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HOW TO PAINT PERFECT STRIPES

Hi Folks! I’ve been a busy bee this week working on the latest room update. I already installed the beautiful floors (in one afternoon!)

 

HOW TO INSTALL LAMINATE FLOORS

 

…and then I built this genius (if I do say so myself) under the bed storage solution that I converted from an old book shelf…

 

GENIUS DIY UNDER-THE-BED STORAGE SOLUTION

 

So the latest DIY for this room is the striped wall. And I’m totally loving it! It really gives life to the room. I mean, check out the before picture…

 

HOW TO PAINT PERFECT STRIPES & SHARP LINES

 

Can you say boring??? Blah! Yuck.

At first, I wasn’t sure what to do to liven it up. So I thought and I thought and I thought. Then my brain hurt.

I first considered stenciling the wall. I have been wanting to try stenciling. But then I felt stripes would go better with the overall feel I was going for. Not to mention it’s a lot easier and less time consuming than stenciling. (Although I still might try stencils somewhere later on.)

 

HOW TO PAINT PERFECT STRIPES

 

So I got me some painters tape, taped out the wall with the stripes 10″ wide and 10″ apart.

I painted in my first stripe and this is what happened…

 

HOW TO PAINT PERFECT STRIPES & SHARP LINES

 

Sadness. :-(

I didn’t have any problem painting the stripes on my under the bed storage. But I believe that’s because the surface was completely smooth. The walls on the other hand have texture and even though I rubbed down all the tape edges before painting, paint was still able to get underneath.

So I re-thought my stripe painting strategy. And I figured out that these three easy steps will get you perfectly sharp paint lines every time…

 

HOW TO PAINT PERFECT STRIPES & SHARP LINES

 

First, instead of using a 2-inch paint brush, I used a small art brush for painting along the tape line. Then I used the 2-inch brush to fill in the stripes.

Second, don’t over load your brush with paint.

 

HOW TO PAINT PERFECT STRIPES & SHARP LINES

 

And third, when painting along the tape line, instead of using up and down strokes, start the brush stroke (with the small brush) on the tape and brush inward. That way, you’re pulling the paint away from the tape line and the paint won’t have a chance to seep underneath the tape. Once you’ve outlined your entire paint line using this technique, you can use the larger brush to fill in your stripes.

And look how pretty my paint line turned out!!!

 

HOW TO PAINT PERFECT STRIPES & SHARP LINES

 

Now, let’s take one more look at the before picture…

 

HOW TO PAINT PERFECT STRIPES & SHARP LINES

 

And here is the beautiful after…

 

HOW TO PAINT PERFECT STRIPES

 

Talk about transformation!

It’s amazing what a little paint can do, isn’t it?!!

 

HOW TO PAINT PERFECT STRIPES & SHARP LINES

 

The color is Behr Marquee Caicos Turquoise. And, as always, I added Floetrol to the paint which helps to completely eliminate brush marks. (Also works REALLY AWESOME on trim and baseboards.)

 

HOW TO PAINT PERFECT STRIPES

 

Lily always has to get in on the action.

 

HOW TO PAINT PERFECT STRIPES & SHARP LINES

 

I have a bunch more updates that I’ll be doing in this room, so stay tuned for more and click HERE to sign up for email alerts so you never miss a fun DIY!

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Cheers!

This post linked to some of these totally fabulous blogs and Remodelaholic.

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63 Comments on THE SECRET TO PAINTING SHARP LINES AND PERFECT STRIPES & MY NEW STRIPED WALL

    • Great tip BUT I have something even easier! AFter applying tape, take an old credit card and swipe down the edge firmly. This gets the tape to adhere to the dips and the bumps. USe your roller or whatever and remove tape while still wet. PERFECTION everytime!

      • Hi Beth! Thanks for the tip! I didn’t use a credit card, but when I first started I rubbed and rubbed and rubbed those edges down and it didn’t help. But maybe I’ll try the credit card next time.

        • I heard from an old professional painter that if you run a bead of clear silicone rubber along the side you don’t want the color to bleed, it will seal the tape and keep the color line crisp. When everything is dry, just pull the silicone off. I haven’t tried it yet but he assured me it works every time.

          • Thanks Kirsten. So are you saying that the bead over the tape or where the tape meets the wall? I’m going to be doing some horizontal stripes in another room and would love to try that technique.

          • the trick I have used successfully is to paint over the edge of the tape with the color under it, in your case, the base white. Then the little spaces will fill up with the base coat color. When that dries, paint your accent color right over it. Voila! Straight line! I did it successfully on cinder block in a gym and it worked great.

          • Wow, that certainly sounds like an easy way to do it. I’ve got some more stripes I’m gonna paint somewhere else, so I’ll definitely try this!

          • Jomae’s idea seems good. I have actually seen this technique done a couple of times on HGTV and the lines turn out great. That along with smoothing it down with a credit card and I’m sure it wont go wrong.

          • Hi Jamie! I’m going to definitely try that technique. I’ve got another wall in a bathroom that I’m planning on adding some stripes to, so I’ll see how it turns out. :-)

  1. This looks really great, good tips too. [And cute pooch!] I haven’t talked my husband into stripes yet, but I’m trying! I have some art projects I want to paint, I think these tips will come in handy for sure. thanks for sharing at The Handmade Hangout link up. :)

  2. Hi Jenise! Thanks for sharing your great tips on how to even paint lines on uneven surfaces. I am going to “pin” this so I don’t forget. I saw your post over at “Coastal Charm” blog party.

  3. I did this once on wall, but the wall was new and the paint on it wasn’t old. I have no problem and everyone loved it, I did tone on tone since mine was taupe. Then on the other wall I did boxes, with in a box. How do I explain that? I am trying to remember if each box over lapped the other box of what I did, I will have to get some pictures out and look as that was the house prior to this one.

