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How to Paint Tiger Stripes

Updated February 21, 2017

Paint walls, floors or furniture with a bold tiger stripe to show support for your favourite team, or to give a room a stylised "wild" look. Painting tiger stripes may seem simple at first, but in order to make them look like animal striping and not black-and-orange prison bars, some planning is necessary. Before you start, find photos of tigers online and in books and study the distinct and unique way their stripes appear.

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  1. Sketch out the tiger stripes on a piece of paper. Make sure the stripes intersect and are slightly wider in the middle with pointed tips on the end. You can make the stripes ragged and natural-looking or crisp and stylised, but they should never be even. When you have the basic design on paper, set it aside.

  2. Roll tinted primer on a clean wall or other surface. Use a brush for the edges of the wall or for smaller or shaped surfaces. Allow the primer to dry for three to four hours or as recommended by the manufacturer.

  3. Apply a coat of orange paint in the same manner as you applied the primer. Allow it to dry for one to two hours, then apply a second coat. If you want a more natural looking orange coat, add a small amount of off-white paint and roll or brush it into the orange so that it is not evenly mixed. Allow the orange to dry overnight.

  4. Sketch the tiger stripes on the surface lightly with a pencil, using your paper sketch as a guide. When you are finished sketching, paint the outlines of the stripes in black with a small brush.

  5. Fill in the outlines with black paint using a larger paint brush, taking care not to paint outside of the lines. Apply a second coat, if necessary.

  6. Tip

    For very crisp, stylised lines, mask the outside of the drawn tiger stripes with painter's tape before applying the black paint.


    Paint objects outdoors, if possible. When painting interior walls, always ventilate the room by opening windows.

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Orange-tinted primer
  • Paint roller and roller pan
  • Orange paint
  • Off-white paint
  • Black paint
  • Thin paint brushes

About the Author

Delaware-based Daisy Cuinn has been writing professionally since 1997, when she became the features editor for her local biweekly music newspaper. She has been a staff writer and contributor to online and offline magazines, including "What It Is!," and Slashfood. Cuinn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University.

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