Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hallway Part 1- Tips for Painting Stripes

My sister just moved into a new house and we are attacking her spaces one by one. I plan on blogging about the whole journey.  I can't wait to get out of my condo and be able to do this in my OWN home.  Wahhh Wahhh, I know stop complaining right?  I should just be thankful for what I have =)  So anyway we have already done her kitchen and her entryway and those posts are on the way.  I also convinced her to let me do stripes in her upstairs hallway.  It is a cute winding hallway that is very narrow and it needs a makeover BAD!  Check it out....  

Hello Yellow

I am so excited about this transformation, mainly because it's easy and anyone can do it. The best part is it only cost about 40 bucks to make this happen. {considering I already own a lot of my paint supplies} Speaking of supplies I am going to share with all of you my favorite paint tips, tools, and how to's along the way. There are 6 easy steps that I like to follow when painting stripes:
                                 6 Steps for Painting Stripes 
                                                 1. Measure
                                                 2. Apply Tape
                                                 3. Mark your stripes
                                                 4. Seal the Edges
                                                 5. Paint 
                                                 6. Remove Tape
I will explain each step in this post.  I plan on painting 5 horizontal stripes above the chair rail and a solid color below.  I actually don't mind the light taupe color above the chair rail so we both(my sister and I) decided to keep that and then just pick one color to get rid of the HIDEOUS yellow.  We will also use that same color for two of the stripes above. We will have 3 stripes of the existing taupe color and two stripes of the new color....YAY less taping for me to do {only two stripes to actually paint}.  The color we chose is Benjamin Moore's "Shabby Chic." I took that paint swatch to Home Depot and had them color match it so I could purchase their 2 in 1 Paint/Primer.  This paint goes on so smooth and you can eliminate the priming steps. Ahhhhh anything to save an extra step when painting! 

Here is the color swatch marked with my handy dandy washi tape.  If you haven't read about my love for washi tape you can read it here

Let's check out my tools for painting stripes:

I love this spackle! It goes on pink and dries white so you know exactly when you can sand. 

I only use two kinds of brushes when I paint:  1. PURDY  2. WOOSTER  I have found these two  brands to be the best in my paint world.  I have small hands and the handles on these brushes are perfect for me.

I try to keep these brushes as long as I can to save money and this brush comb helps me do so.

I love love love my magnetic laser level.  I use this for EVERYTHING: hanging multiple frames on a wall, snapping chalk lines, hanging curtain rods (which I no long have to use because I found another solution, which I will blog about soon), and of course for painting stripes.

Of course I need a tape measure and a pencil to plan out the size of my stripes.  I love using colored pencils because they easily wipe away. 

I use red solo cups all the time when I paint because it makes clean up so easy.  It also saves me so much money from having to buy those handheld painters bins and liners. I am all about saving moolah and keeping my paint supplies minimal. Again living in a condo I have no place to store ANYTHING....get me outta here Paaaalease =)

Of course, I forgot to take a pic of my roller and my paint pan but they aren't anything special anyway.  I do want to share two of my secret paint tips before I start.... 

1. I always hate opening an old paint can with dried clumps of paint all around the edges.  This simple tip will prevent that from ever happening again.  I have been doing this ever since I started painting. What you do is you get a good size nail and hammer a hole in the rim of the can.  This will allow the paint to funnel back down into the can after you pour.  I personally like to make 6 holes around the brim just in case I pour from multiple sides of the can.  Genius right? I know... I love this trick. It's been so long that I don't even remember where I learned this.  

2. I also love using chip clips to hold my brushes in place.  Just like any painter that needs a break to take a drink of water, use the potty, pour out more paint into your pan, we all need a place to put our brushes.  I also like to keep my brush in the actual paint while I'm gone so that the air doesn't get to it and dry it out {that's the worst}. It costs nearly nothing because we all have these in our homes and it serves a dual purpose... LOVE THAT!

If you have enough paint in your red cup you can also clip it there too and the cup won't fall over.  It is so easy and I never have to worry about laying my paint brush on the top of the paint can and getting paint all over the metal frame as well as my hands{hate that too}.  

Alright now we have all of our supplies so let's get started... 

Step 1: MEASURE 
Measure the height of your space and then determine how many stripes you would like to have. Then take that measurement and divide it by the number of stripes you want.  In our case, from the chair rail to the ceiling measured a little less than 4 ft (45") so we divided that by 5 and got 9".  Each stripe will now be 9" tall.   The top, bottom and middle stripe are going to be the existing wall color, so I only have to lay tape out for the two middle stripes. {we DO NOT have touch up paint for the current wall color so I will have to be SUPER careful}   

I start by measuring up from the chair rail 9" closest to the corner and then I mark it with my pencil.  Then I move about 10" down the wall  and measure again. I'll do this 3 more times and then my marks should all be in a horizontal line down the wall. Then I hang my tape just below these marks. I use my laser level to make sure my tape is level and then I move onto the next stripe which will be 9" up from the top of the last piece of tape. 

