CREATIVE INTERIORS: Painting stripes on a wall

By Rosemary Sadez Friedmann McClatchy-Tribune Published:

Do you like striped walls? If so, you can create that look yourself and, other than taking a little time, it really isn't that difficult.

Vertical stripes will give visual height to a room, while horizontal stripes will look dynamic while creating balance. The stripes can be wide or narrow, or two alternating colors, or you can get really creative by making a pattern of stripes with some narrow and some wide and of various widths. The colors can be simply two or you can make a statement with several different colors of stripes. The choice is yours. Here are your instructions:

First, prime the walls to give everything a clean and smooth base. Next, mark off the widths of each stripe. Once you've done that, tape the dividing lines with painters tape. If you are painting two colors only, the tape should go on the outside of the first marker line and on the inside of the second marker line, and so on. Now paint the one color on the first, third, fifth, etc., stripe zones.

You will have to be patient and let that first color dry thoroughly before doing anything else. Give it at least overnight. Remove the tape and now re-tape only on the already-colored stripes. Go ahead and paint that second color. Again, let dry overnight, then remove the tape. Now, stand back and admire your work.

What if you want to paint several colors? Still prime the surface first. The following instructions are for melding colors to create an interesting palette.

Paint the entire wall your first color, and this color should be the lightest of them all. Allow that to dry thoroughly. Mark lightly with a pencil where the second color will go. Mask off your first stripe with tape. Paint the second color next to that first color, and that should be darker than the first. Wait again (patience) until that is completely dry. Mask off that second stripe with tape. Paint the third color, and this should be the darkest color. If you plan on more than three colors, just continue as you started.

Striped walls are great in family rooms, one wall in a living room, a dining room that is on the casual side, and in children's bedrooms. Subtle colors work fine in adult bedrooms.

Remember, the width of the stripes and the colors you choose will determine the impact of the stripes. If you choose bright or contrasting colors, the look will be dynamic. Picture wide stripes of royal blue and white coupled with white furniture and a nautical atmosphere emitted by the accessories. Dynamic, right? If you choose a tonal palette, the look is more subdued.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color." For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at DsgnQuest@aol.com.

MCT Information Services

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