How to Paint a Plaid Wall

Full tutorial on how to paint a Plaid Wall or a Buffalo Check Wall. It's easier than you think!

Did you see my One Room Challenge Makeover?  The focal point of the room was the plaid wall I painted as an ode to my husband.  (He wasn’t impressed.)


Several people commented on Instagram that it looked like a lot of work.  And it was a lot of work!  It definitely took longer than had I just painted the wall blue.  But it wasn’t as bad as you would expect.  It’s a small wall and the window takes up a good portion of it.  I’d guess it took about five hours from start to finish.  This doesn’t include the breaks I took to let the paint dry.

I took lots of pictures along the way so I thought I’d combine them into a little tutorial.

Here we go…

Step 1 – Get your calculator out.  I measured the total width of the wall and divided by the width of the stripes I was using (8.5 inches for me).  The whole number is the amount of stripes you will have.  Take the leftover inches and divide by two to figure out how far to start the first stripe off of the bottom of the wall.  (This will center your design on the wall so your top/bottom and left/right stripes are equal in size.)  Here’s a screenshot of the calculator on my phone.


So, on my wall (91.5 inches tall) divided by 8.5 inches (stripe width) left about 7.5 inches over.  Then I divided this by two and started my marks 3.75 inches from the ceiling.  It pays to have math skills, y’all!

Step 2 – Measure and mark your stripes.  I used a piece of paper as my guide.  This is easier to me than marking off a measuring tape.

plaid wall

Step 3 – Use a long level to mark your lines.  I lined the top of the level up with the mark, made sure it was level and then used the edge of the level to mark the line.


Step 4 – Tape all the lines.  You’ll need to keep track of which lines will be painted and tape on the outside of those.  Make sure the tape is pressed down well before painting.

how to paint a plaid wall

Step 5 – Remove tape except the tape on the trim and outer edge.

Step 6 – Repeat steps 1-4 using vertical lines.

painting a plaid wall

Step 7 – Paint the vertical stripes!

painting a plaid wall

Step 8 – DO NOT remove the vertical tape! Go back and add tape off the horizontal lines.  You don’t need to tape off the entire horizontal lines, just the part under and over the darker squares.

howto paint a buffalo check wall

Step 9 – Paint the intersecting squares a darker color blue.

painting a plaid wall

Step 10 – Remove the tape!  I touched up a few places and then I was done!

painted plaid wall


I have to admit that I freaked out a little after it was done because it was so bold.  But after I hung the curtains and mirrors it looked a lot better.  They toned it down a lot.  And now I love it!


If you have any questions, please comment or message me and I will do my best to help!  Oh and the wall base color is Almond Brittle by Pittsburgh Paints.  The light blue is Memory Lane and the darker blue is Blueberry Pie (although I mixed a little Memory Lane in there to lighten it up a little.  I’m a renegade like that) also by Pittsburgh Paints.

p.s.  I’m linking up to Home Stories A to Z, What Treasures Await and Tatertots and Jello.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *