Painting Tone On Tone Wall Stripes: Glossy and Matte Sheen Variation

Flat/glossy stripes are more dramatic in dark colors

Flat/glossy stripes are more dramatic in dark colors


I like the look of tone on tone wall stripes (where they use similar paint shades), but recently I saw a stripe pattern with alternating shiny and flat stripes, but they were in the same color. How can I create this effect?


This wall striping technique is most effective on dark surfaces - the darker the paint color, the more the contrast will show up. But it can be done in any color at all, and light tints will look very graceful and sophisticated using this method.

To create this dull/shiny pattern, you will need paint in 2 finishes (flat and glossy), OR flat paint and urethane in a glossy sheen.

The bigger the difference between the base coat sheen and that of the stripes, the more dramatic the effect (for example, a flat base with high gloss stripes will be very contrasting, while a flat base with satin stripes will look much more subdued).

1) Apply the base color paint (1-2 coats) in a flat/matte finish.

2) Follow the basic instructions for measuring, marking and taping off as described in the tutorial "Painting Vertical Stripes".

3) Roll on (or brush on, if the glossy stripes are narrow) the shiny product of your choice - you can use paint in the same color but a shinier finish than the base coat, or clear urethane (choose from satin, semi-gloss or gloss).

Keep in mind that this treatment relies on lighting for its effect. The contrast in sheen can range from dramatic to subtle - depending not only on the products used, but also on the direction and intensity of natural and artificial lighting, and on the relative position of the viewer.

Flat and glossy stripe patterns depend on lighting

The pattern is bold and clear when brightly lit, but will gradually fade away as the surface recedes into shadow.

In order to exploit the full range of contrasts, apply this paint striping technique to broad, flat walls (small surfaces such as powder room walls or those broken up by numerous windows or doors will not do justice to the beauty of the color play).

Click here to ask your own question about painting stripes.

Leave a Comment:

by: Ronald Bray

Did not know that the light and sheen of the paint can really affect the color. Will keep this in mind when it's time to repaint, thanks for the heads up.

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