Painting Stripes on Walls Made Easy


Learn how to add narrow or wide stripes to your walls

Painting Vertical Stripes

While painting a room can make for a lively update, creating a striped pattern with paint takes it up a notch. Want to make a small room look more spacious? Try narrow, high-contrast stripes. Wide, neutral-colored stripes will make a tight space seem more expansive.  

This guide will show you how to measure, draw the lines, and tape off the wall for your painted vertical stripes.


Measure horizontally
Measure horizontally - Painting Vertical Stripes

• Start at the top of the wall and mark every 5 inches with a colored pencil that closely matches the wall color. Move horizontally across the wall. Your measurement can vary depending on how wide you'd like the stripes to be.
• Start measuring opposite the least-seen corner and continue around the room. Allow the stripe to fold around the corner, or adjust your measurements as necessary to end with a stripe in the corner.
• If you are striping a room with four adjoining walls, measure the last 4 feet of the wall and adjust the stripe widths to fit the space. Continue the pattern, making certain that you end with the appropriate colored stripe.

Draw vertical lines
Draw vertical lines - Painting Vertical Stripes

Extend each stripe vertically with the level and colored pencil.

Tape off the walls
Tape off the walls - Painting Vertical Stripes

• Tape off using painter's tape along the outside edges of the marks. Press down firmly on the inner edges of the tape.
• You will appear to have two widths of stripes. The wider stripe is the one that should be painted. Make a light “X” on the stripes that should remain in the base coat color to help you keep track.

Paint the base color
Paint the base color - Painting Vertical Stripes

Paint the base coat of the wall color onto the stripe to prevent the accent color from bleeding underneath the tape.

Apply the stripe color
Apply the stripe color - Painting Vertical Stripes

• After the base coat dries, apply the first coat of accent color with the mini roller. After it dries, apply a second coat if necessary. Remove tape.
• Continue painting stripes until the entire room is completed. Carefully remove all remaining tape as soon as the last coat of paint is applied.