How to Paint Perfect Vertical Stripes on a Wall

Vertical stripes painted on the walls of a room give the illusion of tall walls and high ceilings. For rooms with low ceilings, stripes are one way to create a more visual open space. Although it may seem easy to paint stripes, it can be extremely difficult to create crisp, clean lines. The tips and tricks below will help guide you through painting the perfect vertical stripes on a wall.

Pick Colors

Stripes can be painted in a multitude of colors to create a variety of looks. From simple neutral tones that create a calm and subtle look, to bold, bright colors that add a great deal of pizzazz to a room’s decor, stripes come in many varieties. Choose colors that will complement the look and feel of the house and the room’s decor. A modern house would be able to get away with a hot pink/white stripe combination, whereas, a turn of the century home may be complemented much better with neutral colors.

Size Matters

Choosing the size of the stripes is also an important decision. Determine whether all the stripes will be the same size, alternate between wide and narrow stripes, or whether the stripe pattern will be random. It is important to decide before starting to tape the walls.

Prepping the Walls

Begin by giving the walls a coat of high-quality primer. This will keep other colors from bleeding into the stripes and will create a perfect backdrop for the new colors of paint. After the primer has dried, measure out and tape the walls for the painting of one of the stripe colors. Use high-quality painter’s tape or specialty tape made just for edging and creating straight lines. The specialty tape, if you can afford it, will work to prevent paint from bleeding out under the edge of the tape and will result in a sharp crisp line. A painter’s trick is to run a thin line of petroleum jelly along the top and side edges of the tape. This keeps paint from slipping beneath the tape and makes for easy removal. Once the walls are taped, it is time to begin painting.

Painting Stripes

Depending on the size of the stripes, a roller may be the quickest and easiest tool to use for painting the stripes. Now that rollers come in a variety of sizes, unless the stripe is very thin, there will probably be a roller to fit the width of the area. Paint in smooth, even strokes and add a second coat of paint if needed. Once the stripes are done in the first color and they have dried for at least 36 hours, re-tape the area along the edge of the painted stripes so that the other color can be applied. Paint the second set of stripes in the same manner as the first.

Although painting stripes will take longer than painting the walls a solid color, in a room with a low ceiling the effect is worth the effort. Take the time to properly measure and tape out the stripes for the best results. A once short looking room can gain new height with the strategic addition of perfect vertical stripes.

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips! Wanted to share something that helped my sister and think I might try it, it’s called u-stripe it. Looked great when she was done

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