Step 1: Tape
Begin by placing painter’s blue tape around the edges of the ceiling, windows, doors, floor trim, and any other woodwork or trim that is not being painted.
Step 2: Prep Walls
Using a cloth or cellulose sponge dampened with water and a little mild dishwashing liquid, wipe down the wall(s) to be painted to remove dust. Rinse the walls with clean water to remove soap residue.
Step 3: Plan
Decide on the size and direction of stripes you want to paint. Keep in mind that vertical stripes are recommended in most spaces, since they elongate the room and make ceilings appear higher. Horizontal stripes work best in lofty spaces―but any more than three horizontal stripes can look too busy. When it comes to color, let the fabrics, patterns, and other shades in the room be your guide. (Love your seafoam ottoman? Go for it!) Measure and calculate the total area of the wall(s) being painted to determine how many stripes for which there will be room. It’s useful to draw a blueprint of the room’s dimensions and map out the stripes on paper, tweaking the size of the stripes to suit the dimensions so that all stripes will be of equal size.
Step 4: Measure
Using measuring tape, a level, and a pencil, mark the top and bottom lines of where each stripe will go. Then make a light pencil mark between them along a straight level. (Be very precise here, as any mistakes will be obvious! You will probably need to enlist a helper to hold the level while you draw the line.)
Step 5: Tape (Again)
Place painter’s blue tape along the pencil line outside the area to be painted. Press firmly so the sides of the tape are flush with the wall or you risk jagged lines.
Step 6: Cut In
Position a sharp straight edge on top of the painter’s tape so that the edges of both the straight edge and tape line up. With an angled brush, paint lines against the border of the straight edge. This ensures that the margin will be clean.
Step 7: Paint
Using a roller if the stripe is thick or a brush if thin, apply color between the taped-off areas using the W technique. Roll on a W pattern, and then fill it in without lifting the roller. Continue in sections until you’re finished.
Step 8: Apply a Second Coat
Allow the paint to dry for about an hour then put on a second coat. Once all stripes have just about dried―several hours at least―remove the tape. If you wait until it’s fully dry, you could peel off paint with the tape.