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Painting walls is one of the simplest ways to update and personalize a room. Spicing up a solid wall color with horizontal stripes adds unique character to a room and can o

by Guest on Feb 8, 2011

Painting walls is one of the simplest ways to update and personalize a room. Spicing up a solid wall color with horizontal stripes adds unique character to a room and can open up the space, making it appear larger. While level, crisp horizontal stripes add style to a room, poor execution when painting the stripes can lead to underwhelming results. Let’s take a look at some techniques to help you paint perfect horizontal wall stripes in a room.

As with any painting project, preparation is crucial to achieving a high quality result when painting wall stripes. Whether you are painting one horizontal stripe or floor-to-ceiling stripes, you should first measure the walls and determine the thickness and positioning of the stripes. Use painter’s tape to mask all door and window frames, ceiling edges, baseboards, chair rails and fixtures, just as you do to prepare for painting the room a solid color. Also cover the floor to protect from paint drips. Begin by painting the entire wall (or walls) a solid color, which will end up as one of your stripe colors. Try to plan your project around applying a basecoat of your lightest color, followed by painting stripes with your darker color(s).

Next you will use the painter’s tape to outline where the stripes will be positioned. Be sure the basecoat is completely dry before applying tape. Though you can outline horizontal stripes using a standard level, a laser level will significantly simplify the project. After carefully measuring and determining where each stripe will go, use the laser level to project a perfectly horizontal line along the edge of where the first stripe will be painted. You can apply painter’s tape directly to the wall along the level line, without the extra step of marking the line with a pencil. In taping off your stripes, you will begin to see how useful a laser level truly is in painting horizontal stripes.

Remember that you will be using the painter’s tape as a guide and paint inside the lines, so you will want to apply the tape to the outside of where you will be painting the stripes.

For example, if you would like to create stripes similar to this:

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Your measured outline guided by the laser level would look something like:

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Painter’s tape should be applied outside of your outline, as shown:

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Be sure to avoid the common mistake of placing painter’s tape on the same side of each line, for example:

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Once you have all of your stripes outlined with painter’s tape, you are almost ready to begin painting stripes. Press the painter’s tape along the outline of each stripe to be sure it is attached to the wall as securely as possible. A good way to ensure that your stripes come out with crisp lines is applying a thin layer of caulk along the inside of the tape outlines before painting. This will help prevent paint from seeping under the tape. You can go ahead and paint the stripes inside the outlines before the caulk has dried. Remove the painter’s tape before the paint has dried completely for best results. Finally, your beautiful new room is unveiled!

About the Author: Maria Polidoro is the owner of Ace Tool Online, a leading provider of hand and power tools headquartered in Wantagh, New York. Ace Tool stocks the latest power tools, parts and accessories and is a premiere source for Amana products including router bits, saw blades and over 70 other power tool brands.

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