Horizontal Stripes or Vertical Stripes?

Painting stripes on a wall can provide a nice effect that can manipulate the perceived size and dimension of the room. Vertical stripes will make the ceiling appear higher whereas horizontal stripes make a room appear more spacious.Painting stripes on a wall

The idea is pretty basic but implementing the technique isn’t always quite so easy.

As always, the preparation is essential to the success of the project. Taping off your lines is going to make or break the outcome, and a crooked line or paint bleeds are a recipe for disaster, easily picked up by the human eye.

First things first, you have to measure and mark. When you are marking your lines for the stripes, always start from the ceiling and move down:

Make a ‘Tape’ Measure

Make a “tape legend” for easy measuring. First tear off a strip of low-tack painter’s tape, 4′ to 6′ long. Stick it to the wall for easy handling and using a tape measure, mark it with dots corresponding to the width of the stripes you wish to paint. This will keep you from having to measure each stripe as you tape the wall.

One Inch Painters TapePress the Strip of Tape to the Wall

Place the end dot on the tape you’ve already applied to the wall and press the strip to the wall.

Next, use a laser level to shoot a beam onto the second dot; pull the tape loose at that point. The beam from the level will show you exactly where to place the next strip of tape. (You can rent or buy a laser level. Just set it up in the middle of the room and you can turn it so it hits every wall as you work your way around the room.)

Striping Paint Technique

The above post talks about using a laser level, which would be very precise, but you can use a regular level as well. The key is making sure your lines are symmetrical.

Another tip is to give the stripes plenty of time to dry before pulling of the tape, at least 4 hours. When it is time to remove the tape, pull it at an angle away from the painted stripe to keep the line crisp and clean.

This video offers a visual of how to paint stripes on a wall along with some very helpful tips:

When taping off your lines, a textured wall creates more risk of bleed through. One technique that helps prevent the paint from bleeding under the tape is using paintable clear caulk along the edge of the tape.

Apply a thin line along the tape and use your finger to smooth it. Paint over the caulk just like you normally would, but the key to success is removing the paint before the caulk dries so the tape isn’t permanently glued to the wall.

The above video mentions a list of supplies you will need to accomplish your task, so I wanted to list them here:

Tools and Materials

  • Paint roller with 9-inch roller coverPaint Roller Naps
  • Drop cloth
  • Paint tray
  • 2-inch tapered trim brush
  • Level
  • 4-inch mini roller cover
  • Stir sticks
  • Paint
  • Stripe paint
  • Painter’s tape

It is a time consuming process, so if you decide you don’t want to manage the paint job on your own, call your local Denver house painter to get a free quote. They have the knowledge and tools to make the task less stressful.