Tray Ceiling Ideas: How to Paint Horizontal Stripes

Add interest to a lackluster tray ceiling with painted horizontal stripes.


Materials Needed:

  • 3 - 5 different shades of latex paint
  • painter's tape
  • roller handle
  • roller sleeve
  • paint pan
  • extender pole
  • drop cloth
  • detail brush
  • measuring tape
  • pencil or marker
  • craft paper or scrap paper
  • ladder
  • detail brush or cotton swab
  • credit card or burnisher
  • chalk line

Paint Base Color

Choose a base color to paint the ceiling as well as the angled tray. Use a roller handle and roller sleeve attached to extender pole to properly cover all surfaces.


Take Measurements

Use measuring tape to determine the surface area of the ceiling as well as the height of the angled tray. Jot these measurements down with pencil and paper. Use a calculator to divide the measurements by the desired number of stripes intended for the overall look. The total will equal the proper width for symmetrical stripes.


Sketch Layout

Based on the dimensions of the tray, create a sketch indicating width of stripes (Image 1). Next, assign a paint color to each of the stripes by dipping a detail brush or cotton swab into the paint can, then dabbing paper (Image 2).

Measure & Mark Stripes

Use measuring tape and a pencil to measure and mark width of stripes (Image 1). Next, snap a chalk line along the pencil mark to create a straight line for each stripe along the tray as well as the ceiling (Images 2 and 3).

Place Painter's Tape

Once a chalk line is snapped for all stripes, use painter's tape to mark stripes that will be left as the base color and those painted with accent colors. To mark base color stripes, position tape along the inside top and inside bottom edges (Image 1). To prevent any bleeding, use a credit card or burnisher to ensure tape lays perfectly flat, void of any gaps (Image 2).

Paint Accent Colors

Starting with marked stripes on the ceiling and working downward to tray, apply paint between marked-off areas using a 2-inch angled paintbrush and rollers.

Remove Tape & Touch Up

Once all painted stripes are dry to the touch, remove painter's tape and touch up any imperfections with detail brush.

Finish With Fixtures

Reinstall any fixtures you may have removed while painting and admire the finished product.


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