I guess the third time’s the charm, when it comes to painting stripes. I’ve had two unpleasant experiences with stripes. It all started back in 2010 when my best friend and I moved into our first non-college apartment. She was an interior design major in college and planned out a design for our place, which involved an accent wall with horizontal stripes. We had issues getting the right paint color and had to paint them several times. Painting stripes one time is hard enough. To make a long story short, she vowed never to paint stripes again (and to this day she has kept her promise).
Fast forward to the summer of 2013. I was painting my guest room and office. My vision for the office involved navy and white stripes. I guess the pain from the experience in 2010 had escaped me by that point. Well it came back the instant I started to tape out the stripes. My dad was helping me with the stripes. We attempted to use the ceiling as a starting point for measuring everything out, but as we looked at the ceiling closer, we could see that it wasn’t perfectly level. Next we decided to try to use a laser level on the wall to draw a line out for the tape. The laser level didn’t reach all the way across the wall. I think at this point my dad was real close to killing me for wanting these stripes! But, we started using the baseboard to measure, and we were able to make progress. It was a slow process. We painted two walls that day, which was my original vision for the space. After that experience, I vowed to never paint stripes again.
Here’s a couple pictures of my office and my navy and white stripes.
Well I guess I forgot how painful it was to paint the stripes in the office, because I volunteered to help a friend paint stripes on a wall in her nursery this past weekend. This time I was fully armed with the wisdom I learned from my prior experiences. It only took approximately 5 hours, and most of that consisted of taping out the stripes on the wall.
She wanted a total of 7 stripes, 4 purple and 3 white. To calculate the width of each stripe, we measured the height of the wall, excluding the baseboard and divided by 7. This turned out to be 13 3/8 inches. When measuring out your stripes, I would go to the nearest 1/8th inch. I don’t see any reason to take it to the nearest 1/16th inch. Starting from the baseboard we measured out the first stripe and put a mark on the wall at the right height every foot or so. Then we taped it off and measured again to double check everything. When you’re taping off each stripe, make sure you’re framing the outside of the stripes you’re painting. You can see in the picture below the stripes appear to be different heights, but in reality it only looks this way based on how the tape is placed for painting purposes. I am also really paranoid that I am going to paint the wrong stripes, so I put tape dots through the stripes I don’t want to paint to remind me.
It only took 30 minutes to paint each coat and we let it dry 45 minutes between each coat. I recommend always putting two coats of paint on the wall. It’s hard to get 100% coverage with just one coat.
Here’s the final product! I think it turned out great, and it wasn’t bad at all this time painting stripes. It was fun to spend the afternoon hanging out with the windows open and enjoying the nice Spring weather in NC this weekend. I have to say I’m super nervous doing things like this for other people. If it’s my own project and it totally flops, there’s no pressure, but this was the first time I decided to do something like this at someone else’s house.