How to Lay Out and Paint Stripes on Interior Walls

Gray and white decorative vertical stripes painted on walls.
DIY decorative vertical stripes painted on walls.

Painting vertical stripes on walls isn’t that difficult, though it takes a bit of preparation to end up with straight, even lines. Here’s how to go about it.

Laying Out and Painting Stripes on Walls:

  1. Paint the entire wall the color you want the spaces between the stripes, and allow the paint to dry.
  2. Measure the width of the wall, and divide it evenly into the number of stripes and spaces desired.
  3. Use a pencil and the plumb bubble on a level to extend the marks vertically on the wall.
  4. Apply painter’s tape to the spaces side of the vertical lines on the wall.
  5. Use a putty knife to press the tape firmly on the wall to prevent paint from seeping under it.
  6. Use a roller to apply paint to the stripes on the wall.
  7. Remove the painter’s tape while the paint is still wet by pulling the tape backwards as close to a 180° as possible to ensure a clean, even line.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: The first step to painting stripes on a wall is laying them out properly. Measure the width of the wall and choose a stripe width and spacing that can be evenly divided into the wall width. For example, there are 120 inches in a 10 foot wall, so a 10-inch stripe with 10-inch spacing gives you six stripes and six spaces.

From the layout marks, use a level to extend the line vertically along the wall rather than making multiple measurements from adjacent walls, floors, or ceilings. Those surfaces often have variations in them that will cause your lines to waiver back and forth.

Now, once the lines are marked with pencil, you can apply your painter’s tape along them. Leave the pencil mark visible on the side where paint will be applied, so it is covered by the paint. Then use a putty knife to burnish, or press down, the edge of the tape to ensure a good seal.

Now you’re ready for paint. You can use a brush or a roller but be careful not to pile on the paint to prevent the paint from seeping under the tape. The tape will perform better if you apply the paint over it lightly without puddles or drips.

Now, once the paint is applied, carefully remove the tape before the paint dries. This will prevent chipping and produce a much cleaner line. It’s also important to pull the tape backwards, at 180 degrees to the direction it is running, as close to the wall as possible. This will also help ensure a cleaner line and a better overall result.


  1. If painting stripes from ceiling to top of shower on one wall and around the corner ceiling to floor, how do you measure to determine correct size and spacing? I have strong symmetry needs 🙂

  2. I need instructions on how to paint stripes on my bedroom wall. Your video shows two colors. I want to know how to paint three colors on my striped wall.

    • Hi, Priscilla,
      Glad to hear you enjoyed this project! The instructions for a three-striped wall would be the same; however, you would just paint the wall three different colors, as opposed to two.
      Take care!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here