Handyman | Bill Ruisinger

Updated: 2012-11-19T20:04:56Z

By Bill Ruisinger


Q. I want to paint stripes in my son’s room. I keep seeing different painting tools out there. Are any of them worth it? Or is painter’s tape and a good roller the best bet?

A. It’s true there are many tools out there that appear to make painting easier. I admit that I haven’t tried all of them.

Stripes on a wall can be challenging. Much like any painting project, the key is in the preparation and materials. Laying out your stripes properly is the first step. Remember, not every room is square. Take this into consideration when laying out your stripes.

Sometimes it’s best to start in the middle and work out from there. This works for horizontal and vertical stripes. Just note that you may have to “fudge” a little when working toward a corner. Smaller or more uneven stripes are easier to conceal in the corners.

From my experience, the best tape to use is 3M Blue Painter’s Tape. There are other tapes that may work just as well, but that’s the one I’m most familiar with. Once you place it on the wall, make sure to press the edges down firmly so paint can’t seep beneath your tape edge.

Whichever tape you use, pay attention to the instructions. Some tapes have a seven-day clean release, some less. The longer you leave the tape on the wall, the harder it may be to remove. Painting with a 3/8- or 1/2-nap roller will give you the best texture.

Also, remember to plan for the future. When painting stripes, you may leave ridges or uneven surfaces that may be difficult to paint over in the future without a lot of sanding or additional prep work. Good luck with your project.

Bill Ruisinger is owner of Paint Pro Inc. of Overland Park.

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