How to Paint Perfect Wide Stripes

A bold, wide stripe on the walls makes a dramatic impact.  Our foyer needed some pizzazz, so for an inexpensive fix (a can of paint) and cheap labor (me), I added a wide, 16 inch dark gray (Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze) horizontal stripe to the wall.  What do you think?

I wanted to break down the step-by-step for you in case you wanted to do something similar in your home.  Here’s the blank slate I was working with.
For this project, you’ll need:
  • Paint and paint tray
  • Small paintbrush or small roller
  • Large roller
  • Ruler
  • Leveler
  • Pencil
  • Frog Tape
  • Ladder

 

The first thing I did was paint the entire wall the original paint color, it needed several touch-ups anyway.  I bought Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray, which is the color I thought the wall was, but later realized it’s not.  Agreeable Gray is slightly more gray than the wall, but just barely.  I found this out when comparing the color to the adjacent wall.

 

First, measure the height of your wall and decide how wide you want your stripes.  We have a tall wall, 114 inches (not including the crown).  A 16 inch stripe meant 7.125 stripes, just about perfectly even.

Starting at the top, measure and mark in pencil 16 inches down until you reach the bottom.  Then, use a leveler to ensure you draw a perfectly straight line.
After drawing your lines in pencil, tape above and below the pencil line to indicate the area you will be painting.  To be extra sure I didn’t paint the wrong part, I marked an “x” in the area I was NOT supposed to paint.  Trust me, when you’re that close to the wall, it helps!
I then used a paintbrush/small foam roller in the original paint color all along the edge of the tape to seal it. If any of your paint bleeds through the tape, it’s the same color as the adjacent stripe!
I used Frog Tape and ended up using two strips of tape for each line, increasing the thickness of the tape in case I was a sloppy painter.
I only needed two coats of paint for full, even coverage.  As soon as I rolled the second coat of paint, I pulled the tape off.
The moment of truth!
Sit back and enjoy your clean, perfectly straight, bold stripes.
I ended up painting the light switches too, and they look good from afar, but not so great close up.
I’m especially digging the view from the dining room.
I hope this helps!  If you have any questions, please let me know and I’ll answer in the comments section.
Update:  I loved the stripes in the foyer so much that I continued them around the corner into the curve of our staircase!
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70 Comments

  1. August 21, 2013 / 11:31 am

    You are so talented. The wall looks fantastic.

  2. August 21, 2013 / 11:47 am

    Looks AWESOME! And definitely gives some pizzaz 🙂

  3. August 21, 2013 / 11:54 am

    They Look absolutely perfect! I so want to do this in our entryway hallway, but have been a little timid about it. I might just have to go for it now! Thanks for the great inspiration and instructions! XOXO

  4. August 21, 2013 / 12:43 pm

    I'm buying a new house and stripes is definitely on my very long design agenda, so this is great timing for me! They look amazing. 🙂 So funny how some stripes can really make you so very happy. 🙂

  5. August 21, 2013 / 1:06 pm

    Megan, I love this! What a great shot of bold as soon as you walk in. And I agree that they look especially cool from the dining room 🙂

  6. August 21, 2013 / 1:15 pm

    We have the same stripes in our home office! But the previous owner did them. Wasn't so sure at first. but they are growing on me! Great job. 🙂

  7. August 21, 2013 / 1:16 pm

    I am a sucker for stripes. And then a deep grey too? Love it! Great tips in the tutorial as well.

  8. August 21, 2013 / 1:20 pm

    Looks great! Might be stealing this idea for a wall in my home!

  9. August 21, 2013 / 1:20 pm

    Great Job girl! This looks awesome. I was actually thinking of doing stripes in my bedroom for an accent wall & after seeing how easy it is, its a go!

  10. August 21, 2013 / 1:24 pm

    Love this! I am totally inspired to paint stripes now (too chicken to actually do it!). Thank you for the tutorial!

  11. August 21, 2013 / 1:30 pm

    I LOVE it! I've been wanting to paint stripes for some time but have textured walls. Are you're walls textured? Wondering if the paint tape seal would work on textured walls? Thanks for the tutorial 🙂

  12. August 21, 2013 / 1:40 pm

    Hands down this is my favorite project you've done! This looks absolutely beautiful in your entry!!! Would you ever consider a brass or gold switch plate for the ones you painted since you're not liking them up close? I think that could be a pretty contrast but still fit…just a thought. I'm seriously in love though!

