How to Paint Bands and Fine Stripes

Liven up accessories by painting stripes on them with these step-by-step instructions.

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Whether thick or thin, stripes can add flair to your decor. Here's how to apply them:


Materials and Tools:

low-tack blue painter's tape or white artist's tape
level or ruler
paint or stencil brush


1. Paint the piece in the desired base coat color and let dry thoroughly.

2. Measure and mark the desired width of the stripes with light pencil lines. Carefully place tape next to each line and burnish or rub the edges only (this decreases the potential to remove any base-coat paint).

3. Paint the exposed surface as desired and let dry. Carefully and slowly remove the tape.

Fine Striping

Materials and Tools:

ruling pen
coins (quarters)
acrylic paint
round and liner brush
paper towel


1. Paint the piece in the desired base-coat color and let dry thoroughly.

2. Slowly thin a bit of paint with water for a flowing, ink-like consistency with slight body.

3. Load the brush with paint and twist it on a palette to remove runny excess. Open the slot area of the ruling pen to a middle width position and stroke the brush tip across the slot area (the paint will slide down toward the pen's tip).

4. Wipe excess paint off the sides of the pen with your fingers or a paper towel. Practice with the pen on a test surface. If the paint flows out too quickly, it's too thin. If the paint won't stroke out, touch the pen to a fingertip, which should get the paint flowing. If the paint stops and starts a lot, it's too thick. Continue practicing until you're satisfied.

5. Tape quarters along the bottom of the straightedge to raise it up. Measure and mark the end points of a line with a pencil. Use the straightedge and ruling pen to connect the marks from point to point (be sure to hold the pen with the turn-screw side on the outside and at a 45-degree angle, pressing the pen along the ruler for guidance).

6. Complete all parallel lines first and let them dry thoroughly before creating the perpendicular lines. Touch up points of paint buildup with a liner brush loaded with the base coat color.

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