How to Paint a Striped Accent Wall

I've gotten a few requests for a tutorial on how to paint a perfectly striped accent wall since I posted our nursery wall last week.
I will say, this looks hard, but it's not hard. It's tedious, but it's not difficult, you just have to do things a little differently than when you just paint a room.

What you need for the stripes:
~A yard stick/longer ruler, preferably one with a level
~a laser level
~painter's tape
(and paint obviously, in whatever color you want the stripes in)

We painted all of the walls of the room gray to start. I chose to do this because it required less taping, and I knew I would have fewer white stripes on the wall than gray (aka, less painting of the lines, and I wouldn't have to tape the ceiling or baseboards). 

To start the accent wall, I taped off the sides of the wall and ran over them with a credit card to ensure there weren't any bubbles for paint to run through. I did not tape along the ceiling or the baseboards because my top and bottom stripes were going to be gray and therefore already painted.

Then I measured the distance from the ceiling to the top of the baseboard (mine was 91") and divided that number by 7 (the number of stripes I wanted on the wall). Luckily for me, it came out to an even 13" per stripe.

Height of wall divided by number of stripes=width of each stripe

I started measuring from the ceiling down 13" and made a little mark on the wall, moved over a little more than a foot and did the same thing, until I'd made it across the length of the accent wall.

Then I took the laser level and shot it across the wall to make sure the dots lined up. This is most important during this step because ceilings aren't always level. I made a couple of adjustments to the dots and then drew a light line connecting the dots across the wall for my first line.
(you will need someone to hold the level, and someone to eyeball it, and make adjustments--this is a two person step)
the pencil lines are faint in this photo, but you get the idea
Having a ruler with a level built in helped me with this since I lined the top of the ruler up with the line I'd just drawn, then checked the level before making my dot 13" down from the top of the ruler. This way, I didn't really need the laser level again (although I checked every time, and it was always level).
I continued this process until I had all of my stripes outlined on the wall in pencil.

Now on to the taping. Remember which stripes you're going to paint and then tape above and below the lines you just drew. You can put an x in the stripes that you'll paint so you remember, if that helps. I continued to talk it through to myself so that I didn't mess up.
(example: the first white stripe, you will tape above the line for the top of the stripe, and tape below the line for the bottom of the stripe...and so on).
 When you're done, it will look like you have some smaller stripes and some larger stripes, but that's only because you've taped off the edges of the stripes you'll be painting.
Run a credit card over the stripes to again help get rid of any bubbles that might let paint leak through.
I've labeled where the white stripes will be to help give a visual for what I'm referring to:
Here comes the extra step. You now need to paint along the edges of each of the future white stripes with the gray color (or whatever your wall color is). This seems counter-intuitive since that's not the color the stripe will be, BUT it seals in the background color from any leaks that might come through the tape, so that when you eventually put white paint on, it's already sealed with the other stripe color. Make sense?
Future white stripes, outlined in gray paint
Let this dry well. Then you can start rolling the white paint into the same stripes that you just outlined. Ours took 3 coats since the background wall color was darker, but we were able to do it with 1 pint of white paint.
after one coat of paint
Make sure that when you do your last coat of paint, you're taking the tape off when the paint is still wet otherwise the tape will pull the paint off of the walls. Pull in a downward motion to have the angle help "cut" the tape from the wall.

And voila! A perfectly straight, clean striped accent wall!
Hopefully this helps to explain the process a bit more. It took me a while to figure it out (and several attempts at talking it out to both myself and MG before each step to ensure I didn't mess something up), but I think the visuals here will help.
If you have any questions or anything is confusing, feel free to reach out and ask!


  1. Beautiful and great tutorial. I did my first strip wall 13 years ago and I was so happy it turned out great and was easier than I thought it would be. LOVE the color!!

  2. Love the striped wall, it's such a great accent!

    Whitney & Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  3. ok this totally helps me get it - even down to the taking of the tape off while wet. i really don't know if i'd have the patience for this lol. but! with someone to help i have no doubt :)

    xoxo cheshire kat

  4. We painted vertical stripes on our first nursery 5 years ago and I agree, not hard but very tedious! Yours look great and great tutorial!

  5. Turned out so good! Very professional! Chevrons are definitely next! :) XOXO, R

  6. This is such a great tutorial! I was watching along with you on Snap while you were doing it and I was so impressed with how it turned out! It definitely looks difficult! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  7. I love this!! What a sweet nursery. I've heard striped walls are a lot of work, but they're so beautiful! Yours turned out great and I appreciate the tutorial. Now I've got to find a wall in my house to stripe :)

  8. Looks so good! Thank you for taking the time to type out this tutorial, I am going to pin this for future use!

  9. Such a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Awesome tutorial! You make it look very easy. I think I would probably mess it up still though. Haha!

  11. You guys did awesome and this tutorial is really great. You explained everything in such a way that really makes it seem doable!

  12. LOVE this! The nursery came out absolutely amazing! I've always been so intimidated to attempt a striped wall, but this is a great tutorial. Thanks gurlie <3
    Green Fashionista

  13. Get it!! This turned out absolutely fabulous! Way to go!

  14. I've always wanted to paint a stripe accent wall, but I've always been really scared to do it haha! I'm in the process of remodeling my bedroom, so I might have to get brave and try it. Your tutorial is such a great one, and makes the process seem so easy!! :)

    -Chelsea |

  15. That is so smart about painting the future stripes with the original color to seal it in case the paint leaks. I would have never thought to do that!

  16. I swear painter's tape is a miracle worker! I just recently used it for another project and it took so much hassle out of measuring a million times. This looks so fabulous...and matches your blog! ;)

  17. Thanks for this. It came out so great! I've been wanting to do this in our hallway upstairs but haven't because I thought it would be hard. Lol, I'll Have to add this to the Honey Do list!

  18. Love this. You did a great job on the stripes.

  19. Definitely sounds time consuming, but doable. Love how yours turned out!!

  20. This looks so good and this is such a great tutorial!

  21. You nailed this tutorial! DG did this for his god-daughter's nursery and I was so amazed at how easy it was... but tedious is a great way to describe it! xx, I'm Fixin' To

  22. wow what a great tutorial. i know i don't have the patience for this but it looks totally worth it! It's all stripy like your blog lol. Trish - tales from trish

  23. This is SO freakin cute. I've always thought whenever we get a house and I possibly have my own office, I'd love to do this!!


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