Thursday, January 28, 2010

Painting Stripes Tutorial we finally talk about how to paint perfect stripes- without any bleed-through of paint.

I first want to start by telling you that it is true. Prep work is the most important part of painting and the details that you pay attention to during that time will make or break your finished product.

The first step is to paint your base color. Now, with Smiles' room here I did a light blue on top and dark blue on bottom, with red stripes in between. So, for my room, I painted (with the help of Handsome's mom) the top part light blue and bottom dark blue. No need to be perfect in this section, though you do want to make sure that your line is within the range of level. I chose to go around the room with a laser level and put up a strip of tape to show my line. This way I kept within my boundaries with no question.

Next, after the base color is done, you decide how thick you want your stripe/stripes to be and where you want them to be. I recommend using a laser level like this:

There is a pin that sticks into the wall, then you hang the level on it.

The laser has an auto level setting and it will bounce up and down until it finds "level", then you just take your tape and follow it's edge along the line of the laser. Easy as pie!

Make sure you let the paint dry well before putting tape up by the way. If it's not good and dry then you will have problems later.

First go around the room for the top of your stripe and then the bottom of your stripe. If you go with more than one stripe then you will need to do the top and bottom for both. I decided to have my section between stripes be the thickness of my roll of tape (because I am lazy), so that counted as the top of the bottom stripe and the bottom of the top stripe. See the middle strip of tape there? That's the one I am referring to. (Pay no attention to the "off" color there. That's just where my tape guide that didn't matter between light and dark blue was...)

Still with me?

Okay. So you get your tape up. Next comes the hard work, which is also VERY important work. I can't stress to you enough how important it is that you do this next part very thoroughly. It's the step that determines if you have any touch up to do or not...and with stripes, you do not want to have to do touch up. ICK.

Step 1: Go around the room and rub the parts of the tape that will be touching the stripe color firmly. You are trying to get all spaces out from between the tape and the wall so that paint can't get through. Handsome was my beautiful assistant for this part and he liked using an outlet cover. You know, those things that keep us from getting into the outlet when we want to...all in the name of protecting our children, when in reality Smiles has NO issue getting them out...yep those things. Handsome used the rounded edge part of the top. It didn't scratch the wall, but got good contact for wall and tape. Use whatcha got. Mothers are inventive people.

Step 2: Now is the interesting part. I'm sure you know step 1, but step two is GG's secret (from a painting book I think). GG is my mom's mom.

Go around the room again and fill ALL the stripe-touching parts of the tape with paint in the color that is under the tape. Does that make sense? this case, the very bottom strip was "filled" with dark blue, all other parts were filled with light blue.

I think an illustration is required here...

In the photo above, I have started brushing paint in an upward motion on the top and downward motion on the bottom strip of tape. Both are in light blue because both have light blue under the tape. Got it?

Now, let's elaborate on the detail part. You want to make sure you fill all the gaps in the tape with the base color of paint. Any gap that is left will fill with the stripe color of paint. We don't want this. (You can see an example of bleed-through on the odd colored stripe that was left from my tape between blues earlier in the photo above...not pretty.)

The good thing is, you can pretty easily see the least, I think so. If you have vision that requires glasses then I am not sure. Here is what you are looking for:

Can you see it there? It helps to fill your brush often without too much paint because you don't want the paint to drip, but you do want it to fill the gaps. You will want to brush in the direction that you are wanting to fill. If you are filling the "down" part of the tape, then brush down. It fills better. (On a side note, filling the downward part is much easier than if you are doing the "up" or sides for vertical stripes.)

Finish this the entire way around the room and let it dry.

Step 3: If you are using a color that requires primer, as my red did here, then this is the time to prime your stripe zones. Paint the inside of the stripes with the primer. I have not captured this part in photos for you, but I do want to say that if primer is recommended- by all means, USE IT! Don't try to skimp when you need primer. You will be happy in the end if you do this bit of prep work.

If you don't know when to use primer, always ask the person in your paint department when you buy the paint. Tell them what color will be going over what and they can usually help you. Red almost always will need primer, but especially when you are going over a light color.

Step 4: Paint your stripe color in the stripe zone. That part between the tape = the stripe zone. Do as many coats as necessary to get an even coat. I also recommend buying one of the little rollers for this. It makes for much prettier stripes with no brush marks. Because who wants to see the brush strokes?!? Not me!

Step 5: Let the paint dry.

Step 6: Peel off the tape! Now you have your stripes. (The tape is the most fun part, don't you think? It's like revealing the new room. I love it!) You should be revealing perfect stripes if you have done all your prep work properly. See how smooth and crisp that line is?

This is where I did the work of my stars. If you want to do something like that then you have to figure it out mostly on your own. I taped my stars out on the wall, filled the tape like I would with stripes around the inside part of the stars. Then after letting it dry I used my primer, then painted my coats of red paint letting it dry between each. You can cheat on something so small as a star with a hair dryer if you want to hurry things. Don't get too close to the tape, as you don't want to heat it to the wall and make it impossible to get off. It will make your time between coats a little less long.

And yipee skipee, you now have stripes.

I also have large paper mache letters with Smiles' name in red that go above his crib, but they were drying when I took these photos...and I like to keep his name private from weirdos on the web anyway...but that's another idea for you if you like.


Vicky said...

Okay, I read the directions. And I understand the theory.... but I'm pretty sure I still lack the skills.

So, let's make a deal... someday if I want my kids to have striped walls so they can be just as cool as your kids, I will hire you...

Otherwise, I think my kids are going to have to grow up with white walls. Though I suppose it may not matter, since I intend to line every wall of my house with bookshelves... :)

MoonDog said...

well us wierdos on the web are happy to know how to paint stripes. = ) I just painted the girls room blue and they want something 'different' so maybe I will try stripes. I havent cleaned up or put down the carpet yet so there is still time.

Mom said...

If you will come help me pick out some pretty colors we can see if I can follow your tutorial and paint some stripes in my bedroom. I think the painting skills skip a generation if ya know what I mean.

Best Fantasy and Science Fiction said...

I am glad to see my tape rubbing skills and excellent use of the common object made it into this post. Daddy's are creative too in their own way.

At least the outlet covers keep the dog and cat from putting their wet noses into the sockets. Thats a plus. ;)

Excellent tutorial my dear!

Bethany said...

Lots of stripes here in my house and this is how we do it too!