 It's very easy to make a mistake and put your tape above the mark when it should go below the mark.  The size of your stripes can be VERY uneven because of this. Here is a diagram I made to keep you on track....

{click on the photo to enlarge}

Sometimes if you are lucky and live in a newer home with drywall you can attach a magnetic laser level to the corners due to the metal corner piece underneath your walls that gives all of your corners that nice and even edge.  As you can see here I didn't have to measure a whole lot on these two walls because the laser level did the work for me.  I just measured 9"up in one spot and then put the level on that spot and PRESTO!  {so much easier}  I'm sure I could have purchased a tripod laser lever but it's not in the budget so this works just fine for me....

Another helpful tip to make the process a little bit quicker is to precut your pieces of tape if you have any small sections in between doors like I had.  I knew I would need 4 pieces of tape for each section and that they would all be the same size. So, I went around to each section, cut one piece of tape to fit each wall and then used that piece of tape as a guide to cut the other three.  I hung the tape on the doors so I could easily grab them when I was ready. 

I always leave a little tab at the end for an easy grab when I'm done and ready to pull up the tape. I have such a rush when I pull that tape off.  It's a true test to see if I did it correctly or not and EVERY time is so nerve racking because it really can look like a disaster if you don't pay attention to details. 

After my tape was up I wanted to make sure I didn't mess up and paint the wrong stripe because sometimes our minds get all STRIPE crazy and we start painting in the wrong section. We didn't have any touch up paint left over from the previous homeowners so there was no room for error. 

I went around and just slapped on some paint in each section that I planned on painting. That way there would be NO confusion. 



I always seal the edges of my tape in 2 steps.  1. by using a wallpaper roller and 2. painting over it with the existing wall color.  That probably didn't make sense to you but in most cases I will edge along the tape with the existing wall color to give it a good seal so that the stripe color won't creep down under the tape. Unfortunately my sister didn't have any left over paint so I decided to edge with the new stripe color before I rolled the paint on.    

I started my brush in the center of the tape and I pulled the paint down over the edge. That will prevent paint from going up underneath the tape edge. 

After I edged the entire stripe I went back to roll on the paint to give it a nice even coat.  I usually wait until the edging is dry before I roll because AGAIN it will give the edges the seal it needs to keep paint from seeping down or up under the tape.

Step 5: PAINT
I always paint 1 coat and then evaluate whether I need a second coat or not. In this case I didn't need a 2nd coat because I used a darker paint color to paint on top of the existing lighter wall color. If you are starting from scratch and have to repaint a wall to prep for stripes I would suggest painting it the lighter of the two colors so that you don't have to do more than one coat on the stripes. It is a lot easier to paint over a light color like I did here.....

Remember.... ALWAYS take the tape off when the paint is still wet and make sure you have a trash bag ready to drop the scraps in.

Nice CRISP lines.....all due to the fact that I took that extra step to edge with a paint brush.

SO, are you dying to see the finished product? Me too!  Sometimes I wish I could see it with a fresh eye like all of you can but I have to admit the behind the scenes stuff is what I live for.

TA DA.....BOOM...... OH YEA

The last step will be putting the jewelry on (aka accessorizing it with mirrors, picture frames, funky objects, etc.)!  I'll be back to post when it is all done.  Ughhhhh.... I CANNOT wait to get rid of those ugly light fixtures.  I am imagining a gorgeous chandelier at the end of the hallway with a mirror to reflect it's light.

So what do you think? Love it or hate it? Anyone have any other helpful tips for painting stripes? I hope you feel empowered to do stripes in your own home.  They are not as scary as they look.



  1. AMAZING!!!!! that really is incredible!

  2. so many amazing ideas here! your creativity amazes me!

  3. I LOVE your step by step instructions! You make it idiot-proof which is exactly what I need!

  4. I LOVE how you make it ideiot-proof! That is exactly what I need!

  5. You are truly amazing! You inspire me!

  6. I love stripes so much. Your step by step instructions are so easy to follow. Think I might try this in my dining room.

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  9. This is my little bible! been dreaming of stripes for months and didn't quite know where to start but now off to DIY center to get my stripe kit! Love from the UK.

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