Decorative Techniques


Sheen Striping

Sheen striping is a technique that involves painting vertical stripes of the same color, but differing sheens, for a subtle, sophisticated look. It is often used in dining rooms, above the chair rail, or in areas that need some visual “height” due to a low ceiling.

For this technique, you might choose an eggshell and a semi-gloss product, which will create visual interest without being overwhelming. The sheen difference should be somewhat subtle, so a flat and a high gloss may not be the best combination. In terms of color choice, let your personal preference be your guide. If you need some direction, though, here is some advice:

  • For dining rooms, red is often the color of choice. Red stimulates the appetite -- which is why you see it on so many restaurant walls. Green is also a good color for this room, as green is the color of many foods.
  • Hallways and foyers can benefit from the a “welcoming” color, like yellow, or a shade of orange, like peach or terra-cotta.
  • Bedrooms can become serene havens or romantic escapes by using colors like pale blue, green, or lavender.

What you need:

  1. Painter's tape. Enough to stripe the entire room or object. Be sure to use painter’s tape (something like 3M’s Blue Tape) that will not stick too much and be less likely to pull up the flat basecoat when removed.
  2. Level and/or ruler
  3. Quality acrylic interior flat paint
  4. Quality acrylic interior semi-gloss paint (same hue or color as the flat paint)
  5. Rollers, paint brushes, drop cloths, paint roller trays, stir sticks, trash bags

How to do it:

Step 1:
Make sure the wall surface or object you will paint is clean and sound.

Step 2:
Paint the wall(s) with quality acrylic interior flat or eggshell paint first. Let dry completely - overnight or longer.

Step 3:
Using painter's tape and a level, mark off the area to be painted with semi-gloss paint--typically in a vertical pattern. The usual width for each stripe is 3" to 6". The larger the space, the wider the stripe should be. It might help to have a second person assist with the taping. Each flat and semi-gloss stripe should be the same width. Use the level to insure your lines are perfectly vertical.

Step 4:
Paint the area to be "striped" with quality semi-gloss paint - same color as the flat paint. Let dry 2 to 3 hours, then carefully remove the painter's tape. Have a trash can or bag handy to toss the painter's tape in.

Step 5:
Enjoy this beautiful decorative technique!

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