DIY Home Projects

Paint Stripes Across a Room

Do you love the look of vertical or horizontal stripes? Learn how to paint stripes across a room and get the straightest lines every time!

adding darker yellow paint to striped walls

I’m back today with some updates in Félix’s room.  While we recently swapped in a new painting, this week, I finally added some colour!  I had a few reasons, so I’ll get into that, along with all the details on how to paint stripes across a room!

If you browse around, you’ve probably seen that I’ve shared how to paint straight stripes across a long wall before.  This time, I’m talking all about how to ensure your stripes are even all the way around the room.

painting stripes across a room text overlay with white walls and laser level

Before we start, I’ll first chat about why I wanted to add stripes:

  • I had yellow paint leftover from his last nursery
    • I’ve been cleaning out my paint stash, and didn’t just want to get rid of it
    • The idea is that I’ll mix it with other paint (from our apartment) to use at the cottage
  • The off-white walls were begging for a change
  • It was weird having one bedroom plain (and we’re not doing a “proper” bedroom makeover until Félix is in a big bed)
  • Stripes are fun!

Okay, let’s get to my initial plan:

striped wall plan graphic with dimensions

We have 8′ walls here, and I knew that I wanted a stripe edge to line up with the 65″ mark.  That’s the height we have for the waincoting in our bedroom and the shared kids’ bedroom.  The eventual plan is to add the same thing here, and I figured it would be easier for future me to have something to line up with :)

From there, I determined a good spacing of 4, 12″ yellow stripes.  I debated between 4 and 5 stripes, and tried to get even spacing with everything.  In the end – this was the best method to get to that 65″ mark.

How to Tape Straight Stripes Across a Room

Once you have your spacing determined, it’s time to get the stripes on the walls!

white wall with small pencil mark

I measured up from the floor for my first line and marked a couple of spots with a pencil.

white walls with laser and piece of tape

Once I backed up, I realized I couldn’t see my small mark!  So I put some painter’s tape above it so I could find it from a distance.  From there, you’ll use a laser level on a tripod to shine a light across the marks.  Because floors can be uneven, it’s best to have a few spots marked, then choose the height that works best for you.

piece of painters tape on wall

It’s always best to use one continuous piece of tape, rather than a bunch of small pieces.  I would rip a piece off at the correct length, and then go back in and make sure it was level all the way across.

using laser level to make straight tape lines

Or, I’d just leave my roll hanging as I adjusted my laser level!  You will have to rotate your level around a few times.  While it does shine the light far, it’s easier to see when it’s nice and crisp.

painters tape across a corner with laser level

Continue this method and add all the tape lines you need.  For corners, I found it easiest to overlap both sections of tape.  It will be hard to get a nice tight corner, but this way, there’s double the chance.  Note that I will be painting in between the big tape section, so that’s why the “outsides” have tape that isn’t nice and straight.

laser level light on painters tape

Ideally, you’d get your laser level everywhere you need.  However, sometimes my tripod didn’t go high enough!  (Or low enough too).  For the tall stripes, I had to prop it up on the dresser, and for the low ones, I had it on a stack of books.  Make sure your laser level is set to the “self-level” mode, and not just “on”.

painters tape making stripes on white walls  painters tape wrapped around corner of white wall room

You can see that I used different painter’s tapes (warning below!).  I had the green tape leftover from before, and bought the blue rolls to finish my stripes for this project.

painting stripes across a room text overlay on white door and painters tape stripes

Painting Straight Stripes

This whole project took me about 2-1/2″ days (working randomly), but it could probably be completed in one.

painters tape stripes on white walls

By the end of the first day, all my stripes were up.  I did have the delay of having to go to the store for more tape, and Félix taking a nap in the afternoon.

HANDY TIP: Make sure to paint a base coat of your wall colour to limit bleed-through. 

painting base coat on blue painters tape white walls

To reduce the amount of paint that seeps through the tape, I prepped the lines with some primer.  Ideally, you’d use the exact same colour as your walls, but we did not have any, and white was close enough.

light yellow paint stripes

Once that dried, I painted the yellow paint on all my stripes… but they were looking a little light.  Remember, this was the leftover paint from the old nursery, but it didn’t have as much punch as a stripe.

Félix took another nap, and I did a poll on Instagram Stories asking about the colour.  The Husband didn’t like it at all, and turns out, the majority thought there should be more contrast.

adding darker yellow paint to striped walls

So I mixed up some darker yellow paints into my light one (I told you I had a lot of paint – remember this mural!?).  And then painted that when he woke up.

I let it dry overnight, and did some touch-ups on a couple of the stripes the next morning.  From there, we removed the painter’s tape and admired the nice straight stripes!

Using the Correct Painter’s Tape

One note/warning about painter’s tape…

I honestly didn’t think there was a reason to buy the name brand painter’s tape.  Sure, I’ve tried a bunch of painter’s tapes in the past, but the store brand one worked and was cheaper, you know!?

cheap painters tape residue

Not in this case!  My store-brand tape ripped up some random pieces of paint/drywall mud and left a lot of little edges around. I had to go back and rub them all off, it was almost all the way across where the tape was.

I just happened to go to a different store to pick up more tape and bought the blue ones.  Otherwise, I would have gotten the same one.  Not sure if it’s because my tape was old, but this was super annoying!

white and yellow striped wall

Even so, I did have crisp stripes everywhere else.  Thank goodness I had different tape though, because rubbing all the little stuck edges off would have taken forever!

white and yellow stripes on wall

(See them in the photo above!?).  Anyways, I’ll share more photos and details on Félix’s room next week!

painting stripes across a room text overlay on white and yellow striped walls

Related Posts:

Tell me, do you like the bold yellow I went with?  Make sure to come back next week to see how the whole room looks together.

Do you have a laser level?  It was one of the things that we didn’t own for a long time, but now that we have one, I find I’m using it all the time!  If you’re painting stripes across a room, you could easily use a laser level to do vertical lines and up the ceiling too!

That’s a look that would be fun to do :)

see you next time nicole text image

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