DIY – {Almost} Perfect Stripes on Textured Walls!



I don’t know how it is in every state, but if you live in Texas, and have a home that was built in the last 20 years, then you most likely have heavily textured walls.  The heavy texture is great for hiding construction imperfections, but can be the downright nemesis of an interior painter, like myself, who just wants to make their clients’ Pinterest dreams come true.  Certain faux finishes, walls covered in stencils and perfect stripes are all challenged to a face-off by that pesky texture.  I’m not sure where the walls are in all those precious DIY painting books and perfectly poised Pinterest posts, but they ain’t in Texas.

So, if you’ve got textured walls and want some stripes, but don’t really have the wherewithal to re-mud all the walls into a nice, smooth surface, then this tutorial will help you get {almost} perfect striped walls.  And if you’re one of those people with smooth walls (don’t go bragging about it), then these tips will work for you too – just omit the caulking step.

Step 1:

Paint all the walls in the color that you prefer as dominant.  This means painting a good, finished coat, completely cut-in as if it were the only color.  If you’re doing equal stripes (like the room shown), then use the lighter color as the base.  If you’re using the same color in differing sheens, then use the flattest sheen first.

Step 2:

For vertical stripes: Beginning in the corner closest to the backside of the door, start measuring out where you want your stripes to be.  Use a pencil to mark each measurement.  (The ones pictured are 6 inches apart equally, and of course you can do any size you prefer, even a combination of sizes.)  Place a level vertically against the mark and make sure that the bubble is centered.  Once you’re level, go ahead and run your pencil alongside it to create a line.  Move your level up or down, depending on where you start, to finish out the line.  Don’t forget to make sure you are still level!

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For horizontal stripes: This one is much easier…figure out where you want the bottom of the stripe to be, and place the level horizontally in that spot (again, starting from the corner behind the door, or nearest the backside of the door).  Make sure you’re level and drag the pencil along the top side.  Keep moving the level all the way around the room until you have the bottom of the stripe completed.  Now, measure out where you want the top of the stripe to go, and do the same process over again.  Never forget to continue checking the little bubble on your level! 

Step 3:

Using painter’s tape, tape off the stripes.  You want to make sure that the tape is sitting just along the outside of the pencil mark where your stripe will be.  This way, when you fill in the stripe, you will cover up the pencil mark as well.  *Note: your mind will start to play tricks on you during this process!  You’ll have to pay close attention to where your putting your tape so you’re stripes come out the way you intended them to. 🙂


Painting Stripes

Step 4:

This step is the magic behind getting {almost} perfect stripes on a textured wall!  It’s the DAP painter’s acrylic latex caulk.  This is the only kind you can use.  Trust me, I’ve tried others and they don’t work.  I’m a die-hard Sherwin Williams Paint fan, but their “paintable” caulk, did not serve me well for this type of project.  Take the caulk and squeeze it into a damp towel and begin working it into the inside line of your tape, filling all the crevices that the texture creates.  Do this all the way around the room, only on the interior side of the stripe (the side receiving the paint).

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Step 5:

Paint the stripes! It’s a lot of work getting to this point, but well worth it once you see how amazing your stripes look.  My suggestion is to take a small roller to fill in the stripes, using a paint brush to fill in along the ceiling and baseboards.  *Important!!  As soon as you are able, pull the tape off!  You don’t want to let it sit too long because it could pull of the dried paint.  If you don’t need a second coat of paint on the stripes, pull the tape off as you go.  If a second coat is necessary, then pull the tape off as soon as you can.  After the tape is removed, you can take an artists paint brush and fill in any remaining pencil marks, or straighten up any noticeably uneven lines.

IT WILL NOT BE PERFECT.  My suggestion, is to step out of the room for a bit, and come back in and see what jumps out at you.  Fix those spots ONLY.  Otherwise, you’ll make yourself crazy!  And I cannot be responsible for your mental health – I have too much going on.


Enjoy your hard-earned, beautiful, {almost} perfect stripes!  And send me some pics too. 🙂

Peace & Love,