Monday, September 13, 2010

How to Paint Straight Lines - Tutorial

I've had several people ask me lately how I paint straight lines. I've painted a lot of borders and stripes in my day and have developed a few tips I'd like to share. I wouldn't say I'm a pro, by any means, but this is a really simple technique and gives a great finished look. I did this recently in my girl's rooms and the lines turned out so straight - I didn't have hardly any touch up to do. And it works especially well on textured walls!

Supplies needed...


* Level

* Painter's Tape

* Chalk pencil (Found in the sewing isle at Wal Mart or the fabric department of stores like Hobby Lobby. I prefer to use chalk pencils instead of regular pencils because you just wipe away with a damp cloth any marks you don't want and you don't have to worry about erasing.)

* Paint brush - I prefer to use a thin, 1 1/2" angled brush (easier to control)

* Paint & paint can opener (duh!)

First, paint your base coat...


Second, mark your lines with a level and chalk pencil...


Third, use painter's tape to tape off along your drawn chalk line. Be sure to press down on the tape pretty well. A credit card works really good.


Fourth, using a small amount of your original base coat on an angled brush, paint the area into the grooves of the wall where you want the stripe or line at the tape's edge. This will fill the grooves from the texture with the original base coat paint and is the big "secret" for getting super straight lines. Let this dry well - at least one hour.


Fifth, paint the area you want striped with a different color. You could also use the same paint color but do a different gloss - i.e., flat paint as your base coat then do the stripes in high gloss. You may need a second coat if the first coat didn't cover very well.


You do not have to wait on the paint to dry. After you have good coverage, carefully peel off the tape and reveal your BeAuTiFuL work!


I just made this stretched canvas for one of my girlz on Artscow.com - one of my new favorite sites for creating photo gifts. It was very simple to make and I purchased it on sale for only $15 with no shipping!

Good luck with your next painting project! I'd love to see pics! :-)




Design Dazzle

3 comments:

Leslie said...

Love it! I never would have thought to paint the stripe of base coat first but that makes total sense. Thanks! Now to convince Troy that I "need" to paint something ;o)

The Little House That Grew said...

How did you get the lines so straight? Everytime I try that technique, paint seeps under the tape and it looks awful. Espicially when painting on textured drywall. It looks great!

christy said...

As long as you paint a coat of your base coat on top of your tape and purposely paint into the seeps, it should fill the texture with your base coat. Let that dry real good then do your color on top of that. I also press the tape down real good and purposely paint away from the tape and not into it with the 2nd color. I hope that helps! ;-)