    • That sounds really nice Diane! I really like overlapping boxes idea. I was thinking I’d so something on the opposite wall, but then I wasn’t sure if it would make the room look too busy. But maybe since it worked out well for you, I might give it a try. Now just need to think up something for the other wall. :-)

  4. Hi! Stopping by from the Silver Pennies Sunday link party. Thank you so much for the tip! I really like stripes but too lazy to do all the taping myself!

  5. Hey, just want to say great job on the painting! But in my opinion a better method would be by using a paint roller to paint the wall, that way the paint is put on evenly and it won’t get under the tape. Good idea though!

    • Hi Adeeba! Thanks so much! Yes, that’s definitely another way of doing it. It might be just me, though, but I still get paint under the tape when I use a roller. I suppose, perhaps, if I were to use a really small roller and then make sure to wipe off all excess paint, then maybe it would work better for me. :-)

  6. Another great tip for stripes (or edges of any kind, like along baseboards or ceilings) is to brush over the tape edges with the same color that is already the base color of the wall. On this wall, you would have used white. Then, when you add the second color, the tape edges are sealed and you get a clean, crisp edge when you remove the tape.

  7. Beautiful job on the floors and the walls! I’m so grateful you shared this tip! A few years ago I painted my teenage sons room in turquoise, grey & white stripes and I too had difficulty with paint seeping under the tape so I used a different technique but it was more time consuming. The walls needed repainted including the white so I painted the white, let it dry, then taped everything off and painted white over the edge of each side of tape that was to be painted over and then let it dry before I painted my stripes. Then I painted my stripes in my different colors let them dry and peeled the tape off very very gently so that the dry paint wouldn’t chip or peel off with the tape. I also used a knife so that if it looked as if it might chip or peel I could use the exacto knife to separate it before that happened. The room looks marvelous! Thanks for sharing.
    Elle~
    http://www.ellestrash2treasure.WordPress.com

    • Thank you Elle! Isn’t it funny how the companies that make the tape make it sound like all you have to do is buy their tape, stick it to the wall and you’ll never fail! Even the green frog tape name markets itself as having special “technology” that seals that tape line. If that’s the case then they’ve wasted their R&D dollars. :-)

  8. I love this tutorial! I’ve been wanting to paint a wall in my living room turquoise but I’m having a hard time finding the perfect color. I want more blue than green. Are you willing to share what color you used because it’s gorgeous?

    • Oh absolutely Shawna! It Behr Marquee Caicos Turquoise from Home Depot. And actually, instead of purchasing an entire gallon of paint for 40-something dollars, I only purchased two of their 7 oz samples for $3 each! So if you’re only doing a small area, I recommend that as the way to go.
      I’d love for you to email me a picture of your finished wall or share it on my Facebook page!

  9. Oh boy, did I ever try painting stripes in my house. I’ve become the housewife who tries to paint stripes, and has to paint over all of my efforts. I’m mos’ def’ going to try this, before I give up forever and ever. Thanks for the good tips!

    • You’re so welcome Linda! Yes, definitely try this. There are also some other good suggestions in the comments so you may want take a look at those. p.s. Never give up, there’s always a way!

  10. That looks so good! I have always wondered how in the world the running could be prevented, great tip! Pinning!
    Thanks for sharing on Something to Talk About!!
    Karen

  11. Okay, here’s what our painter did…..after applying the tape, he ran a thin coat of calk along the edge of the tape, which filled in all the tiny gaps, and after that dried he painted a perfect straight line, using a normal sized paint brush. Very impressive job!

  12. Oh, and after applying the calk, he ran his finger down the tape edge, wiping it off. The calk that stayed filled in the tiny gaps and created a straight flat edge so the paint didn’t seep under the tape.

  13. hi, i was looking at your blog and photos to see your amazing paint job and noticed your dresser in the photos…. I have the exact same one! Looks the same anyway…. Possibly made around the same time. Mine was of value to a family member i believe. It was my moms and i believe originally belonged to my grandma. Do you have or know any history to yours? Im curious i suppose!! I wonder if there from a similar time and place… Sorry, Im very curious about my family history. Maybe only a style of furniture then, but i would like to find out, I would really love t hear back if you get a chance.Thanks. Great painting as well. Thanks for your advice on stripes. Were doing something similar with my sons room…

    • Hi Andraya,
      Thanks so much and my apologies for the delayed response. I don’t really have any history on the dresser. All I know is that my parents have had it every since I could remember from when I was a kid. But I don’t know where it came from. I wish I could tell you more. :-(

  14. Another way to do it- if you have paint the same color as the wall you are covering go over the line with that color first. Wait a day then use the new color. That matching color seals the tape line and anything under it.

  15. I don’t use quite the same technique. It sounds like too long of a process doing as you described. I’m more of a hack and slash kind of painter. So what I learned is… put a fresh base coat down on your wall. Then tape your lines. Then paint over your tape with the base coat. Thus way any seepage under the tape is the same color as under the tape already. Then paint over again with your new color. Perfect lines every time. And not as much perfect brush strokes off the tape…

    • Hi Jay, A few of my readers have also recommended this technique. I’m going to do some stripes in the bathroom in 2016 so I’m gonna try this technique there and compare. It’ll be awesome if it’s even quicker and easier!

    • Thanks Anna Rose, I think I’m definitely going to have to try the this! Although the name doesn’t leave a very pretty image in my head. :-)

  16. The easiest way to get clean stripes is to put your tape up and then paint your base coat on the tape lines. Anything that seeps under will be your wall color and it seals the lines. Then paint your stripe color. I have been doing this for 14 years and it is the best way!

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