Painting Perfect Stripes

Very few people have a steady enough hand to paint the perfect straight line.  If you are like me, I always use my trusty painter’s tape when trying to get that perfect straight edge. Despite my efforts to perfectly align my tape and rub my finger over the surface to be sure there would be no seepage, I would often feel frustrated and disappointed with the results when I peeled the tape back and found that there was still “bleeding” onto the base colour.

Please Stop the Bleeding!

Several years ago, I came across this great tutorial for making the perfect straight lines without bleeding. It works every time. Although there are a few more steps involved, it is completely worth the effort.  I couldn’t find the original, but this tutorial provides the same information and steps.  It is complete with pictures and more detailed than my description below.

In a nut shell:

  1. Measure very carefully and be sure to use a level to ensure that the finished line is perfectly straight.
  2. Tape off the line with blue or green painter’s tape (I have used both).  I always use a credit card or wooden wedge and slide it along the edge to ensure proper adhesion of the tape.
  3. THIS IS THE KEY:  Take the base colour of the wall above and below the stripe (navy in Shay’s room) and paint a thin coat of paint over the edge of the tape.  The paint will bleed under the tape, but the paint that bleeds through will be the same colour as the wall above and below the stripe.  For example, when painting Shay’s red stripe, I first painted a thin coat of navy blue over the edge of the tape, so that navy would bleed onto navy. This seals the edge and prevents the top coats of red from bleeding through.
  4. Let dry completely.
  5. Paint your coloured stripe and remove the tape.  You will get a perfect finished line every time.

You can see that Shay’s red stripe extends around his whole room.  Two of his walls are painted navy and two are taupe, but the red stripe circles the entire room, through both colours.  Obviously, when painting the red stripe on his taupe walls, I first painted a coat of taupe to extend over the edge of the tape and seal the edge from bleeding.

Another Technique for Getting the Perfect Edge

I have never used the technique below, but thought it looked like an excellent idea for when you have two different surfaces meeting.

Happy painting!

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About Cindy RoyI am a busy mother, wife and kindergarten teacher. I have a huge list of loves! I love my family, Springs Church, old houses, "up-cycling" and DIY projects, scrapbooking, volleyball, interior design, cake decorating, party planning, healthy eating, and sleeping. I am very organized and reflective, and am continually striving to do life more lovingly, passionately, effectively and successfully.

One thought on “Painting Perfect Stripes

  1. Pingback: Painting Stripes and/or Creating Clean Colour Transitions | Cindy Roy

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