{create} wall stripes

Thank you for all the super sweet comments about my newly striped hallway! I'm back today with a tutorial about creating stripes in your own home. I feel like I should preface this whole post by saying this project was not as hard and did not take as long as I was imagining it would. Granted, it is an incredibly small space, BUT, there are seven doors to work around, so it had its own set of complications. My original intention was to stripe the space over last weekend, but I actually decided to head to the beach with my family instead. So, Thursday night I spent three hours taping the hallway. Friday night I spent four hours painting. Seven hours? This project could be done in one day! :)

Wall Stripe Directions:

  • Scotch Brand Edge Lock blue tape*
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • Tape measure
  • Level
*I'm not getting any compensation for promoting this. I was inspired by how many success stories I've read over the blogosphere and wanted to give it a try. It was awesome! 

1. Paint your walls.

Start with a completely dry, painted space. One recommendation I read a couple times is to start with the lightest color. This makes sense, but I wasn't about to repaint the hallway white, just to add blue stripes back in. I crossed my fingers that the blue was light enough not to be a problem under the white.

2. Determine stripe widths.
After you have your base color painted, you need to determine your stripe width. This part seemed the scariest to me, but trust me if I can figure it out, so can you. Math genius, I am not. With a tape measure, measure the height of the wall from the top of the base molding to the corner of the ceiling in inches. Ours = 95". I determined that I needed an odd number of stripes to both start and end with blue. Then I simply picked how many stripes I thought I'd want and started dividing. For 7 stripes, the stripe width would be 13.57". I measured this out on the wall and it seemed a little large. For 9 stripes, I would need to create a 10.55" width stripe. This actually came out perfectly for what I was imagining. But if you want smaller stripes, just divide higher. If I wanted 15 smaller stripes I would've created 6.33" stripes. I hope this makes sense.

3. Measure and tape.
From the ceiling, measure down the width of your first stripe. This is where the straight edge ruler comes in handy because it's easier to handle than a tape measure. Once you've determined where your stripe should be, draw a line with your straight edge and pencil. Don't worry about the lines on your walls, you'll be painting over them. After you've drawn your line, place your tape so the bottom edge touches just ABOVE the line.

Use the top stripe as a guide for the rest of your stripes. This worked really well for me because it was the only stripe not impeded by a door, but I also quickly discovered that my ceiling is not straight. (Let's hear it for old houses!) So I measured down 10.55" and then went around the entire room with my pencil, straight edge and level. This was the longest, and most frustrating part, but it ensured straight lines. 

After the top line is straightly taped, measure and tape the rest of your stripes. Remember that once you draw a line, tape above or below it so that your paint is covering the pencil mark. You can see in the photo above (on the far wall) that every other stripe appears smaller. Those smaller stripes were remaining the original wall color blue. For the stripes you're painting, you want the distance between the tapes to be the full width you'd measured earlier.

3. Secure the tape to the wall.
I know, you just put the tape up. But especially on the tape lines you'll be painting over you need to make sure that the tape is really pushed into all the wall texture. You can actually see a difference once you start doing it. I tried it with a straight edge, but found that my finger worked a lot better. Was having crisp, straight lines worth a blister on both pointer fingers? Yes.


  • Foam brush
  • Wall color paint
  • Stripe color paint
  • Paint brush or roller
1. Seal your tape lines, aka most important step.

With your existing wall color paint and a foam brush, paint along the tape lines of the stripes you'll be painting. Sound repetitive? It WORKS! Make sure you gently paint up against the paint line so the paint actually gets into any remaining holes, while being careful not to wrinkle the tape. I almost didn't take this step because I was out of wall color. I am so glad I made the trip to the paint store to pick up more - this is the most important step in the process. It seals the tape so your stripe color can't seep into the cracks.

2. Paint your stripe color.
Let the wall color dry for about an hour. I read a couple sources that recommended 24 hours, but it was completely unnecessary. After an hour the paint was dry to the touch and I simply painted over it with the stripe color. Take your tape off immediately after you paint the stripe color. You don't want to let this layer dry.

3. Admire your crisp lines.
The result was perfectly crisp lines. I only had to touch up one completely tiny spot. I was so excited. I did, however, have to go back and paint another coat of white in a lot of places. I recommend starting with the lightest color if at all possible.

I relied on a couple wonder sources to figure all this out. The first source was Living With Lindsay. If anything, pop over and check out her chevron wall. Gorgeous! The second source was Scotch Blue's video on Apartment Therapy. Super helpful!

I hope this tutorial helps, and please let me know if you have any questions or if anything is unclear. 

Have you painted stripes before? Do you have any other tips to add? Please share! :)


  1. your stripes look lovely! i'm terrified to take it on. i attempted to do a striped picture frame not ago and it was atrocious. you could see where i tore the tape off something awful!

  2. fyi...i just checked out your before and afters. you have one of the most beautiful, unique, and personality ridden homes i've ever seen. it's truly awesome.

  3. Love your stripes! They look great, the blue and white are contrasting enough but don't hurt your eyes, its perfect. Don't you feel like you don't even need any art on the walls now?

    I've painted stripes, but I swear by frog tape :)

    I have two tips to add, but they're pretty specific to my situation. I was painting vertical stripes. I just started in the least visible corner and did 9 inch stripes. I avoided the math needed for horizontal stripes (your step 2) because the stripe that was a little off in the corner didn't matter, no one really looks there!

    The second tip is to use a laser level when putting on the tape, just makes it a little easier.

    Here's the link: http://newcombhome.blogspot.com/2011/02/earn-my-stripes.html

    Wow - sorry how this is the longest comment ever! Love your stripes!!

  4. Thanks Katie, those are awesome tips! I was completely wising I had a laser level, oy!

    ps. love your stripes too :)

  5. Awesome, Jenn! This is so helpful!! Will be saving this for the future when I sometime stripe something:)

    Thank you for going over to C&V today and leaving such a nice comment about Maura's room!!

  6. I love this! It looks so crisp and fresh! I would love to do this in our playroom!

  7. I just love these stripes. I have beige & white in my laundry room and it was my first experience with stripes. I definitely would want to seal it next time around. Love the your color choice.

  8. I am going to have to file this away for when I get a house - I would love to do this with black and white!!

  9. Your striped walls are cute...But I am IN LOVE with the star & moon on your wood floor!!!!


Your comments make my day! Thanks for stopping by and sharing! :)