Quick & Easy Guide to Painting Stripes
Here is my easy how-to-guide on painting the perfect stripes! It took a few projects for me to figure out the best technique.
The #1 rule of stripe painting--always remember lucky number seven. If you do seven stripes then you can leave your existing paint color at the top and the bottom of the wall, and just paint the center stripes without ever touching the majority of your trim! Besides, groupings of odd numbers are always good design.
1) Measure the height of your wall from the ceiling to the base molding and divide by seven. If you want thicker stripes, divide by five. If you want skinny stripes divide by nine or more. Once you have divided the total height of the wall by the number of stripes you want you will have the width of each strip.
2) Use a pencil to mark where the top and bottom of each stripe will be. If it is a large wall, use a laser level or a standard level if it is a shorter wall, and draw the lines to outline your stripes across the wall. Once your lines are drawn, cover them with painters tape. I recommend also putting a strip of tape on the portions of the wall that you do not want painted so you don't accidentally paint the wrong stripe.
3) To ensure that the color you are painting the stripes does not bleed through the painters tape into the portion of the wall you don't want painted, take the base coat you have on your wall (in my case it was just a a plain white color) and paint it over all of the edges of the painters tape. This will seal the edges and prevent the color you are painting the stripes from bleeding through. Let the paint dry completely before starting on your stripes. I learned this technique the hard way. My walls have an odd texture, they are not smooth like drywall. So despite the painters tape I really smoothed onto my lines, there were small indentations on the wall that the tape did not adhere to. When I finally finished painting my stripes and ripped the tape of, my excitement quickly turned into horror. Gold paint had bled into ALL of my stripes! To fix it, I initially took a teensy tiny paint brush and tried to touch up the bleeds, I realized this was going to take weeks so I did some research and found out this technique to prevent bleeds. Luckily, when I called the NAS Lemoore maintenance office to ask about the base coat paint and where I could get it, they brought over a gallon of it for me free of charge, so I repainted over my tape and when I ripped it off I had perfect stripes!