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!

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 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

HOW TO PAINT A PREFECT STRAIGHT LINE

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! 
3. CHECK ALL TAPE FOR A GOOD SEAL.
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. 
4. DAB THE CAULK ON YOUR FINGER & APPLY IT TO THE WALL.
You want to get a solid but thin coat of caulk. Wipe excess off the wall. Your main focus is the seam. 
5. PAINT OVER THE CAULK
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.