How To Fix Paint Bleed on Stripes | Tape Bleed | DIY Painted Stripe Wall
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How to Fix Paint Bleed to get a Perfect Striped Wall

Maybe it’s just me, but DIY-ing your home into a thing of beauty is tough work.  Everyone online makes it look like so much fun.  And don’t get me wrong, it is!  But it’s also a lot of blood, sweat, and tears – especially when you paint stripes on your wall and end up with tape bleed.  (Don’t worry, I’m going to show you how to fix paint bleed on stripes!)  Maybe I’m just too much of a perfectionist.  Maybe I put too much of my personal identity in my home and the way it looks.  Maybe I just rush into things too fast with grand expectations.  Whatever the case, whenever I makeover a room in my home, it ends up being an emotional roller coaster.

My Hall Entry Update was supposed to be an easy, quick DIY project done on a Saturday afternoon.  It was a small project, but one that I was hoping would make a BIG impact in my home.  But after a week of pulling – no, scraping 30-yr-old wallpaper off the walls, I was done!  Not done as in the project was completed.  Done as in I was SO over it.

I was tired and exhausted.  I had put in so much effort and still had miles to go to make this outdated entry into a thing of beauty.  I was ready for Mary Poppins to show up, snap her fingers, and make paint auto-magically appear on all my walls!

Truth is, that didn’t happen.

That doesn’t happen in life either.  There’s no auto-magical way to clean up the brokenness in your life.  You see, 30 years ago someone put up wallpaper in my house.  And I’ve been living with it ever since.  I’ve been ignoring it, trying to wish it away with my mind, trying to cover it with pictures and art.  But the only way I was going to get rid of that wallpaper was to take it down, piece-by-little-bitty-piece.  You have to do the work to uncover the beauty.

I felt, though, that I had done enough work at this point and I was ready to have my entryway back.  You see, I was SO close to the finish line I could see it.  I had scraped my walls smooth.  I had patched the holes.  I had sanded every inch of them.  I had painted my base coat color.  I had done my drawings and taped out my stripes on the wall.  All I had left to do was paint the silly stripes.

But I was tired and exhausted, and when I get that way, I get sloppy and mistakes happen.  Mistakes that usually aren’t huge or life-altering.  But the kind of mistake where I realize if I had taken a little more time and care, this project would have turned out better.  Mistakes that make me cry or storm off because things aren’t going my way – like when my new curtain hardware goes right through the gypsum board or when my stripes end up looking like this:


As I removed the tape from my wall – excited to see my design and hard work pay off – I found not perfect, clean, crisp stripes, but rather ugly, feathered edges.  Yup, tape bleed.  Disappointed wasn’t the term.  More like devastated is how I felt.  How was I going to fix paint bleed on my striped wall?

I had to walk away.  There was nothing I could do about it at that point.  I was too tired, too devastated, too over this project to do anything more with it.  DIY-ing shouldn’t be this hard.  It shouldn’t make me cry.  It should be fun just like I see on all those blogs online.

But DIY-ing is a lot like life.  It’s easy to curate our photos and story online leaving out the parts that went wrong, the pieces that got broken, or the mistakes that happened.  And when we do that, we miss out on the opportunity to show something broken made beautiful.

After I regained my sanity, I spent some time googling over the next few days about how to paint the perfect stripes.  I quickly realized where I went wrong:

  1. I was supposed to use frog tape not painter’s tape.
  2. I was supposed to paint the base coat color over the tape to seal it down.  Then, paint my stripe accent color.

Well, I mean that would have been good to know a few days earlier!  But who knew there was a right way to paint stripes on your wall.  Now I needed a solution to fix it.

How to Fix Paint Bleed on Stripes

  1. Re-tape the edges of your stripes. (You will need either your base coat paint color or your stripe paint color.  I painted my base coat color over my darker blue stripe color since the blue had a feathered edge.)
  2. Paint over the edge of the tape with Matte Medium.  This ensures that the tape is sealed to the wall.  Don’t worry, it dries clear!
  3. Paint over your feathered edge and matte medium with your paint color.
  4. Allow to dry for a few hours and then remove tape.

This time when I peeled the tape off –

Voila!  Perfect stripes!

So DIY-ing your home into a thing of beauty is tough work.  That’s what I’m learning.  But I’ve also learned that mistakes, though often times associated with loss or a misstep, are really just a new opportunity – an opportunity to do something again and refine your craft, an opportunity to create something you didn’t see before, or an opportunity to embrace imperfection and find beauty in the brokenness.

Have you had a mistake or misstep in your life or home that led to a beautiful opportunity?  Share in the comments below!

Paint bleed can be the death of a project! You want a perfect, crisp, clean line or stripe but your paint ran through the tape. How do you fix it? Find out the easy way to fix tape bleed and get a perfect striped wall -- >

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