How to Paint a Stripe Wall

In this video, interior designer Tracy Metro shows you step-by-step how-to-paint wall stripes with the sharpest, cleanest lines possible.

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Opening- Dunn-Edwards logo[Music]
Woman talkingHi, I'm interior designer Tracy Metro and welcome to the Dunn-Edwards Paints "How to Paint" video series.
Taping wallsToday, we're going to show you how to paint stripes. Wall striping is a very simple technique and a wonderful way to add dimension and excitement to any style of room.
Woman talkingAnd because we're using paint, the possibilities are virtually endless.
Paint can clipYou decide how bold or subtle, how formal or laid-back, how basic or sophisticated the stripes will be, depending on the colors, direction, size, and pattern that you choose. But have you ever looked really closely at a painted strip and notice that the stripe doesn't actually look perfect? It drives me crazy.
Woman talkingWell, that's probably because the paint seeped under the masking tape when it was painted, which made the stripe look really sloppy once the tape was removed. Well, let me tell you something. That is not happening here. In this video, I'm going to show you step by step how to paint wall stripes with the sharpest cleanest lines humanly possible. Plus, I'll throw in a few tips and tricks just to make the job even easier. So, the first step in painting stripes is to choose the direction you'd like your stripes to be painted.
Clip of stripe painted roomTypically, horizontal stripes make the room appear more spacious, while vertical stripes make the ceiling appear higher. And diagonal stripes? Well, those tend to create the illusion of movement in a room and work best on an accent wall only and not around the entire room, as that could get wacky visually.
Woman talkingSo, once you've selected the direction of your stripes, then you need to determine the colors and the pattern. The possibilities for this are infinite, but here are three approaches that always work great.
Clip of stripe painted roomNumber one approach, pull a color combo from something that's already in the room. It can be from a fabric like upholstery or a pillow. It can come from a painting or a picture or even from one of your favorite knick knacks. So, for example, in this room, if we were to use the throw back there on the chair, we could pull out a pink or an orange. This method is as easy as painting by numbers.
Woman talkingBut do consider tweaking the value and intensity of the colors if needed to prevent the striped wall from completely overpowering your inspiration piece. This second approach that I want to tell you about is to use a variation of the same paint color. And the easiest way to do this is to pick your colors from the same paint chip or paint strip.
Clip of stripe painted roomNeighboring shades will look really beautiful and subtle when they're used together. Or if you want a more visible contrast, keep the colors at least two shades apart.
Woman talkingNow, the third approach is a very elegant one. You paint both stripes the exact same color, but with different sheens. For example, one stripe would be flat, while the other is glossy.
Clip of stripe painted roomLet me tell you something-- this looks utterly elegant and understated.
Woman talkingAnd what's neat is that people won't even notice the variation at first. But then, with lighting or depending on where they're standing, the stripes will fade away and reappear. They truly are magical. Now, because this family room is on the more compact side, we've chosen to do horizontal stripes on the accent wall behind me.
Paint can clipAnd we're going to be using Dunn-Edwards Cool December in velvet as the base color and Dunn-Edwards Mint Chiffon in semi-gloss as our second stripe.
Woman talkingSee, we're playing with both color and sheen, you see what I mean? The options really are limitless.
Clip of roomAnd these two tones together will reflect the beachy feel of this house and we've used a picture frame as our inspiration.
Woman walkingNow, it's time to move on to the fun part, the painting. But before you start, we actually do have to have some supplies.
Clip of supplies neededSo, here's what you're going to need-- a campus drop cloth, two-inch low-tech self-release masking tape, a nine-inch roller frame, a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch nap roller cover, a mini roller frame and cover, a mini roller tray with liner, a tape measure, a laser level, and a pencil. You're also going to need a two-gallon bucket to mix paint and some stir sticks.
Woman talkingSo, what you're going to want to do is "box," which is really just a fancy word for mix multiple gallons.
Clip of mixing paintSo, you're going to want to box multiple gallons of paint together to ensure that your paint has a consistent color.
Woman talkingAnd finally, make sure that you have a step ladder to reach those high-up areas. Oh, and you're also going to need some wiping cloths to clean up any spills-- I'm always spilling something-- and I also like to keep a 5-in-1 tool handy because it's great for opening paint cans. And don't forget the Dunn-Edwards Premium Interior Paint. So now that you have all your painting supplies at the ready, it is time to start painting the base coat on the walls. Now, for stripes, the base coat is really, really important because it is actually going to be one of the stripes.
Prepping roomBut before you paint, remember, preparation is the key to any good paint job. If the prep work is done right, the painting is easy. See our "Prepping a Room for Painting" video in to find out what tools and supplies you'll need and there are also tips on how to prep a room properly.
Woman talkingSo now that we've properly prepped our room for painting, let's get some paint on the walls.
Clip of paint can and colorAnd we're going to take our Cool December color in the velvet sheen.
Painting wallAnd I'm going to completely paint up this wall behind me.
Woman talkingOnce you've completed painting out the room, you're going to want to let it dry overnight and then paint your stripes tomorrow. See you then. Well, now that the base coat is completely dry, it's time to figure out the size of your stripes. Now, ideally, stripes should be between 4 and 12 inches in width. Anything less than four inches tends to be too narrow and looks really busy, while stripes that are larger than 12 inches tend to look clunky and too heavy. And sometimes, if you're lucky, your room will actually tell you what size stripes it wants and this is one of those cases.
Clip of measuring wallNow, because this room has a header right back there that measures exactly 11 and 1/2 inches, we've decided to make our horizontal stripes that size. So start by measuring the wall. And when I see "the wall," I mean the height of the wall. In this case, we have 96 inches. Next, divide the wall by the width of the stripe that you want, in this case, 11 and 1/2 inches. So we will get eight 11 and 1/2 stripes and then we'll fudge the bottom stripe to be 15 and 1/2 inches.
Room clipNow, don't worry. You won't even notice the difference here because it'll be hidden behind the furniture that's against that wall.
Woman talkingAlso, we're painting the base molding the exact same color used on the walls throughout the room. All righty. So now, let's start mapping out our stripes on the wall.
Measuring wallSo, since we're using the width of this header for our stripes, let's mark the width of all the stripes on this corner using a pencil and a tape measure. Here's what you do. Make a pencil mark every 11 and 12 inches all the way down the wall. Make the pencil marks just large enough so that you can see them easily. Next, use a laser level from your pencil mark to create a straight line. Now, I personally like this kind of a suction laser level that you can find at any hardware store, because it so easily sticks to the wall. Now, once your beam is on the wall, very carefully place your tape on the beam, making sure to place your tape on the correct side of the beam for the stripe to be painted. Finally, continue to work your way all the way down the wall.

