How to Make a Plumb Bob Line for Painting Wall Stripes

Use a plumb line for perfectly vertical stripes

Use a plumb line for perfectly vertical stripes


I'm in the middle of my first wall striping project. I've determined the size of the stripes, marked their locations across the top of the wall (with a tape measure and a piece of chalk)... and now I'm stuck because my husband can't find his carpenter level. What else can I use to make perfectly vertical guide lines? Please help!


The best way to make sure your guide lines are truly vertical is to use a plumb bob line. If you don't have it in your home, you can easily make it yourself:

Tie a small weight such as a metal washer onto one end of a piece of heavy thread. Then tie a knot in the other end (the plumb line between the knots should be about an inch shorter than the height of the wall), and poke a push pin through the top knot.

When you tack the plumb line to each chalk mark at the top of the wall, the line will hang plumb (perfectly vertical), from the mark.

You may want to get off your stepladder for each mark, to stop the weight at the bottom from swinging, and pin it to the wall (through the hole in the washer).

Use a pencil or a piece of chalk to mark the path of the line - a few light marks between the ceiling and floor should suffice. Repeat the process until you have marked all of the stripes.

Then, using the chalked marks as guides, mask off the stripes.

Click here to ask your own question about painting stripes.

Leave a Comment:

Homemade bob line
by: Ruth Meyer

YES! I've been looking for a technique or a way to mark straight lines. In the past, I used a yard stick but it was always too small, and most of the time I accidentally pushed it off, arghhh!!

I'll be sure to try your idea to make a home-made bob line, sounds easy enough.

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