How to paint stripes on a wall

I paint stripes in my wall murals all the time and they look fab if done right.  I LOVE sharing painting tips with my fans and I think this tip is one of the easiest (and one of the most needed) tips for making a “Wow!” wall.  

So…have you ever walked into a room with striped walls, saw the totally imperfect paint line and made like you loved the room? 

“Oh Jane, this room looks so awesome!”


The paint seeped under the tape and now the should-have-been-crisp paint line is blotchy, splotchy and ugly.  Ewwww!

Here’s my step-by-step tutorial on how to paint stripes on a wall and get a perfect, crisp paint line.

Step 1: Paint the wall

Obviously, you need to paint the wall in the base colour first. In my photos, that would be the navy blue wall.

Step 2: Use a level

This tip will work for any striped walls - horizontal stripes, vertical stripes, even chevron walls!

Use a level and draw a line in pencil so you’re sure of a super straight stripe.

Step 3: Use painter’s tape

Once the tape is on the wall, use your fingers to firmly and smoothly press it onto the wall so it sticks properly.

Stick green painter’s tape on the wall, using the pencil line as a guide. 

Put the tape just above and just below the pencil line, so that when you paint the second colour (white in my pics), you’ll cover the pencil lines. 

There’s nothing uglier than a gray pencil smudge on your freshly painted wall.  Yuck!

Step 4: Seal the tape with paint

This is the top secret tip that makes crisp striped walls. 

Use the original base colour (blue in my pics) and paint over the inside edge of the painter’s tape. 

I usually do two light coats before painting the second colour.  

The tape is now "sealed" and no white paint will seep onto the blue walls

If any of this blue paint seeps under the paint, it’ll blend right into the rest of the wall.

Step 5: Add the second colour

Yup, that’s it.  Paint the second colour now (white in my pics)…it can’t seep under the tape because it’s been sealed.

Remember to let the base colour (blue in my pics) dry before painting the second colour, so you don’t end up mixing two colours together.  Eek!

Step 6: Remove the tape

This is my fave part of the whole process.  It’s like striking something off my to-do list.  It gives me a gooey feeling inside.  Oh ya, baby!

Peel it off slowly so the tape doesn’t rip and make it harder to peel off.


Here are some perfectly striped walls along with a Toronto Blue Jays baseball mural I hand-painted for a little boy in Binbrook, Ontario. 

Here are my "perfect" horizontal wall stripes along with the hand-painted Toronto Blue Jays baseball wall mural

Here are my "perfect" horizontal wall stripes along with the hand-painted Toronto Blue Jays baseball wall mural

Let's keep in touch!

Do you have a secret trick to painting perfect wall stripes?  Did you try my tip?  I'd love to hear your stories or see your pics.  Let's talk in the comments below!

Adrienne ScanlanComment