Striped wall how-to

Ever since I saw the Lettered Cottage's sweet little reading room, I have wanted to try out striped walls. After Gentry & his dad built our entertainment center in August, I began trying to figure out what to do with our dining room walls. The original wall color was yellow with one green accent wall, but I had painted over those colors with some paint we had on hand last spring. I liked the color I used (Valspar Coconut milk), but it was kind of boring by itself. We had about a half gallon of some off-white paint in the basement that I decided would be a good complement to the base color.

Here is our dining room at the beginning of the process:

The white area is where the new wall was built on the back of the entertainment center & it only had primer on it. I painted two coats of the coconut milk color then let it dry.

Then Gentry & I began measuring & marking off the walls for the stripes. Since we have 8 foot ceilings, we decided that each stripe would be 12 inches to make it a bit easier on us. I made little marks on the walls with a pencil starting at 1 foot & working my way up to the 7 foot mark. I made these marks up the walls every 2 feet or so. The more marks I made, the easier it was for us to line up the painter's tape each time. 

I read several tutorials online about how to paint stripes before trying to tackle this project. Some recommended using the original base color & painting just around the tape so that if the paint bleeds under the tape it will just be the base color that goes through. Then you would paint the second color over that & the lines would be perfect. This way seemed a bit much to me, so I looked for better options. I came across one blog post that said to simply press down very hard on the tape so that no air bubbles remain, which will prevent any paint from bleeding under the tape. I figured this would save us some time, so we got a putty knife to smooth out the tape once we had it lined up with our marks.

We started from the top of the wall, & decided that the top stripe would be the off-white color I would paint, & the stripes would alternate as they went down the wall.

In order to get the different color stripes to be even after painting, you have to keep in mind which stripes will be which color. On the stripes that you don't paint (the original base coat) you will put the tape inside the marks you made on the wall. On the stripes that you were painting, you would put the tape on the top & bottom of the marks on the wall. It looks a little bit confusing at first, but you have to do it this way for all of the stripes to come out 12 inches each.

So the stripes that I painted with the top coat looked to be a bit larger than the ones that I was not painting after we taped everything off.

It took us a couple of hours to get all of the walls taped off, but it was worth it to take our time & make sure everything was straight & smooth.

I forgot to take any photos of the painting process, but I simply used a roller & did two coats of the off-white color on the largest stripes. I went around the entire room doing the first coat, then began the second coat of paint. In order to not have the tape stick to the paint, I took the tape off stripe by stripe as soon as I finished the second coat of paint. At first I was afraid some of the off-white color was going to look uneven, but it all dried evenly. 

Once the tape started coming off, we realized that pressing the tape down prior to painting was the way to go. We did not have one place where paint got under the tape.

Here is the end result!

We love how everything turned out! Hopefully this tutorial will be helpful to anyone looking to paint some stripes on their walls. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

**Side note: We still have to put crown molding up on the tops of the walls, & the new wall behind the entertainment center still needs baseboards. ;)