Introduction: How to Paint Stripes, Gingham and Tartan

About: Hi! We are Inifinite Crafts, a small craft company with a big range of manufacturing equipment, including lasers, routers, and die casters. We specialise in manufacturing craft items, in particular letters an…

Wooden letters are a great way to personalise a bedroom. They come in all different sizes for doors and wall. This Instructable shows you how stripes, gingham and tartan are easy to paint and are an effective way of coordinating your colour scheme with your accessories.

Step 1: What You Need

Wooden Letter (this has been painted with a base coat)

Acrylic Paint to coordinate with your colour scheme (see below)

Masking tape (see below)

Paint brush (small and flat)

Step 2: Tape on Your Design

If you are trying to create a tartan effect plan your design carefully. Different width masking tapes can be used to create different width stripes. We used both frog tape and standard masking tape. They both worked equally well but the difference in colours was useful to keep track of the pattern.

For gingham ensure that you use a narrow tape and tape the strips no more than the tape width apart using the same gap across the width of the letter

Make sure that your masking tape overlaps the edges of the letter to create a neat finish and run your finger along all tape edges to ensure that it is stuck down properly. This will help prevent bleeding under the tape.

Step 3: Paint the Stripes

Using a flat paintbrush paint on the colours one at a time. For stripes a good artists grade acrylic or more than one coat may be necessary to give a good effect. However for gingham and tartan the aim is to achieve a lighter colour for the stripes with a darker colour where they intersect. Some colours of acrylic paint is naturally semi transparent (as in the green paint in this example) whereas other colours are opaque. In this case a student quality paint may be preferable or else use a wet paint brush with artists grade in order to get the variation in colour.

Be careful when washing paintbrushes that you dry them afterwards. If the paint is too thin it will bleed under the tape

Step 4: Leave to Dry

Remove the tape carefully ensuring that any paint on it does not transfer onto the letter. Leave to dry properly. This may take a couple of hours depending on temperature and paint thickness. By covering the paint with cling film you can preserve it for the next step if you are painting a gingham or tartan effect

Step 5: Paint the Rest of the Stripes

Once the stripes are properly dry you can add more. Apply the masking tape as before. For gingham and tartan the stripes need to be in the same pattern as in the previous step. However in our example the order of the stripes has been reversed to achieve the desired effect. Once again take the time to ensure the tape is well stuck down at the edges and your paint is not too thin in order to prevent bleeding. If you do get some bleeding this can be touched up at a later date if you have a steady hand

Once dry your design is complete!