Painting in your home can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work, depending on the final look you want.
And that can be especially true if you’re just painting the walls a solid color or some unique patterns like thick or thin stripes.
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, I will discuss what you need to do 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 straight vertical stripes on their walls. Why should you actually choose to paint these stripes, and under what conditions?
Vertical vs. Horizontal Stripes on Walls?
Painting vertical and 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 make 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 that go across a wall will tend to make your room appear more spacious by making the walls appear wider. These stripes will work best in lofty spaces.
If you want your room to look way smaller than it really is, you can choose diagonal stripes, patterns, or prints. These will make your wall appear more crowded and hence smaller.
So, depending on your personal preference and the style you want, you can either paint vertical, horizontal, or diagonal stripes in your room.
Painting Vertical Stripes On Walls Using Tape
Putting up unique vertical stripes to make your room look stunning is easy and can be done in two ways.
First, by using tape (if you want to get perfectly straight lines) and secondly, without using tape (if you want to get not so perfect natural feel).
In this first section, we will discuss the method of using tape for adding stripes to your walls.
What Do You 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 Taping and Painting
Step 1 – Protect the areas
The first thing is to use your frog tape to mark around the ceiling, trim, baseboards, and any other area that you are not going 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 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.
Step 2 – Apply the basecoat on the walls
This will be one of your final wall colors; you will use it as a base for the entire room.
Using the large roller apply the base color to the walls covering the entire room. You don’t need to worry about avoiding 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 the top.
Remember, you will be painting stripes on it with a second color, so preparing the base is essential to get the best results.
Step 3 – Measure how wide your vertical stripes will be
Depending on the size of your room, the stripes can be painted anywhere between 4″ and 12″ wide. Decide just how wide you’d like them to be, and then you can work from there.
Do not make them look too narrow or too heavy, as it can then be more of an eyesore.
Also, 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 will 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 close to the same width as the others.
Step 4 – Measure out where the vertical stripes will 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.
If needed, use your plumb line to mark carefully down the wall from each of the hash marks that you’ve created.
This will help you stay within the lines when painting the vertical stripes and ensure that you have a straight line without any bleeding.
Step 5 – Use your tape to 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.
If needed, use a step ladder and mark which stripes you’ll paint as you go – so you don’t get mixed up once all the tapings are done.
You don’t want to find yourself painting the wrong stripes as you go.
Step 6 – Finally, paint the vertical stripes on the walls
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 ensure you don’t overlap and get paint in the wrong section.
For the color choice, you should pick a contrasting shade for the stripes. This means if the wall base is lighter, choose a dark shade for the lines (and vice versa).
Once the paint has dried, remove the tape and enjoy your newly painted bedroom in vertical stripes.
Painting Vertical Stripes Without Taping Your Walls
Adding stripes to your bedroom or living room walls is simple, even if you do not want to use tape.
All you will need is some creativity to put down all the vertical striped wall paint ideas you have in mind.
Here are some tips, steps, and proven techniques you can use to add straight vertical stripes when painting.
1- Paint by Hand
This is one of the cheapest ways to paint stripes on walls.
If you have a plumb line, a pencil, and measuring tape, you can paint the stripes on the wall by hand using an angled brush.
This is painted by 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.
Remember, this will not give you perfect-looking straight lines, so you should try this only if you are ready to get a natural look.
2- Use a Roller
Using a mini roller is arguably the fastest way to paint stripes because all you need is a roller that is wide enough for the width of the stripes you want.
Apply the base coat, 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.
Once completed, 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 simultaneously.
Mask off the ceiling and baseboards, then apply the three colors to the roller using the specialized tray.
One section should be for the base color and the other for the accent stripes.
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.
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, creating the stripes. 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 because it allows the comb or squeegees to glide over the surface very well.
Remember, pinstripes may not be suited for tall walls since it is difficult to maintain the same motion over that length.
This method is perfect for short walls as you can make the smooth motion necessary to create the pinstripes.
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.
Mask the ceiling, trim, and baseboards to prevent them from being covered in paint.
Next, 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. If needed, 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.
Be aware that a little character is fine, but if you are getting too much character, you may need to add some tape and try again.
Does Using Laser Level Help in Painting Straight Lines?
YES, using a laser-level device can prove beneficial for DIYers and professionals in getting clean straight lines getting painted on walls.
Because of their precise results, laser-level machines are in high demand in the construction and house painting industry.
In fact, over the years, it has been observed that various professional painters and construction companies get into procuring laser-level tools to stay competitive in the market and also to deliver 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 models 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.
The bottom line
Although many love it and many hate it, striped walls are classic and never get out of style.
In fact, I think it can add a wow factor to any room if done right.
Depending on the size of your room and the style you want, you can paint striped walls horizontally, vertically, diagonally, or wavy.
You just need to get the knowledge and the right tools to work with accuracy and avoid all the mess and bleeding walls.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.