We really wanted our bedroom to be a serene and peaceful space, but we wanted to add some texture and visual interest to the walls. We decided that a sheen stripe would be a perfect way to add some detail while still keeping it very calm and light.
The sheen stripes are more noticeable at different times of the day, depending on the light, but they always add just a little extra design character to the room. They are hard to capture in a photograph, but are much more apparent in person. I did my best to capture a few of the stripes to give you an idea of what the technique looks like on the wall.
If you have ever striped a room with paint, you know that it takes some time and effort! But, I just love the end result. You could use this exact same technique with 2 colors if you want colored stripes.
Since we were striping with sheen, we used eggshell and semi-gloss paint. We first painted all of the walls with a base coat of eggshell. By painting the whole room first, you get to tape only one set of stripes instead of two! That is a big time saver. I would recommend allowing the base coat to dry overnight before moving on to the taping off step, to make sure it is good and dry!
The second step is to measure and mark the stripes. We made each stripe one foot wide in our room. I used a yard stick and a pencil to measure and mark along the ceiling and the baseboards. I would recommend starting in an inconspicuous spot, like behind a door or a less visible corner. When you get to the end of the marking, if you have an odd length of wall left, it will be less noticeable in a less visible spot in the room. As you are marking out your stripes, it's ok if they aren't exact in the corners. For example, if it was 11.5 inches to a corner, I would just mark the corner rather than taping off 1/2 an inch onto the next wall. After you have worked your way around the room and are getting within several feet of where you started, measure the space left and see if you have an odd number of inches. You don't want to end up with a 4 inch stripe left over. For example, if you find that you have 54 inches instead of 60, make each of the 5 last stripes just under 11 inches each instead of 12. The overall effect of the stripes will not be impacted if they aren't all exactly 12 inches, especially if your ending spot is in a less conspicuous spot in your room.
For the next step, you need chalk and a chalk line (ours was from Home Depot.) Basically, it looks like a tape measure with a string that pulls out and the inside fills with chalk. When you pull the line out, it is covered in the chalk. You'll need someone to help with this step! Hold the end of the string line at the ceiling on your pencil mark. Pull the base to the floor, pulling the chalk covered line out. Line up the string by the base with the bottom pencil mark and pull it very taut along the wall! Using two fingers somewhere near the middle, pull the string back and release it so that it pings the wall, leaving a chalk line behind. You will need to do this with each set of pencil marks around the room. (Hint: I often use a level lined up top to bottom along the string for the first few lines on each wall to double check that the line will be straight up and down before I make the chalk line.) I upped the contrast in the following photo so you can see the 2 faint chalk lines.
Next, I walk around the room and use a small piece of tape in the middle of every other strip to mark off where I am not going to paint. This makes it a lot easier to keep track of every other stripe while you are taping off and painting.
Now, you are ready to tape off your lines! I would recommend the 3M Delicate Blue Painters Tape. It does a great job of protecting your base coat of paint, especially if it was just painted in the last day or two. Be sure that as you tape your stripes, you line up the outside edge of your tape with the chalk line, putting the width of the tape inside the stripe that you are not painting! You will be alternating with the tape to the right of the line, tape to the left of the line. Otherwise, you will end up with uneven stripes! If that doesn't make sense, use your ruler to double check the width of the stripes you are going to paint as you apply your tape until you get the pattern of taping.
We taped the baseboards only on the stripes we were painting, not worrying about taping the bottom of the stripes that were not being painted. In a large room, this saves quite a bit of tape!
Lastly, paint the stripes! We used our semigloss paint for this step. If you are painting with two colors, you will use your second color. You'll be painting the stripes without the little tape markers in them. Let them dry for an hour or two, then carefully remove your tape! You might have visible chalk lines peaking out in some spots. Let the paint dry well for a few days, then you can go back with a small cotton rag and rub off any visible chalk.
I have also seen stripes painted horizontally for a different look. You can use this same process, but instead you will mark top to bottom on your walls rather than side to side. Check out Layla's beautiful horizontal stripes in her reading room at The Lettered Cottage here.