This quarter we will be talking about DIY Stripes! Painting Stripes on your wall may seem easy but almost as soon as you get started, you realize “this is going to be a lot of work!” There’s measuring and planning and multiple coats of multiple different colours! But we’re here to help!


The first thing, of course, is choosing the color and sheen! We recommend using a shinier paint for your base coat. Shiny paints allow tapes to stick well and make a clean line for your top color to follow. Depending on the look you want, I would recommend a satin or low luster semi gloss. From there you can top coat with any sheen you want. For instance some of you may want the stripes to be very subtle. For that I would recommend using the same color, just in a different sheen. Ex: Creamy white in semi gloss as your base color. Lay your tape. Then apply 1-2 coats of Creamy white in a matte or flat finish. This will give the appearance of all the same color when looking straight on. But at even a slight angle, you’ll begin to notice a difference in the way the light reflects off the stripes you created. You may choose any color at all, this was just an example!

Next you must choose a good tape! Don’t use the value pack at your local hardware chain. Use either 3m with edge lock technology or Frog Tape. These have a chemical in them that once activated by the presence of liquid, creates a impervious line that paint will not cross. Once the tape is laid down and exactly where you want it, we recommend going over it with either a damp cloth or a very light coat of the base color. This will help prevent any of the top coat color from bleeding under the tape.

Okay, now you have your supplies picked out! Let’s move on to application. First patch, sand and prime your walls as needed to give a smooth finish before applying the base color. The base color should not be too thin. You want the coverage to be perfect. Usually 1-2 coats will achieve the desired look. This will leave you with a good surface to apply your tape. I like to use a delicate surface tape that can be used as soon as 8 hours after the top coat dries. But no matter what tape you use, it’s best to wait until the next day before marking out your tape lines!

Next you have to draw out your lines either horizontally or vertically. To do both you will want a pencil and a tape measure. Your lines do not have to be the same size or even spaced the same each time! Totally up to you! Though, for your first striped wall, it’s probably best to keep it simple. Let’s say we’re doing 6 inch stripes horizontally. Starting from the ceiling you will want to measure 6 inches down and make a mark. Do this from left to right, about every 2 feet. To connect the marks and make a make a line, use a long straight edge to connect two marks and draw a line between them. Do this all the way down, between every mark you made – from corner to corner. Now you have a line to follow when taping! Make sure when taping you don’t cover the line. You won’t want it to be visible after you top coat. Instead, stay just below (or above – for the bottom edge of a stripe) your line, trying to keep your tape as straight and as close to the line as possible. And that’s it! Just continue this process all the way down your wall until you reach the floor. Then using the technique we talked about earlier, use a damp cloth to go over your tape or roll on another coat of your base color to lock down the tape.

Once dry you simply roll on 1-2 coats of your top color, or until it has adequately covered your base color. We do recommend pulling the tape immediately after the final coat. Do this very carefully! Don’t pull to fast and don’t get any wet paint on your base coat lines! If you start to get edge pulling of any kind it may be better to wait until the paint is fully dried before removing the tape. Use your better judgment!

And that is all there is to it! Try experimenting with different rollers and textures for your stripes. We like to use a sponge texture roller to give a weathered look to the stripes. There are so many possibilities! Try new things! The worst that can happen is you don’t like it and have to paint over it!

Thanks for taking the time to read our pro tips section for this quarter! As always, don’t cheap out on materials or tools! Buy the good stuff!