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Paint Coordinating Stripes

Under $100
Project cost
4 Hours
Estimated time

  To mimic the look of a built-in, or lessen the visual weight of a chunky piece of furniture, consider carrying stripes over both the wall and piece of furniture. To recreate this look, use Sherwin-Williams Emerald® Interior Acrylic Latex Paint in Open Air SW 6491 and Origami White SW 7636. Read on to learn how easy painting coordinating stripes can be.

(This article originally appeared in This Old House magazine. Author // Deborah Baldwin. Photos // Andrew McCaul.)


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Step 1

Create a Story Stick

Once the base coat is down, measure off and mark on a yardstick the edges of 1- and 3-inch stripes, separated by 2- and 11-inch gaps; to set off the stripes, wrap the stick with short lengths of tape. Label the left and right ends of the stick.

Step 2

Mark Out the Pattern

Place the story stick against the wall horizontally and use light tick marks to indicate the locations of the stripes.

Step 3

Mark Out the Stripes

Use a level as a plumb line to draw the stripes’ edges with pencil, as lightly as possible.

Step 4

Tape Off the Stripes

Separately, first on the wall and then on the dresser, put down painter’s tape along both edges of the stripes to be painted. Let the tape extend at the top and bottom of the wall and dresser for easy removal. Draw arrows on the tape pointing toward the area to be painted.

Step 5

Paint the Stripes

Use a 1-inch paintbrush to fill in the narrow stripes and a small foam roller to paint the wide stripes.

Step 6

Roll Lightly

To discourage bleeding, load the roller lightly, running it over a paper towel to reduce excess. While the paint is still tacky, slowly peel up the tape at an angle. Repair any blips with an artist’s brush—and see if this project doesn’t make you smile.

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