How to Measure a Pattern Repeat for Wall Stripes
The repeating cluster of stripes is a pattern repeat
Question: I want to paint wall stripes in my powder room, but I don't know how to measure the pattern's repeat, so I'm stuck in planning. Please help!
If your pattern consists of only 2 stripe types
that repeat over and over (such as white/yellow/white/yellow/white/etc, or 6"/3"/6"/3"/6"/etc), you need to measure the width of any 2 adjacent stripes
in order to get the repeat's size.
In the first example, your pattern repeat will be the width of white+yellow stripes; in the second it will be 9".
For complex stripe patterns
(where you have 3 or more stripe types), you have to measure the width of the repeating stripe cluster
For instance, if your pattern looks like white/beige/brown/white/beige/brown/white/etc stripes, you have to measure the width of the white+beige+brown stripe cluster - that will be the repeat.
Why do we need the size of a pattern's repeat? It's because when you finish painting a white/beige/brown stripe combination, for example, you don't want to end up with 2 white stripes side by side at the end, now do you?
But knowing the measurement will help you avoid such silly mistakes and unpleasant surprises - just remember that when you divide the room perimeter measurement (the widths of all the walls combined, in inches) by the stripe pattern repeat, you should always get an even number
(or tweak the pattern until the number is even). Click here to ask your own question about painting stripes.