a yellow herringbone pattern on a tabletop
Photo: Wendell T. Webber


If you like the ordered feel of geometric lines, you'll love what a paint comb can do for you. It offers an expedient way to work a pattern of evenly spaced parallel stripes into glaze. How you apply them—in squiggles, chevrons, a crisscrossing design—is up to you.

We blocked out a bright, bold herringbone on the old laminated table here to inject some eye-opening zing into a breakfast nook. It's a lively twist on an age-old pattern and much easier to execute than it might seem. Just tape off rows and drag a comb diagonally across half of them in one direction, then half in the other.

You can buy a comb, or, for a more homespun look, craft your own by snipping teeth out of a plastic lid or putty knife.
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    Tools List

    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure and pencil
    • 3-inch painter's tape
      3-inch painter's tape to mask off the herringbone stripes
    • plastic putty knife plus extra for graining comb
      Plastic putty knife to seal edges of tape, plus an extra if you're cutting one up to make the comb
    • mini-roller
      Mini roller and foam cover
    • roller tray
      Mini roller paint tray

    Shopping List

    1. Paint comb (optional)

    2. Latex paint in two colors, one for the base coat and one to tint the glaze coat

    3. Clear acrylic glaze to create a semitranslucent, luminous top coat with an extended working time