  13. August 21, 2013 / 1:50 pm

    This looks awesome. I'm just curious when do you find time to do these projects? I'm work outside the house with a 2.5 year old and I can't ever find time on the weekend to do anything around the house. Please share some tips of how you get this done with James around! I'd love to get some projects done at home!

  14. August 21, 2013 / 1:50 pm

    I LOVE it! I've been wanting to paint stripes for a while, but have textured walls. Are your walls textured? Do you think the paint seal on the tape would also work with textured walls? Thanks!

  15. August 21, 2013 / 2:37 pm

    Wow, it adds so much to your entryway. Love the colors you chose! I'm really impressed with how you got such straight lines, and you are brilliant to seal the tape with the base paint. Great tip!

  16. August 21, 2013 / 3:01 pm

    I've been wanting to paint stripes somewhere in our house for ages, but have been totally intimidated. After seeing this I think I might try it in the guest room. Wish me luck!! 🙂
    Looks AMAZING!!!!

  17. August 21, 2013 / 3:11 pm

    Looks fantastic! And, I am sure you meant can if paint, not pain 😉

  18. August 21, 2013 / 3:13 pm

    It looks so good Megan! I love bold stripes! So impressive you tackled that yourself. I have been debating stripes for our new house but decided to move in and get settled to see how things come together first. LOVE LOVE them in your entry!

  19. August 21, 2013 / 3:21 pm

    I love how creative you are! Thanks for the step by step tutorial..looking for a wall to stripe ASAP!

  20. August 21, 2013 / 3:22 pm

    So pretty! I definitely have to try this in our little boy's nursery as an accent wall. What paint finish did you use for Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze?

  21. August 21, 2013 / 3:59 pm

    So amazing girl! I love, love, love it! I knew it was going to be so fabulous when I saw your sneak peek on Instagram!! Big Hugs!

  22. August 21, 2013 / 4:19 pm

    Your tutorial is by far the best I've read! Thanks for being so detailed! 🙂 It looks great!

  23. August 21, 2013 / 4:21 pm

    So pretty! I can't wait to try this in my house.. now to find a wall!

  24. August 21, 2013 / 4:45 pm

    LOVE IT. You definitely had the pefect wall to do this on, I have too many doors in my entry and this would be choppy and a nightmare to paint for me. I love the view you have from your dining room of the stripes. I would want to sit in there every meal just to look at the stripes, lol.

  25. Rhonda @ home.made.
    August 21, 2013 / 11:54 am

    Love the stripes and the bold color – I'm digging these dark bronzey grays lately too!

  26. August 21, 2013 / 4:54 pm

    It looks gorgeous!! Makes me wanna paint some stripes now 🙂

  27. August 21, 2013 / 5:18 pm

    So cool, love it!

  28. August 21, 2013 / 5:43 pm

    Love the stripes! I just learned that same trick of painting with your original color before painting the stripes to prevent bleeding and it is the best. How did I not know this any sooner??

  29. August 21, 2013 / 5:48 pm

    Painting the original color on the seams to seal in the paint and prevent leaks is a great idea! I wouldn't have thought of that. I'm hoping to paint strips somewhere in our home soon. Thanks for the tutorial! -Emily @ myloveforwords.com

  30. August 21, 2013 / 6:32 pm

    i love stripes! i am hoping to have a striped wall in my next place!

  31. August 21, 2013 / 7:21 pm

    I had to pick my jaw up off the ground. GORGEOUS!! I love your tips on how to get perfect stripes! Best tutorial I've seen.

  32. August 21, 2013 / 7:22 pm

    It looks great and adds some character to the space, love it!

  33. natasha {schue love}
    August 21, 2013 / 3:04 pm

    It looks SOOOO good Megan!! Awesome job and way to go with such a fun and bold stripe!

  34. August 21, 2013 / 9:37 pm

    Love the step by step tutorial and they came out so well!

  35. August 21, 2013 / 9:59 pm

    It. Looks. So. Good! Seriously going to have to talk the hubby into letting me do this!!

    xoxo Shauna

  36. August 21, 2013 / 10:49 pm

    I love stripes and these look perfect in your entryway! I love your tip to seal the tape with the base wall color. We painted wide ombré stripes in our nursery (http://www.blueistyle.blogspot.com/2013/03/PaintingOmbreWallStripes.html) and we used faux glaze to seal the tape lines. I've always used blue tape, but notice you use Frog Tape. What do you like better about the Frog Tape? I've thought about trying it but have been hesitant to switch, so I'd love to hear about your experiences!

