Painting in your home can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work, depending on the final look that you want.
And that can be true even if you’re just painting the walls a solid color.
If you’re looking forward to painting vertical stripes on walls without bleeding, however, you’re going to need to put a little bit more work into it.
In the below article we’re going to discuss what you need to do in order to get your walls looking just the way you want.
But before we jump into the how-to steps, let’s understand why anyone would like to paint vertical (or even horizontal) stripes on their walls.
Also, why you should choose to paint these stripes, and under what conditions?
Vertical vs Horizontal Stripes on Walls?
Painting vertical, as well as horizontal stripes on your walls, is a classic way to add elegance to your room.
Most people prefer these stripes as it does not go out of style.
Plus, these stripes when done right can make your room appear more (or less) spacious depending on the style you choose.
In general, vertical stripes (narrow or wide) makes a wall in your room look longer and taller. Also, it makes the ceiling appear higher than it really is.
On the other hand, horizontal stripes (narrow or wide) that go across a wall will tend to make your room appear more spacious by making the walls appear wider.
So, depending on your personal preference and style you want, you can either paint vertical or horizontal stripes to make a room look bigger.
If you want your room to look way smaller than it really is, you can also choose diagonal stripes, patterns, or prints. These will make your wall appear more crowded and hence smaller.
How to Paint Vertical Stripes On Walls Using A Tape?
Painting your wall with unique vertical stripes can make your room look stunning.
The process is easy and can be done in two ways. First by using tape (if you want the perfect looking stripes) and secondly without using a tape (if you want to get not so perfect natural feel).
In this first section, we will be discussing the method of using tape for striping your walls.
What You Will Need?
- Ruler/Measuring tape
- Plumb Line
- Frog Tape
- 3-4” Angled Paint Brush
- 9” Paint Roller
- 4 ½” Mini Paint Roller
- Roller Paint Tray w/ Liners
- 2 Colors Latex Paint
Getting Started with Paint
The first thing is to use your frog tape to mark around the ceiling, trim, baseboards, and any other area that you are not looking to paint.
This tape will help to protect anything from getting into these areas if you happen to miss your mark slightly.
For furniture and other items that you can’t remove from the room make sure to cover them with a tarp or drop cloth and move it into the center of the room if possible.
You don’t want to have paint dripping onto these items.
Next is to paint the basecoat. This is going to be one of your final colors, but you’re going to use it as a base for the entire room.
You’ll use the large roller to do this because you’re covering the entire room. You don’t need to worry about avoiding any areas other than the parts you’ve marked with tape.
After 24 hours take a look at the space and decide whether or not you’re going to need an additional coat over top.
You may want to paint a second base coat over it to get the right color and coverage that you’re looking for. Remember, you’re going to be painting stripes on it with a second color.
Next, you’re going to have to measure out how wide your vertical stripes are going to be.
You get to decide just how wide you’d like them to be and then you can work from there.
Depending on the size of your room the stripes can be painted anywhere between 4″ and 12″ wide.
Do not make them look too narrow or too heavy as it can then be more of an eyesore.
You’ll then want to measure out your room and determine just how many repeating stripes you’re going to have around the space.
For a 6” stripe that repeats every 12” and an 8’ x 10’ room, you’re going to have an even number, 36.
For spaces where you get an uneven number, you’ll need to keep working the size of your stripes until you get something that will look about even all the way around.
The last stripe should be the same width or very close to the same width as the others.
Now you’re going to measure out where each of your vertical stripes is going to go.
Use your ruler or tape measure and pencil to mark every stripe, as well as the width of the stripes.
You’ll want to make a very small mark, typically near the ceiling where it won’t be visible.
You’ll use your plumb line to mark carefully down the wall from each of the hash marks that you’ve created.
This is going to help you stay within the lines when you’re painting the stripes and will make sure that you have a straight line without any bleed.
Next, use your tape and mark the vertical stripes.
Remember to mark just to the side of the lines you’ve made so your stripes will be the size you wanted.
Your tape should go all the way from the ceiling to the baseboards and should be applied firmly enough that paint can’t seep under the tape.
Make sure you mark which stripes you’re going to be painting as you go so you don’t get mixed up once all of the tapings are done.
You don’t want to find yourself painting the wrong stripes as you go.
The final step of the difficult part is simply to paint in the vertical stripes.
Use your brush or small roller with the second color you have chosen and make sure that you’re painting within the tape marks.
You’ll need to use a brush or roller that is narrower than the tape marks that you’re painting between.
This will make sure you don’t overlap and get paint in the wrong section.
Finally, remove the tape once the paint has dried and enjoyed your newly painted room in vertical stripes.
5 Ways to Paint Vertical Stripes Without Taping Your Walls
Adding stripes to your walls is actually quite simple even if you do not want to use tape.
There are some proven techniques that will help you paint the stripes properly to achieve the look that you desire.
Just remember that you need to apply the base coat first and let it dry before you start adding the stripes.
What follows are some tips you can use to add stripes when painting.
1- Paint by Hand
This is one of the best and cheapest ways to paint perfect vertical stripes on walls.
However, you should try this only if you are ready to get a natural look which is not perfect looking.
