How to Paint Zebra Stripes on Furniture

Written by benna crawford
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How to Paint Zebra Stripes on Furniture
There's nothing subtle about zebra stripes on the savannah or in the living room. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Zebra stripes are a can't-miss decorating statement. They are so dramatic that a little zebra colouration goes a long way. A tall dresser can handle a black lacquer finish with zebra striped drawers and black knobs. Reproduction Louis XV dining chairs are unfussy with zebra backs and seat cushions. A few rolls of tape and some paint will give you the wide stripes of the plains zebra or the narrow-striped Op Art look of a Grevy's zebra to transform a room. Try handpainted zebra stripes on a picture frame and a small wooden chest in a black, white and red room.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • White paint
  • Black paint
  • Brushes
  • Dust sheet or old newspaper
  • Clear lacquer
  • Wood frame
  • Wood chest
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Clean rags
  • Painter's tape
  • Scissors
  • Photographs and paintings of zebras

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  1. 1

    Protect the work area with dust sheets. Remove the hardware from the chest, and the glass and backing from the picture frame. Lightly sand both pieces to create a rough surface for good paint adhesion. Wipe down the furniture to remove dust.

  2. 2

    Cover both pieces with two coats of glossy white paint, letting them dry thoroughly between coats.

  3. 3

    Choose your zebra hide pattern from photographs and art. Cut wavy strips of painter's tape to mimic the pattern, wrapping the tape around the picture frame on a slant. Vary the shapes of the stripes and the negative space between them by cutting the tape edges in an irregular pattern. Place tape over the chest, running the stripes on a slant over the front, top and back. Create the rounded stripes of a zebra's hindquarters on both ends of the chest.

  4. 4

    Stand back and look at the blue tape stripes against the exposed white. Make any adjustments to the tape now. Remember, once you paint the furniture, the white you see will be black stripes and the blue taped areas will be white.

  5. 5

    Spray or brush on black high gloss paint. Allow the first coat to dry and give the pieces a second coat for a crisp contrast. When the paint dries to a hard finish, remove the tape. Protect both pieces with a final coat of clear lacquer.

  6. 6

    Replace the glass and backing, once the lacquer has dried, and add a picture to the frame. Reattach the chest hardware. Separate the pieces in the room so the zebra stripes are dynamic but not overwhelming accents.

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