Step 2: Design the repeating pattern

hands measuring a completed pattern to repeat when painting a striped wall
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Create a pattern of stripe widths and colors to repeat across the wall (the pattern here is about 4 feet wide). This brings visual order to the sequence of stripes and makes the project manageable. To design the pattern, print pages of each paint color and cut them into strips equal to the desired width of the stripes, such as 1, 3, and 5 inches, as shown. Your pattern can have any number of colors, but they should complement one another when viewed as a whole. We chose five colors, including white.
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    Tools List

    • swivel head pole sander
      Sanding Pole
      fitted with 120-grit sandpaper sponge
    • ¼x2-inch Stick
      cut to the length of the repeating pattern
    • four-foot level
      4-foot Level
    • small plastic putty knife
      Plastic Putty Knife
      to seal the tape before painting
    • 1-inch and 2½-inch angled paintbrushes
      Get one brush per paint color
    • mini-roller
      4-inch Roller Frame with Foam Covers
      Get one frame and cover per paint color

    Shopping List

    1. 1-inch Delicate-adhesion Painter's Tape Double the total number of wall stripes, and multiply that number by the height of the wall to determine how much tape you'll need. A roll is about 180 feet long, and you'll need a roll or two extra.2. Paint Cups with Disposable Trays Get one paint cup for each color.

    3. Paint Avoid the need for a second coat by choosing a premium latex paint.

    4. Drop Cloth