I remember when I first started painting years ago, I would get so frustrated trying to get stripes with perfect edges. I inevitably would get that ugly bleed through every time. With many years of experience under my belt, I have learned a couple of different tricks I would love to share with you now.
I started a wooden sign for a baby's nursery recently and it was the perfect time to incorporate buffalo check.
Here are the supplies that I used:
wooden surface (or any surface you plan on painting stripes on)
painters tape (1" wide, but can be any width)
paint in two colors
Modge Podge or clear acrylic sealant (optional)
I started by painting my surface black and letting it dry completely.
Next, I taped off my surface with the painters tape. I taped the entire surface because I planned on removing every other strip of tape, but it also allowed me to get stripes the exact width.
This is where the optional Modge Podge or acrylic comes in. Method 1: You can lightly paint the edges where the tape meets the painted surface. Let dry completely.
Method 2 would be to paint the edges of the tape with your base coat. So here, I would paint black on the edges. Since it is my base color, it won't matter if I get it on the base coat itself.
This time, I chose method 2. It creates a barrier on the edge of the tape so that your new color won't bleed underneath and cause uneven edges.
Once that is completely dry, you can get your second color and paint your stripes (in between the existing tape). Make sure you pay attention to where you are painting to get the entire width of the stripe painted.
It looks a little messy here but no worries. It is going to come out nicely. Excuse the little crack. It just adds a little character to the wood.
I had to touch up a few stripes where I didn't get enough paint but I was careful to keep those nice edges in tact!
One could stop here but since I was doing a buffalo check, I needed to tape of going in the opposite direction.
Again, I painted the edges with my base coat color, even though now I had added the red. This is just to seal the edges of the tape. I am going to repeat and paint my red stripes going this direction too. So black first to seal edges...then red, to create the stripes.
Once the paint has dried a few minutes, remove the tape carefully. Allow to completely dry.
If you are trying your hand at buffalo check, you will need to mix some paint, half base coat, half stripe coat to get a third color. For example, here I mixed equal amounts of red and black to get maroon. If you are doing black and white, it would be equal amounts of black with equal amounts of white to get grey.
You will paint the squares where your black and red sections overlap. You do not have to tape anything off, you are just painting squares.
Paint them all, let dry, and add your finishing touches. And waaaaalaaaaaah!
Here is your buffalo check!
Hope you enjoy and lesson your headaches with painting stripes!
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