the painted surface
Let's talk about striping a room or even a single wall. Stripes can be of alternating colors of two or more or they can be in the same color of varing sheens, something like an eggshell stripe paired with a semi-gloss stripe. The techniques for both styles are basically the same. Although walls are usually painted in vertical stripes, this same technique can be used for horizontal and even diagonal striping. An imagination is a terrible thing to waste. The steps involved will include:
- Pose three questions: What style? What paint? What size?
- Prepare the walls.
- Paint the base coat.
- Produce the stripes.
- Pull up a chair.
Pose three questions... Will the stripes be of the same color but different sheens or will they be different colors? Stripes of the same color tend to be more subdued and classier, perhaps more appropriate for dining and formal living rooms. Stripes in different colors can be bolder or more playful depending on the colors chosen. Next, the colors and types of paint should be chosen. Using the one color technique only leaves making the choice for sheens. Wall paint is usually available in flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and gloss. Any two can be used, just make sure there is a noticeable difference between the two sheens.
TIP !!! Because of their decorative nature stripes may not touch-up or clean as usual without marring the finish. This is why a durable and quality paint should be used. Avoid flat paints which do not wash as well, in a favor of an eggshell finish. This is especially true for darker colors.
If the striping is of different colors, careful consideration should be made that they are complementary, appropriate for the space and reflect the proper mood. This will be a more difficult task as there are are thousands of shades, hues and colors available. Inspiration for color combinations can come from everywhere, study clothing, paint brochures, advertisements, logos, rugs, furnishings and on goes the list. These stripes will be very visual so remember, Live with what you love! When the colors have been chosen turn to deciding which sheen each color should be if they will be different.
Finally, decide the size of the stripe, they do not have to be the same width, a random sized pattern may be the perfect look. Consider porportions if using random widths, ratios in thirds of a whole are usually pleasing to the eye. Typical widths for same sized stripes are 6 to 12 inches. A bold look can be achieved with stripes 18 to 20 inches or more in width. Narrow stripes less than 6 inches are usually too busy.
Prepare the walls... Wall preparation is the same as for any painting job but with an added emphasis on a few things. First, because of the extra work involved for stripes, carefully go over the walls, look for spots that might need repair. Now is the time to find these, not in the middle of the last step. A few minutes invested now will save time and frustration later. Next, give any patchwork and primers sufficient time to dry, overnight if possible. The tape (even the low tack type) applied to the walls, to mask off for the stripe, when removed can lift the base coat off if the base coat is applied over uncured patching or primer. Also, patches should be primed over after sanding with a drywall primer, this will give an evenly finished surface for the first base coat.
Paint the base coat... It's painting time. The base coat is applied just like a normal paint job. If using the one color/two sheens technique, paint the highest sheen chosen as the base coat. The higher sheen is more scuff resistant, this is needed for the additional work involved for the striping. It may also provide a better surface to apply and remove the masking tape. Two coats should be enough to build up an even sheen.(Some colors may require more coats to completely hide the previous color.) For the multple color technique, paint the dominant color (in the highest sheen chosen) as the base coat. The base coat should be allowed to dry overnight. Remember, additional work will be performed on this paint, it needs enough time to dry thoroughly.
Produce the stripes... Now is when the fun begins. It is time to measure, mark and mask the walls. This is the bulk of the work, comsuming as much time as did the painting of the base coat. The work can be accomplished in sections. Be patient, the reward is worth the labor. For this example, 12 inch stripes have been chosen as the width, one color will be used and in two sheens: satin for the base coat and eggshell for the stripes.
Measure each wall and convert to total inches. For example, a 14ft 9in wall would be a total of 177 inches, 14x12=168+9=177. Now divide the total by 12 (the width desired for the stripe). In this case, 177 divided by 12 will equal 14 3/4. This is the number of stripes with a width of 12 inches this wall can contain. But wait, if possible, it will look best if the wall begins and ends with a full stripe, so how is the 3/4 of a stripe removed? Round the number up or down to the nearest whole number, in this case 14 3/4 rounds up to 15. The wall will contain 15 equally sized stripes, but they will not be exactly 12 inches wide. To determine their width divide the 15 into the 177 inches (the total width of the wall). 177 divided by 15 is 11.8, which is how wide the stripes on this wall will be painted. At this width they will be equally spaced and divided across the wall. Do not worry about the slight difference in 12 inches and 11.8, it will not be noticed. Knowing the width of the stripe the measuring, marking and masking can begin. From one corner mark off each stripe's width with a pencil mark. These marks will be reference points for a vertically aimed laser or a long carpenters bubble level to pencil off additional marks up the wall for lining up the masking tape. If using the laser, the tape can be applied to the projecting beam then moved to the next mark. Every other section will be taped off to be painted with the top coat. Make sure to tape on the outside of the line, leaving the stripe area uncovered. With fingertip pressure press down the edge of the tape on the stripe side, this will ensure a good seal between the tape and wall, prevent seepage under the tape and give a good clean edge for the stripe. Now with the top coat each stripe section can be trimmed in at the top and bottom and then rolled. TIP !!! Small rollers about the size of a hot dog are available. These are easy to control and will leave a nice finish. They can be very handy when painting a confined area like these striped sections. Paint the number of coats needed and then remove the tape. Test to determine if the tape is best removed when the last coat is wet or dry. It may not matter, but some paint will "bridge" across the tape and wall causing some of the paint to be removed along with the tape. To prevent this, do not wait too long before removing the tape. Each wall is done the same way. The number of stripes on each wall will be different when the wall lengths are different and the actual width of the stripes may vary but will be so close the difference will be undetectable. Work through each wall, it is an effort well rewarded.
Pull up a chair... This is a task that is certainly worth the effort, so when finished, pull up a chair, enjoy your favorite refreshment and praise the work. Congratulations!
More helpful painting tips, techniques and how-to articles can be found by following these links:
How To Paint a Room ◊ How To Paint a Stairway ◊ How To Paint a Two-Story Room ◊ How To Choose Colors ◊ Six Step Color Choice ◊ Popular Color Ideas ◊ How To Choose Paint ◊ Tools ◊ How To Caulk ◊ How To Patch a Hole ◊ How To Patch a Crack ◊ How To Cut In a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Roll a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Paint Woodwork ◊ How To Paint a Window ◊ How To Paint Baseboard ◊ How To Paint a Door ◊ How To Paint Crown Moulding ◊ How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets ◊ How To Choose a Premium Paintbrush ◊ How To Paint a MDF Bookcase ◊ How To Paint Aluminum or Vinyl Siding ◊ How To Paint Over Faux Finishes ◊ How To Use Magnetic Paint ◊ How To Use FrogTape ◊ How To Paint Repair Water Damaged Drywall ◊ Hiring a Contractor ◊ Paint Stripper Safety ◊ Painting Louvered Shutters ◊ 2013 Color Trends ◊ Choosing Front Door Colors
More details about specific painting subjects are covered in the additional articles. In those will be found details, painting tips and techniques gathered from over 20 years of painting experience. Here is a list of links to the articles: