Weekend project: How to paint a ceiling with stripes

In the second episode of Changing Rooms with Dulux, Russell and Jordan of 2LG Studios redefined minimalism with their smart, ice-cream-coloured stripes. Fancy something similar? Here’s how to wrap your room with stripes of colour without getting in a tangle… 

If you’re after something a little more elaborate than plain walls and ceilings in your space, wide stripes can be the perfect solution. Not only do they give you scope for combining colours, they create a striking graphic result that will make your room fizz!

In this episode of Changing Rooms, Russell and Jordan took the stripes up onto the ceiling to extend the wraparound look, transforming the room and adding character and visual interest. But how do you go about creating the effect?

The key to success, as always, is in the planning. Decide on the optimum number and width of your stripes (see the Expert tip below) and then use a template to make your life easier. Creating chalk guidelines with a piece of string and sealing your masking tape with the base colour first will also help to create crisp edges between each colour. Once you’ve mastered these easy techniques, you’ll be amazed at the professional result you can achieve. 

Watch the video to see Georgie Baker, one of the Changing Rooms A-team and a Dulux Select Decorator take you through the process or follow the simple step-by-step guide below. 

You’ll need

 
  • Paint
  • Paint stirrer
  • Paint kettle
  • Extension pole
  • Large roller and tray for base coat
  • Small medium pile roller and tray for stripe details
  • 2” synthetic brush 
  • Tape measure
  • Masking tape
  • A4 card
  • String
  • Coloured chalk

Get ready

1.    Lay down dust sheets and mask up any mouldings or light fittings to prevent paint splashes.

2.    Stir the paint and pour into a roller tray.

3.    Using a roller with an extension pole, apply a layer of the base colour (here we used Simply Refresh One Coat in Rock Salt which has a key advantage: you only need one coat!). Allow to dry for 4 hours.

4.    Measure the ceiling, then decide on the optimum number and width of your stripes (see Expert tip) by dividing the measurement equally. 

5.    Make yourself a template out of a piece of card, so that it matches the width of the stripes. This makes it quicker and easier to mark the position of the stripes at the edges of the ceiling.

6.    Create a chalk guideline for each stripe using the string technique. Secure a long piece of string at one end of your planned stripe with masking tape. Next, rub chalk along the string, stretch it across the ceiling and secure it with masking tape at the other end. Check the string is straight and then ‘ping’ it against the ceiling so it leaves behind a light chalk guideline. Repeat for the remaining stripes.  

7.    Apply a strip of masking tape to each line of chalk, framing the outer edges of your stripes. Rub down firmly.

Expert tip: Work out the optimum width for the stripes so they fit neatly into the designated space (you want to avoid having a half stripe at the edges of the ceiling). Start by marking out the central stripe as this will make it easier to mark out the stripes on either side. 

Paint your stripes

1.    Using a 2” brush, seal the inside edge of the masking tape with the base colour to avoid the next colour bleeding through. As well as ensuring the paint doesn’t seep below the tape, this also helps you get a perfectly crisp line between the colours. Allow to dry. 

2.    Fill your first stripe with paint (here, Russell and Jordan used Cucumber Water in matt emulsion) using a small radiator roller (or a larger roller if your stripes are wider). Remove the masking tape while still wet and leave to dry.

3.    Repeat the process for the remaining stripes. Leave to dry.

4.    Ta da!

Clean up 



1.    Remove as much paint as you can from your brush, roller and tray.

2.    Give your roller, tray and brush a thorough wash in water. There’s no need to use white spirit, as these paints are water based.

3.    Firmly close the paint tin and store in a dry and frost-free environment. 

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