How High and Wide Should the Wall Stripe Border Be?

Where should I place the wall stripe?

Where should I place the wall stripe?


We are painting the walls in my son's room chocolate brown, with 1 orange horizontal stripe/border. My question is: how high and wide do I make the horizontal stripe?

His room is roughly 10x11' with 9' high walls (the ceiling is not being painted). I want to go all the way around the room with the orange stripe.

I am thinking a single 24-36 inch stripe (more like a band) at the picture rail level - does that sound reasonable?

I've attached a picture (see above), but I am not sure how helpful it will be, as the room has just been painted so there is no furniture. The headboard will be at about 45", which is about at the bottom 3rd of the window casing, for reference.


There are 3 best placements for a single horizontal wall stripe:
  • 1/3 down from the ceiling ("picture rail")

  • in the middle of the wall

  • 1/3 up from the floor ("chair rail")
Where you place yours should depend on the furniture in the room (its scale and the way it is arranged) and any wall accessories (planned or those already in place):

If the top part of the walls looks "bare", paint the stripe at the picture rail level to fill the upper wall space and balance out the top and bottom.

At this height, a 6 to 12 inch stripe will look best (the higher the ceiling, the wider you can go with the stripe).

But if you have tall furniture or will use lots of wall art in the room, paint the stripe at the mid-wall or chair rail level - the height of the furniture will give you a clue about which level to choose (the stripe should be visible).

24-36" bands look best here (they will usually be too heavy on the picture-rail level, unless done in a low-contrast color combination, or covered with wall art that is connected in color to the bottom part of the room).

So in your particular case, I recommend a 10" border at the picture-rail level (the bright orange color is just to show the placement better):

Optimal wall placement of a single horizontal stripe

Also, see Temperatures and Weights of Colors to learn more about how to balance different aspects of color in a decor.

Click here to ask your own question about painting stripes.

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by: Joyce Miner

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