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How to Paint Plaid

Updated April 17, 2017

When you decide to redecorate a room in your home, paint and wallpaper are the two most popular options for wall treatments. Painting is probably the ideal choice if you want to choose from an array of colours and create a particular design that you may not be able to find with wallpaper. Painting a plaid pattern on a wall can help to create depth and interest, and whether you paint a single wall to use as more of a focal point for the room, or continue the plaid pattern across the entire room, it helps you achieve a unique design.

Remove any furniture and wall hangings from the room.

Spread a dust sheet over the floor. Also commonly referred to as a painter's tarp, a dust sheet is typically made of canvas, plastic, or paper, and protects the floor by absorbing any paint spills.

Smooth any rough or chipped edges on the wall with 180-grit sandpaper.

Clean the wall of any dust or debris to prepare the wall for painting. A mixture of warm water with a few drops of dish soap works well.

Pour some primer into a paint tray, until the tray is about halfway full, and paint a coat of primer on the wall. Allow the primer to dry completely, and although this typically takes only a few hours, you should check the directions on the can of primer to be sure.

Rinse the paint tray and dry it thoroughly.

Pour some of one paint colour into the paint tray, until the tray is about halfway full, and paint a solid coat on the wall. Allow the paint to dry completely, and although this typically takes only a few hours, you should check the directions on the can of paint to be sure.

Hold a carpenter's level near the centre of the wall and use it to help you lightly trace straight, level lines on the wall, vertically and horizontally with a pencil. You can keep the lines closer together, or space them farther apart. For a basic painted plaid wall, keep each of the stripes 1 to 2 inches wide. Make them smaller or larger as desired.

Tape along the vertical and horizontal lines on the wall with painter's tape, taping along the outside edge of each line.

Rinse the paint tray and dry it thoroughly.

Pour some of the second paint colour into the paint tray until the tray is about halfway full, and paint a solid coat on the wall. Allow the paint to dry completely, and although this typically takes only a few hours, you should check the directions on the can of paint to be sure.

Remove the painter's tape. The tape covered sections of the base coat underneath, and when you remove the tape you are left with a plaid design.

Touch up any areas with a small paintbrush, as needed, to finish the look.

Tip

If you prefer a less traditional or unique plaid pattern, use varying sized spaces between the horizontal lines, vertical lines, or both. You can incorporate more than two different colours of paint to add more interest and variety to the design. There are electric or digital levels you can purchase at hardware and carpentry stores, which secure to a wall and display a laser across the entire perimeter of the room on a precisely straight line. This can make the process of marking the lines on the wall much easier, especially if you plan to include more than one wall in the design.

Things You'll Need

  • 180-grit sandpaper
  • Dust sheet
  • Carpenter's level
  • Pencil
  • Painter's tape -- 1 roll
  • Paint tray
  • Primer - 1 gallon
  • 2 different colours of paint - 1 gallon per each colour
  • Paintbrushes, large and small
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About the Author

In 2000 Diana Prince began writing as a journalist for the school newspaper. Later, she took on a lead writing job at a locally published newspaper. Her work has appeared in various magazines and online publications. She has a degree in cosmetology, a certification in personal training and nutrition and holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and journalism from McMaster University.