When I learned how to paint stripes and chevrons on a wall, I did one wall and two rooms. For accent walls or a kids bedroom, I LOVE stripes. Then, I spent three weeks (off and on) on one chevron wall.
This is how it’s done if you are doing one wall as an accent wall in stripes:
1.) One wall will have an odd number of stripes. This way the same color will be on each end. The first step is to measure the wall horizontally if your stripes are vertical. If you want horizontal stripes, measure the wall vertically. (TIP: Horizontal stripes make the room look wider and vertical stripes make the room look taller.)
2.) Once you have measured the wall, you will decide how many stripes you want OR how wide you want your stripes. This is where you will do some math. If your wall is 108 inches long and you want to paint nine stripes, you take 108/9 = 12. Each stripe will be 12 inches wide. If 12 inches is too wide or not wide enough then change that nine to a higher or lower number until you find the width of stripes you want.
3.) Find the middle of the wall by taking 108 (or however long your wall is) and divide it by two. 108/2 = 54. Since the stripes I’m painting are going to be 12 inches wide. I will go to the left six inches and start drawing my straight line with my level and then go to the right six inches and draw another straight line with my level. That is my first stripe, 12 inches wide, and it is in the center of the wall.
4.) From there, you just move over 12 inches, draw your straight line with the help of a level. Repeat until all of the stripes are drawn. Tape and paint!
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This is how it’s done if you are doing an entire room:
1.) An entire room will have an even number of stripes. This way the colors will alternate and the same color will not meet at the start/end point. The first step is to measure the room horizontally if your stripes are vertical. If you want horizontal stripes, measure the room vertically. (TIP: Horizontal stripes make the room look wider and vertical stripes make the room look taller.)
2.) Once you have measured the room, you will decide how many stripes you want OR how wide you want your stripes. This is where you will do some math. If your room is 648 inches and you want to paint 50 stripes, you take 648/50 = 12.96 Each stripe will be almost 13 inches wide. If 13 inches is too wide or not wide enough then change that 50 to a higher or lower number until you find the width of stripes you want.
3.) For vertical stripes, I start a room in the corner by the door. (This way if your measurements aren’t exact, it’s almost impossible to notice when you reach the end in the corner by the door.) Just use your level to measure the nearly 13 inches, draw a straight line and work your way around the room. (Yes, that is a bow holder I made for my daughter. Click here to see how I made it.)
For horizontal stripes, I start in the middle of a wall in the middle of the room. If the room measures 108 inches vertically, for example, divide it by two. 108/2 = 54. Find that spot (54 inches from the baseboard or ceiling) and mark it. Since the stripes are going to be 12.96 inches wide, I will go up 6.5 inches and start drawing my straight line with my level and then go down 6.5 inches and draw another straight line with my level. That is my first stripe, it’s about 13 inches wide, and it is in the center of the wall.
4.) From there, measure about 13 inches above and below, then draw your straight line with the help of a level. Repeat until all of the stripes are drawn. Tape and paint!
And if you want to go bananas and paint a wall with the chevron pattern, you can watch this video to help you along, or follow these simple steps:
1.) Measure the wall horizontally and divide by two to find the center. Measure the wall vertically and divide by two to find the center. Use a pencil to mark this center. This is your starting point. (Only measure what you will paint, so do not include the baseboard in your measurements.) This is to ensure the chevrons are the same everywhere, so you don’t have a funky looking pattern on one side or the top or bottom.
2.) Decide how big you want your chevrons to be. For my wall, I chose 10 inches – not huge, but not too small. The smaller, the busier it’ll look. Remember the starting point we made? Use a level to measure 10″ above it and make another dot with your pencil. Do the same thing below your starting point. You should have three vertical dots on either side of your starting point.
3.) Now, you are going to use the 45 degree angle part of a level to make the chevrons. (Did you ever think you’d use that part?!) I’m also making these 10″ across. I start at the dots (we made in steps #1 and #2) and just move along the wall, flipping the level as I go to get that perfect 45 degree angle, drawing 10″ lines (up and over, down and over, up and over, down and over, etc.) Follow this pattern until you have drawn the chevrons on the entire wall.
4.) Use those pencil chevrons as a guide to tape your wall. Put the tape around the section you are going to paint. When you put your tape on the wall, apply the tape just over the pencil marks so you paint over them. Also, you will want to overlap the tape at the points so it should look like a little X. The X acts as a guide when you use your razor to cut off the little extra to create that perfect point. (There is no need to cut the tape that point to the area you will not be painting. When you are done taping and you look at the wall, the area you will paint in, will appear a little larger than the area above/below it.)
5.) Paint inside the area you have taped off and rip off the tape before the wall is completely dry.
This takes patience, but stripes and chevrons look so pretty when it’s done. Happy painting!