6 easy steps | how to paint stripes and a perfectly straight line

Sometimes there is just nothing better than getting your hands dirty. I find painting so soothing. I love doing it. I like to think & process & love the quiet. I have painted every wall of every home I have owned…with my two hands (& a bit of help.)

I come from a long line of painters. My grandfather made his living running a Sherwin Williams paint store. My grandmother was the designer in the store. My mother had her own side stenciling business. I have many fond memories of just my dad & I painting together over the years. This year, I put everyone to work when they came to visit for the holidays. Between my dad, brother & I, we knocked out the big playroom in one day. Which was great! AND…after several of you begged me to share how I painted my stripes in the foyer, I thought I would get my camera out to show you just exactly how to paint a perfectly straight line on a curved wall! This technique has SO MANY applications. STRIPES!! (just add in some math) Painted headboards. Chalkboards on walls. Chevron patterns. The possibilities are endless…(get inspired here) So here’s how!


  • a long level (48 inches recommended)
  • frog tape (the GREEN, not the blue stuff! TRUST ME! More info here.) found exclusively at Lowe’s.
  • a clean, dry rag
  • all purpose caulk that is PAINTABLE & dries CLEAR
  • paint


1. MAKE A STRAIGHT LINE USING A LEVEL. I was re-painting this room, so I already had used the long (48 inch) level to mark straight lines. So that made it easy. But you’ll need to start there to ensure a straight line. I usually run the tape down the level when taping off stripes (instead of chalking off the wall.) It helps to have a second set of hands to do this, but I have only done it alone! *sidenote: You can see from the image below that I learned a lesson the first time around, which I corrected this time. More on that in a bit…but notice the white caulk dried behind the sagey paint edge…not so great.

2. RUB THE TAPE WITH YOUR FINGERS, & THEN A RAG to get a clean seal. This two step process works wonders on this terrible Texas texture. I have never seen anything like it! 
If you do not get a good seal, you will not get a straight line and/or your caulk will seep under the tape, as seen in the first picture. Below is an example of a BAD seal. 
You want to get a solid but thin coat of caulk. Wipe excess off the wall. Your main focus is the seam. 
once it has dried. I waited about an hour or so. Just until it was not tacky anymore. I used a brush (I prefer Purdy brushes) to cover the seam.
6. PULL TAPE OFF AT A 45° ANGLE! This is VERY important. This breaks the seal from the caulk & the tape in a crisp line. If you try to pull straight up, the caulk might lift & you will have a mess.

& just to make sure you know that lime green isn’t some hideous design disaster (it’s Valspar La Fonda Olive), I thought I’d give you a peek at my playroom-in-progress! I painstakingly sewed the [lined!! grommetted!!] curtains myself. You can see my two wall ledges above the magnetic/chalkboard wall peeking out. I will eventually cover that little brown chair in a fun fabric. Next up: trashing the back cushions of my couch & replacing them with giant 30×30 feather pillows. I will be sewing mismatched but coordinating pillowcases for each pillow. :) Just as soon as I can pick the rest of the fabrics! I hate those couches, but they are sort of the perfect pieces of don’t-care-about-you furniture for a playroom. I think I will get slipcovers for the bottom half eventually. But I can never find slipcovers with decent ottoman covers too. Suggestions?

& lastly…getting some positive feedback on the DIY posts…would you do me a favor & click the “like” button below this post…if, of course you like this? I do love comments, but if you don’t have time, just hit the “like” button so I know this is the kind of thing you enjoy. This will give me a really great idea of what the hot topics really are!! :):):)

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Hi! Hello! I am Shawna, the founder of Styleberry Blog. This creative corner of the internet has become a learning haven for moms and creatives, offering a warm and encouraging nudge to those who wish to be better and do better, but often don't know where to start. From Decorating to DIY to Diapers and Paleo-ish Dishes, I strive to make the complicated simple and empower women to take action beyond their personal comfort zone. I subscribe to the Shine Theory & so strongly believe that we shine when the women around us shine and mutual support—lifting up instead of tearing down--will always be the culture here. Are you in? I hope so! Beyond the computer, I run Styleberry Creative where I work with clients to create low fuss, high function spaces that are pretty and practical in San Antonio, Texas and beyond. I LOVE making a house a home. My own studs out renovation is now complete and I am now back to working with clients. Please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you'd like to work together! I hope you’ll join me on this fun new adventure! Xo.