How Do You Paint a Plaid Pattern?

paint-plaid-pattern Credit: Greg Boege/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

To paint in a plaid pattern, keep in mind that this typically includes a horizontal and vertical layer of similar colors in a wide-stripe pattern. Layered on top of that is a different pattern of contrasting colors in narrower stripes.

  1. Make a plan

    Create a plan before beginning to paint to make sure the colors won't clash and to have a set pattern of lines and colors. This plan can be done on paper or on a computer. Plaid has layers, so start with the bottom layer and then decide what will go on top of that. Usually the bottom layer has alternating wide lines in two colors, and the top layer has thinner lines of bolder colors.

  2. Tape off the wall to create the vertical stripes

    Make sure the wall is carefully measured to ensure that all the stripes are the same width.

  3. Paint the vertical stripes

    This is the bottom layer of stripes. Allow the paint to dry completely before removing the tape.

  4. Tape off the wall for the horizontal stripes

    Again, make sure the wall is carefully measured to so all the stripes are the same height. Taping horizontally is a bit more difficult than vertically, so it works better with more than one person.

  5. Paint the horizontal stripes

    This is the second layer, and it will also be of wide stripes with alternating colors, most likely similar in color to the vertical stripes. Let the paint dry completely before carefully removing the tape and repeat steps 4 and 5 if another color is needed for the other horizontal stripes.

  6. Tape off the wall for the vertical lines

    The third layer stripes are usually more narrow and random. They may have one to three narrow stripes set in each of the larger stripes. Having a set pattern of some kind if important.

  7. Paint the vertical lines

    Typically these will be in contrasting colors to the bottom layers. These lines need to have a set pattern, but the pattern may, for example, include one yellow stripe and two black stripes set in each white line and one very narrow black stripe set in each red line.

  8. Tape off the wall for the horizontal lines

    This is the fourth and final layer and should have similarly narrow stripes as the other vertical top layer. It should similarly have a random pattern like the other top layer, but if there are a number of vertical lines it's best to have a smaller number of horizontal lines.

  9. Paint the horizontal lines

    These should be done in the same colors as the other top layer of narrow vertical lines. Always make sure the paint is completely dry before taping or adding another layer of paint.