If you have a plumb line, a pencil, and some measuring tape you can paint the stripes on the wall by hand using an angled brush.
This is paint by the numbers as you create the guiding lines using the plumb line and pencil after you measure.
To maintain a wet edge, remember to paint in foot-long sections from the top down.
2- Use A Roller
Using the roller is arguably the fastest way to paint stripes. All you need is a roller that is wide enough for the width of the stripes that you want.
Apply the base coat, add the alternating color with two coats, then paint the stripes with the roller.
You’ll need to lay out some lines for a guide, but once finished you should work on one stripe at a time.
Paint with the power roller and then touch up with a hand brush near the baseboards and up to the ceiling.
3- Use Multi-Color Roller
This is pretty nifty when it works, but you will need a roller that can handle three colors at the same time.
Mask off the ceiling and baseboards, then apply the three colors to the roller by using the specialized tray.
One section should be for the base color, the other two for the accent stripes.
You’ll need to start at the corner and work a single stripe at a time. Then reload, reposition, and repeat on the edge of the last stripe.
You may need to use a brush for touch-ups, but otherwise, this should be fairly quick and complete depending on how you can handle the tri-roller device.
4- Use A Comb to Pinstripe
You can paint pinstripes through the use of a special comb or by modifying a squeegee that has grooves cut into the rubber.
This method is perfect for short walls as you can make the smooth motion necessary to create the pinstripes.
Once you have masked off the ceiling and baseboards, use a colored glaze paint that is mixed and apply it with a roller. Then use the comb or squeegee to cut through the paint which will create the stripes.
You can wipe off the excess glaze and repeat it on the next section of the wall. The process works best if the base coat has a satin finish.
This allows the comb or squeegees to glide over the surface.
However, pinstripes may not be suited for tall walls since it is difficult to maintain the same motion over that length.
5- Use A Dry Brush for Stripes
Again, this is probably not the best way, but if you are skilled with a brush it may work out pretty well.
You will need to mask the ceiling, trim, and baseboards to prevent them from being covered in paint.
Start by drawing the stripe pattern on the wall and then brush with semi-dry paint from the top down.
It helps if you get a brush that is just as wide as the stripes you want to make. Remember that you can also turn the brush sideways.
Remember that some of the stripes you paint may not be perfect, but that is actually desired since you want to put some character into the appearance.
Just remember that a little character is fine, but if you are getting too much character, then you may need to add some tape and try again.
Does Using Laser Level Help for Painting Stripes?
YES, using a laser level device can prove beneficial for DIYers as well as professionals in getting get clean paint lines.
Laser level tools are time-saving and by far one of the best tools in construction and painting.
Because of its unique end results, laser level machines are high in demand in the house painting industry.
In fact, over the years it has also been observed that various professional painters and construction companies get into procuring laser level tools to stay competitive in the market and also for delivering better work.
The device is fixed to a tripod and has a projector that contains a rotating head with a mirror sweeping the laser beam vertically.
Some of the models of laser levels have self-leveling mirrors that are used to level much easier.
However, even manually adjustable models are easy to use.
The hands-free nature of laser levels offers users more freedom, making them the most popular choice for most construction sites.
Which Is the Best Laser Level for Painting Stripes?
With the wide range of laser level machines for painting available in the market, it can be difficult to just shop one, when you are looking forward to painting stripes in your bedroom, living room or even a kitchen.
Researching on various models to get the right fit is really intriguing when you are short of time and need to start as soon as possible.
So, if you want you can pick the one from the most popular brands like DeWalt, BLACK+DECKER or Bosch.
DEWALT laser level is my top favorite as it’s designed to provide complete accuracy from simple to complex levels of painting or construction works.
And with DeWalt laser levels, you are working on getting pinpoint accuracy in place.
If you want you can choose BLACK+DECKER Laser Level (here on Amazon) that comes at a much lower price, but with less features.
This can be useful for DIYers who do not want to invest in a high-end professional model like DeWalt.
No matter you choose DEWALT, BLACK+DECKER, Bosch or any other model, it is important to know that the laser level machine you are choosing will be useful for the project you are undertaking.
For example, when you are working indoors, consider the size of the room for the laser to travel. Also, check the laser level rotation per minute.
Also, when shortlisting the device to determine the stability of the task – it is convenient to use manual laser level machines for the indoor job.
If you have a construction job and the majority of the work is outdoors, it will be good if you do the research or ask a professional or an expert before making a hefty investment.
All you’d require a self-leveling laser for a big construction site or outdoor projects that have uneven surfaces.
The bottom line
Although many love it and many hate, striped walls are classic and never get out of style. It can add a wow factor to any room if done right.
Depending on the size of your room and style you want you can paint striped walls either horizontally, vertically, diagonally, or wavy.
However, whether it is a renovation job or a completely new painting project, it is important for you to get the right tools every time.
And to work with accuracy, while painting the stripes, it is important you have good knowledge as well as an ideal tool in hand so that you can avoid all the mess and bleeding.
Hopefully, by following the above tips and steps you can now get a beautiful striped accent wall without creating any mess.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls. He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.