  37. August 21, 2013 / 10:55 pm

    I am in LOVE with that wall of stripes!!!! Can you come to my house and do the same thing?

  38. Emily A. Clark
    August 21, 2013 / 8:45 pm

    Looks great there! You know I'm a fan 😉

  39. Mrs. DeVore
    August 21, 2013 / 9:00 pm

    love love it! It makes such huge impact!

  40. August 22, 2013 / 2:39 am

    Can we see the room behind the glass doors??

  41. Courtney {a thoughtful place}
    August 21, 2013 / 11:13 pm

    Love anything striped! Looks beautiful.

  42. August 22, 2013 / 7:26 am

    You can never go wrong with stripes! And I love that you went bigger and bolder than most. They look amazing from every angle!

    xo,
    Jen

  43. Allison
    August 22, 2013 / 3:55 am

    It looks fantastic! You did a beautiful job Megan. Those stripes are perfect!!

  44. Andrea Worley
    August 22, 2013 / 4:47 am

    Love the wide stripes. I'm a big fan of stripes. I just did them in Ava's room and again in our half down stairs bath! Yours look awesome, and you're right from the dining room view so cool!

  45. August 22, 2013 / 3:42 pm

    Oh Megan your striped wall looks amazing! And your painting techniques are ingenious! Love!

  46. August 22, 2013 / 6:07 pm

    This is striking Megan! I love the tutorial too. Now I'm eyeballing the walls in my house, wondering where I could paint stripes.

    Annie XO

  47. August 22, 2013 / 8:15 pm

    Wow! So cool and I love that it was a DIY project:)

  48. christine, just bella
    August 22, 2013 / 3:33 pm

    I love how big and bold these are! SO good. And how cute and tiny do you look up there on that ladder?

  49. {Hi Sugarplum!}
    August 22, 2013 / 5:26 pm

    Oh my gosh — so so good!! Even better than I'd imagined! Love them from all the angles, and so fun from the dining room!!! well done, girlie!!!

  50. Carmel - Our Fifth House
    August 23, 2013 / 3:14 am

    It looks soooo good! Love it!

  51. August 23, 2013 / 2:01 pm

    It really looks nice Megan! And the tutorial is very helpful! Do you know what your original wall colour is (looks like an off-white/gray colour)? It matches perfectly!

  52. August 24, 2013 / 8:09 pm

    I did similar stripes for my baby's room and my gosh! It is a lot more work than you'd think! I really admire your ability to take risks with your already beautiful house. I think I'd be too afraid to mess it up, but they always turn out beautifully.

  53. September 5, 2013 / 7:27 pm

    This is such a bold and fantastic welcome to your entry. I love it so much and I'm DYING to get it done in my son's room. Thank you for the step by step WITH PICTURES..such a huge help 🙂

  54. October 3, 2013 / 9:47 am

    I like your walls – and your tutorial is very helpful. Well done!

  55. December 2, 2013 / 1:52 pm

    i am going to buy my new apartment, and i am just crazy about the strips, a applaud your ideas and creativity, i intend to make such strips in my living area, they're elegant. i am enlightened to learn online painting in this way. excellent job!

  56. March 10, 2016 / 11:48 pm

    Thank you for this! I am doing stripes in my half bath, and this really broke down the process into understandable steps. I'm excited!

  57. January 7, 2017 / 10:38 pm

    I was searching for floor coloring to go with Agreeable Gray and found your post. Is the floor a dark brown or more ebony?

    • January 8, 2017 / 12:36 pm

      Hi Michelle! Our floors are dark brown.

  58. Jodie
    June 21, 2019 / 10:23 am

    Great pointers!!!
    I painted bold stripes in my last house usinf beachy paint colours and it certainly added a fun look to my cottage-style home.!
    Your entrance looks amazing! I’m doing a bold horizontal stripe around my dining room so your tips will help me out big time!!!!
    Thanks!👍🏼😊

    • Megan
      Author
      June 21, 2019 / 1:51 pm

      I’m so glad this post was helpful! We’ve had those stripes for a long time now and I haven’t gotten tired of them!

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