Painting Stripes | A Striping Fail

Well yesterday I was on a roll doing a few projects, cleaning the garage, taking care of the garden etc, and then I also got a wild hair and tried painting stripes on a wall. I’ve been wanting to do them for a while and nothing like family coming into town to get your rear in gear. And in my case practically redoing 3 rooms in 1 week. Not really. But sort of.

Anyway…my striping attempt numero uno was a fail.


Do you notice anything wrong with that picture? I was all excited about them. I was thinking, wow, this taping off thing is easy and I was so proud for using my laser level! I was so happy I even Instagramed a pic and put on my Facebook page. I was so excited because this little hallway would finally look a little completed and not so blah.

And then it hit me. And it took me a few hours to realize this after blankly staring at my taped off wall of stripes….but I had forgotten to take into account the sections that would be painted that they actually needed to be bigger sections. So instead of just measuring 7 inch stripes like I had been doing, the stripes that I want painted should have been marked wider because when I take the tape off, the base coat would have been bigger. Hope that makes sense. It’s confusing to me. Just sit and stare at that picture blankly too and you’ll see what I mean.  Imagine painting every other section a dark color, then peeling off the tape. The stripes would have been different sizes. Oops.

I knew there was a reason I have not attempted to paint stripes before. Good times.  Now off to fix this ignorant mistake!

Fails. They happen. Go ahead and laugh, it’s ok. Ever had a striping mishap? Hopefully I will have a striped wall soon. I almost just went ahead and painted it knowing they would be off. Yes, I am that lazy.



Let’s Connect!

  • Click to Share:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
Also find me here:
  • Follow on Pinterest
  • Follow on Google+
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Follow on Instagram


  1. Well at least you noticed it before you painted the wall and don’t have to repaint, but yes strips can be a little tricky as you have found out. Measure twice paint once.

  2. One of the reasons I never attempted stripes too! Just wrapping my head around the taping/leveling (and then coming to the same conclusion you did about the different sized stripes) I just gave up & painted the wall entirely. I hope you DO do it soon though- it will be cute!

  3. WHen I painted my striped wall, It took me 3 TIMES to get the dang tape lines correct. I also put tape X’s in the section I didn’t want to paint because I just knew I would be happily rolling along….and paint the wrong section.

  4. aww, I would have just said – I mean’t to do that :) no perfection in art, right…? Right…? anyone? Bueller?

  5. I totally understand what you mean – I had a DIY upset with painting my vanity – it was lucky number 3 when I finally won against the paint color gods. I am going to tackle striping the wall in my daughters room next week. I am really nervous about it but hope it goes ok.

    Love your blog!


  6. To get around this when I was painting my daughter’s room, I just made the stripes under the tape part of the stripes. And I made all of the stripes different sizes. Fortunately, I was painting the stripes about 6 different colors so it all blends together. I didn’t want to do that much work. Hope you get it to work to your satisfaction!

  7. Don’t you just hate it when this happens. ;) Not ignorant at all. I can’t tell you how many times I start something and realize all the do overs I do until it is finished. Makes you want to jump off a bridge. :D Most of mine are sewing hiccups and a mind that wanders as it works.
    I’m about to do a striped wall *after I change the wall color now* in the basement bedroom that I’ve been working on all summer. Talk about taking forever.
    Can’t wait to see what you do with the stripes.

    Jake’s a Girl

  8. You don’t really have to measure them differently. Just put the tape on the outside of the first color that you’re painting. Then when you’re done with one color, go back and retape inside of the ones you just painted (so that the tape is on the outside of the second color you’re painting). You can probably fix the ones you did really easily. Just retape and touch it up. :)

  9. It happens to best of us!!! It will be fantastic when it’s all done tho! Can’t wait to see it.

  10. sounds like too much work to me, yep we all make blunders some turn out better then we planned others are re-do’s. I ran into that doing a faux finish.

  11. Seana Larson says:

    I had this problem at first too but I caught it before I painted. I measured out every strip to the size I wanted (example 6 inches). I used a pencil to draw a level line. Then I started taping. 1st piece of tape was below the 1st line, 2nd piece was on top of the 2nd line, 3rd piece below the 3rd line, etc… Only do this if you’re painting the very top of the wall to the ceiling. If not then reverse it. 1st piece above 1st line, 2nd below 2nd line, etc… Make sense? Took me a while to tape it right. I kept messing up. Draw the lines on the wall 1st. Helps so much! Hope this helps!

  12. I made a similar mistake with my chevron curtains. Lucky for me I noticed before I painted. Sometimes it takes a little time to wrap your head around the taping process. It is even worse when I try to make my own wall stencils!

  13. Yup I feel your pain. Been there done that. Only I was just about to take that first swipe with the roller when my hubby walked in and asked what I was doing. He said you do realize your stripes are not going to come out right. Smarty pants. I just ripped the tape off and painted it solid….needed the wall done. Hope you get your striped wall soon :)

  14. Who says the stripes all have to be the same size? I actually like when the stripes vary in size. One of the most important things when taping off stripes (I have done more than 20 rooms with stripes ~ both vertical and horizontal) is to make sure the lines are ‘visually’ straight. 99.9% of walls are not plumb so using a level won’t always make it look straight!

    Suite Designs Interior Painting & Decorating

  15. I know I’d need a second opinion before I started to actually paint (hubby would be useless in this situation, though).

  16. The first time I tired this I messed them all up the same way up I didn’t notice until after I painted.

  17. That’s why the one time I did stripes, I did them unevenly spaced on purpose!

  18. Oh, i got it after you told me what to imagine.

    It didnt seem odd until you explained what you were trying to do. I thought the thin stripe in between was intentional.

    Its okay though! At least you hadnt painted anything yet!

  19. I can relate. Hahaha!

    I enjoyed your post btw. It made me laughed. I saw this also in your IG.

    Yes, fail do happen. But the good thing is you’re learning. :)

    Looking forward for a success stripes someday. :)

  20. Oh how funny, that is something I would of done! Maybe that is why I have never attempted to do a striped wall lol

  21. I’ve had that same problem! You live and you learn! At least you figured it out before you started painting!


  1. […] So surprise, you get a full reveal instead of just snippets. :) I did however mention that I had a striping fail (not to be confused with stripping), and this was the little hallway that I was doing the stripes […]

  2. […] spelled out very clearly for me so I hope this tutorial helps you guys. After all, we already know I’m no expert in painting stripes. […]