The width of the stripes should vary according to the height of the walls - to counter-balance this room's 9-foot walls, I used 12-inch stripes. Your stripes shouldn't be any narrower than 4 inches or any wider than 12 inches.
YOU'LL NEED mild dishwashing detergent; painter's tape; primer; paint rollers; a paint roller tray; a fine soft-bristle edging brush; Behr's Japanese Fern 400B-6; Behr's Lemon Grass 400-B7; a level; and a straightedge.
1 Clean the walls using a mixture of 2 tablespoons mild dishwashing detergent to 1 gallon of warm water. Let them dry, then wipe down with plain, warm water to remove any soap residue.
2 Tape off window and door frames and trim with painter's tape.
3 Prime the walls. Use the roller for the largest areas and the edging brush for the trim. Let the primer dry completely.
4 Paint all four walls Japanese Fern, the base colour. Let the paint dry, preferably overnight. Apply a second coat of Japanese Fern, and let it dry overnight.
5 Starting at the baseboard, using the level and straightedge, mark the wall lightly with pencil where your stripes will be. Starting again at the baseboard, tape off every other stripe on the stripe's outside perimeter.
6 Paint the stripes Lemon Grass. Let them dry completely. Apply a second coat of Lemon Grass, and remove the tape while the paint is still wet.
Excerpted from Doug's Rooms by Douglas Wilson Copyright © 2004 by Douglas L. Wilson. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.