Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to Paint Horizontal Stripes in your Home

PBJstories painting horizontal stripes

This was my first attempt at painting stripes in any room of our home, and with a little time, patience and motivation you can get great results just like I did!
Here's my step by step of what I did in the room to be sure I was making straight horizontal lines that were evenly spaced.

PBJstories painting planning

I started by making a very rough draft of my plan.  I measured the length of the wall and then divided by the width of the stripes I wanted to figure out how many stripes I'd need.  To get the width of the stripes I played around for a bit just eye balling what I'd like.  I knew I wanted wider stripes so I started at foot and seemed just a tad too small, and played around between 12" to 14" until I was happy and decided on 13".  I took the height of the wall divided by 13" and got just over 7, so I knew lucky # 7 was the number of stripes I'd end up with plus a little extra.  Instead of trying to figure out that ".07" left over across the 7 stripes I just added that extra to the last stripe on the bottom.  No one would be able to notice it's actually 13 + a little if it's at the bottom (do this! It's so much easier than trying to make each strip perfectly even and have them all be like 13.02 inches!)

PBJstories painting stripes

Because I was tackling this room by myself as my hubs was downstairs occupying our son I didn't have an extra set of hands to hold the measuring tape for me to measure out my stripes so I came up with an alternate solution.  I just taped up the measuring tape directly to the top of my wall so I could measure out and mark every 13".  Easy peezy.  I did this every couple feet along each well so I'd have even marks for my stripes. 

PBJstories painting tip for toiletPBJstories painting tip

Here are two of my other painting tips!
Tip 1: Use a garbage bag and slip it over the back of your toilet and pull the handles to make it a tight fit.  Super easy and completely covers your toilet from painting around it. 
Tip 2: Use tin foil wrapped around your painting pan for easy clean up rather than having to scrub the whole thing clean afterwards.  Once you're done just unwrap and toss away. Super easy clean up.

Getting back to the stripes.  So now every few feet on my walls I had even lines marked out for my stripes.  Then I grabbed my Frog Tape to use for taping off my lines.  I STRONGLY suggest using this tape.  It was the first time I've used it for this type of project and I'll NEVER go back to a different product.  It made the cleanest, crispest lines for my stripes which makes ALL the prep work and final results so much better.  I would have CRIED my eyes out after all my hard work if my lines weren't perfect and had bleed lines.

PBJstories Frog Tape

Use it. Just do it :)

PBJstories stripes prepping

So I got to taping.  The biggest thing to remember when doing this is to remember which side of your mark to place your tape.  I wanted my first stripe to be the taupe color so at that first 13" mark I placed the tape below the mark line allowing the painted area to be 13".  Then the next 13" mark I placed ABOVE the mark line as this is the second stripe and will be white.  So every other line you'll be placing the tape below, then above, then  below, then above. 

PBJstories prep for painting stripes

As I went I used tape to make "x"s to mark where the white stripes area, so I know that this is the area I will NOT paint in. 

PBJstories stripes in bathroom

Once all the prep work is complete it's time to get to started painting.  I started with cutting my ceiling trim, and then made my way around the windows and corners.  Once I was done with all the trim I was able to just roll in with a roller brush for a quick and easy finish.

PBJstories prep for painting stripes (2)

I ended up needing to do two coats of paint and once I completed the second coat, when it was still wet, it was time to start pulling the tape.
It's best to pull it when your paint is still wet, also if you pull up, or down, at an angle it'll help "cut" that line of the tape.  Just keep your eye where you're pulling to be sure you're not pulling off any of the paint or any bleeds have occurred.

PBJstories stripes with frog tape

Do you see those lines!?!!! PERFECT. STRAIGHT. CRISP lines!  Yup. Better believe I was doing my {happy dance}!
Follow these steps and you too will have amazing results painting your own stripes.



  1. What paint colors did you use? I've been wanting to do this in our powder room, I just haven't gotten up the courage to tackle it yet.

  2. Looks great! I'd love to try this sometime, just gotta figure out which room to do!

    -Erin @ DIY On the Cheap

  3. It seriously looks SO awesome!! Definitely worth all of your hard work :)

  4. Love those stripes! They're very "pottery barn"- thanks for the tutorial! Great job! xx

  5. This is perfect, I am using this when we move! Thanks for sharing!

  6. It looks great! And what a great idea to tape your tape measure to the wall. Thank you!
    -Karen @ Dogs Don't Eat Pizza

  7. I still just absolutely love this bathroom. The colors are so beautiful, I adore the bright green against the subtle background. Thanks for the fab tips on the stripes!

  8. Such a timely post, I am going to paint stripes in my half bath! Thanks!

  9. Adore, adore, adore the stripes! Love it all really! Enjoy your vacay!

  10. Looks awesome! Do you mind me asking where did you get that step stool? It is so cute and would be perfect for my kids in the bath and kitchen.

  11. I've been dying to try stripes and I LOVE the colors your chose! This might be just the inspiration I needed!

  12. Thanks for the awesome tutorial! Would you mind telling us what color you used for your stripe? It's perfect!

  13. Thanks for the awesome tutorial! Would you mind telling us what color you used for the stripe? It's perfect for what I am doing in my nursery!


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