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Paint by Numbers: How to Paint Pinstripes on Walls & Ceilings

How to paint perfect horizontal and vertical stripes on walls with simple tips from Dulux. Make any room look bigger with this easy masking tape pinstripe technique.


If the room you’d like to paint is on the small side, you might like to know about this simple trick that creates the illusion of more space. All you have to do is learn how to paint stripes on a wall. Here’s how you go about it.

Vertical striped wall paint ideas

Older houses tend to have high ceilings, which give each room a real sense of space and scale. If you live in a more modern, low-ceilinged home, you might be wondering what you can do to make your rooms feel more spacious. The answer is to paint vertical stripes. Adding vertical lines to the walls has the effect of elongating the room upwards, making the space feel taller.

Here we’ve used a combination of Denim Drift and White Cotton to create a feature wall that’s simple yet striking.

Watch how to paint a simple vertical stripe effect below.

To paint vertical stripes on a wall, you will need...


Key tied to a length of string

Masking tape

Roller and roller tray

Small paint brush

Tape measure

Your chosen paints


Step 1: Masking

First things first. You need to mask off and protect everywhere that you don’t want to paint, specifically the skirting boards, door frames and windowsills.


Step 2: Get your roller ready

Pour your background colour into your roller tray. Roll your roller in the paint to coat it evenly, then apply a first coat to the wall.


Step 3: Measure up

Once your first coat is dry, measure to the centre of your wall and mark the centre point with your chalk.


Step 4: Chalk up the string

Take a piece of string the length of the wall and run your chalk up and down it until the string is completely covered in chalk.


Step 5: Ping the string

Next, tape your string to the top of the wall, right in the middle. Pull it taught by holding on to the key you attached to the other end of the string. When it’s tense, pull the middle of the string to ‘ping’ a straight line of chalk onto the wall.


Step 6: Mask off the stripes

Using the chalk line as a guide, run masking tape down the wall in vertical lengths. Cover the whole wall with tape, then peel away every other strip of tape to leave stripes.


Step 7: Apply another coat of your background colour

Paint over all the exposed stripes with another coat of your background colour – then leave it to dry. Trust us, you’ll soon have beautifully crisp lines to be proud of!


Step 8: Paint over with your stripe colour... and reveal

Once dry, use your roller to apply your stripe colour. Paint over the entire wall, leave it to dry, then peel away the remaining strips of masking tape to reveal your new, beautifully stripy wall.


Painting horizontal stripes widens the room

If you’d like to open up your room, read on to learn how to paint horizontal stripes on a wall. The trick here is not to create too many stripes. You want a look that’s simple and stylish but doesn’t overpower the space. Here we’ve gone for a slim horizontal stripe in White Cotton, which cuts through the Pistachio Crème wall paint. Notice also how we’ve run the stripe around the corner of the wall, too. This is a neat way of widening your room out even further.


Diagonal stripes add a dash of fun

There’s no rule that says you have to paint stripes across the whole room. Sometimes, painting stripes on the walls is simply a way to add visual interest. Take this children’s playroom. Here, Steph used diagonal stripes to add a fun and playful side to the space and zone off a little reading corner in the room.


Like the idea of stripes in your home? Check out these 8 Chic Schemes Using Stripes. Or for more stripe inspiration, discover How To Paint Stripes on Walls in 7 Simple Steps.

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