Here's a Tracy's tip for you. Use little pieces of tape as reminders for the stripes-- so in this case, Cool December. And these are the stripes that you won't be painting. Remember, that's our base color. And if you want to be really good, write the other color name, in this case, Mint Chiffon, on the pieces of tape that are stuck in the other area. Make sense?

Woman talkingSo now that we have our tape down, it's time to seal the tape edges so that no paint seeps underneath. Now, most folks make the mistake of burnishing the tape with a burnisher or a credit card. And basically, what that means is that they rub the tape on the wall and they think that that's enough to create a great seal. But what you actually want to do is paint the stripe with the base color first.
Painting wallAnd remember, our color is Dunn-Edwards Cool December in the velvet sheen. So, we're going to paint that onto the tape seal to avoid any gaps underneath, so we can get the cleanest lines possible. Once the base coat has dried, you can paint your other stripe color. In this case, it's the Mint Chiffon in the semi-gloss sheen, which will really stand out from the white stripe. Now, one coat of paint should be enough but if your second stripe color is much lighter than the base coat, you may need to do two.
Woman talkingNow, most people think that you should actually wait for the second coat of paint to dry before moving the tape, but that's actually not what you should do.
Pulling off tapeWhat's recommended is once you've finished painting your second color stripe, to very slowly remove the tape from the wall by pulling at a 45-degree angle. Pull slowly to avoid any adhesion problems.
Woman talkingLook at how beautiful and might I add perfect those stripes are.
Clip of stripe painted wallIt really does make the room feel super beachy
Dunn-Edwards store clipWell, if you need help painting stripes in your very own home, head on over to your neighborhood Dunn-Edwards Paints store.
Woman talkingFor Dunn-Edwards Paints, I'm Tracy Metro and happy painting.
Closing- Dunn-Edwards logo[Music]