneven stripes.

2. Vary Stripe Sizes

If you vary the sizes of your stripes, try to group some thick ones with a few thin ones. Then paint stripes in various colors that play off other accents in the room. A random pattern is best, but there is no right or wrong when it comes to painting stripes on walls.

3. Choose the Base Color

Choose one hue of your design to be the base color. If one color will be visually dominant, use that one as the base and you'll use less paint for the project. You can also use an existing wall color as the base for horizontal and vertical striped walls.

4. Keep Edges Sharp with Painters Tape

Using low-tack painters tape, tape off stripes one at a time. Seal each tape edge with a thin coat of the wall's base color; let it dry. This step will ensure your stripe edges stay sharp, keeping color from seeping under the tape.

5. Ensure Good Coverage

Paint each stripe with the desired color—two coats if necessary. Step back to check your work with each stripe. Allow paint to dry completely after each coat. When you're finished, remove the tape.

6. Minimize Drips

For painting stripes ideas that involve multiple colors, dip a small roller directly into a quart-size can of paint, and roll the color onto cardboard before painting the wall. This process will minimize drips and save you from having to get a roller pan for each paint hue.

7. Sleep On It

When it comes to painting horizontal stripes, test your design before diving in. To avoid adding too many stripes, let your design sit overnight after adding a few. If you still think you need more, start by taping off the additional stripes and paint until your design is just right.

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