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How To Paint Vertical Stripes

How To Paint Vertical Stripes
Updating the paint in a room is a really great way to change the look and feel of a space, but it’s also a really good way to make the room feel and look fresh and new.  But, if you want a really cool way too really up the ante, why not try vertical stripes?  It might seem a little over the top crazy, but most people will agree that this is a great way to make a lasting impression on your guests AND it’s a great way to make a small room look much larger than it really is.  If you use a little bit of creativity along the way, you could create a really inspired room that everyone, including your family, will be impressed with.  But, beware; there is definitely a right way and a wrong way of going about this!  Below are some steps to help you along the way, as well as some hints and tips to help you do this right the first time around.


  • -Drop cloth
  • -Paint tray
  • -Standard roller frame with 9″ roller cover
  • -2″ tapered trim brush
  • -Level with printed ruler
  • -Colored pencil (to hide stripe measurements against your wall color)
  • -Mini roller frame with 4″ roller cover


  • -Base coat paint (leading color choice)
  • -Stripe paint (accenting color choice)
  • -Low-tack painter’s tape
  • -Stir sticks
  • -Measure Horizontally

When creating vertical lines on any wall in any room, consider creating thinner lines, rather than thicker lines.  For optimal lines, think about creating 3-5 inch lines.  This will give the room all the benefits of a vertical lined room, but chunky lines can make a room feel dizzying.  In order to do this, start at the top of the wall, right where the crease is between the wall and the ceiling and make a mark every 5 inches or so with a colored pencil.  Move your way across the wall and do this every 5 inches – or whatever amount of inches you want to make the stripes be.

Vertical Lines

Next, you will need to start drawing your vertical lines.  Use a colored pencil and a leveler for this step and extend each vertical stripe.  Make sure that when you use a colored pencil, that it matches the wall color OR use a regular marking pencil and just erase the marks after you are finished, but before you paint.

Masking It All Off

Make sure that when you mask the areas off, that you use painters tape.  This is a type of tape that is specifically used for painting – it won’t stick permanently to walls which means you won’t have a big mess when taking it off, and it won’t make any of the paint that is already on the wall, come up with the tape.  Make sure that when you put the paint on the walls that you put it along the outside edges of the marks you made in the previous steps/  Then, press down firmly on the tape in the inner edges.  It should look like you have two different widths of stripes now.  The wider of the stripes should be the one that you are going to paint, and the other stripes should be the color of the base wall – but this last part is optional.  You can also repaint these stripes as well if needed.

Apply the Strip Color

If you applied a base paint for the background of the wall, make sure you allow it to dry.  Once it has dried, you can now paint the striped wall whatever color you want – make sure you don’t use a large roller, because these tend to be much larger than the width of the stripes.  Instead, use one of those mini rollers – these tend to be around 5 inches long, sometimes less.  Once you apply the first coat of the striped paint, let it dry and then apply a second coat.  Make sure that you remove the tape as you go since the tape is more of a guider as to where to paint and where not to paint, it can be removed as you go from stripe to stripe.  Continue around the entire room (optional, some people want to do just one wall!) until all of your pretty stripes have been painted and all of the tape has been removed!

Once you remove the tape and you let the paint dry, you should see a pretty dynamic and amazing wall in your new space!  One thing you can do in order to pick the right colors (the base wall and the stripes) is to consider taking sheaths of thick construction paper – different from the construction paper you use with your kids, and get a few small samples of paint.  Take strips of the paper and paint it all the same color and then use another piece of paper as a backdrop for another paint color.  If all else fails, you can also find sites online that will let you virtually paint a room – pick vertical stripes, and then use different paint colors to find two paint colors that you love the most.

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