Step 3: Create a story stick

person creating a story stick to help orient someone painting a striped wall
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Rather than fumbling with a measuring tape, cut a thin strip of lumber the length of one full stripe sequence, and measure off and mark the stripes' boundaries. Use tape to extend each line evenly around the stick. Be sure to keep the tape to the same sides of the lines, and, for good measure, draw an arrow indicating which edge of each tape wrap serves as the line. Label the left and right ends of the stick, as well as the color for each stripe, to remind you how to orient it each time you pick it back up.
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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