How to Paint Zebra Print on Your Wall

by Annabeth Kaine
Add safari flair to a room with zebra-inspired wall treatments.

Add safari flair to a room with zebra-inspired wall treatments.

Jupiterimages/ Images

Bring the safari indoors by creating zebra-print wall treatments. The black and white base colors allow you to add pops of color throughout the room with bold accessories. Zebra print is a natural camouflage in the wild and no two zebras have the same stripes. Work this to your advantage when painting zebra-striped walls; if you make a mistake, the stripes still look natural. It is possible to overwhelm a room by painting all the walls with zebra stripes, so pick one to two walls or a border to apply this technique.

Items you will need

  • Sandpaper
  • White primer
  • Tape measure
  • Zebra stencil
  • Drop cloth
  • Painter's tape
  • White paint
  • Black paint
  • 2 paint trays
  • Paint roller
  • 2 small paintbrushes
Step 1

Sand over any rough spots on the area you want to paint with fine sandpaper. Use fine-grit sandpaper to avoid removing too much plaster from the walls. Rub the sandpaper gently over dings and scratches to smooth out the painting surface.

Step 2

Place a medium-to-heavy drop cloth on the floor to avoid costly painting accidents.

Step 3

Tape off any windows, doors and electrical outlets to protect them from paint drips or spills. Painter's tape is sold at most home improvement retailers.

Step 4

Paint all of the walls or border you want to apply zebra-striping to with the white primer. Use a broad roller to apply the primer. Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer's directions, typically 12 to 24 hours.

Step 5

Measure from the bottom to the top to find the middle of your first wall or border. Begin with the center of the wall or border and work your way out toward the corners.

Step 6

Tape your stencil in place with painter's tape. Taping the stencil in place allows you to paint with both hands instead of holding the stencil and painting.

Step 7

Start with your first black stripe and fill it in completely with a small paintbrush. Alternate stripes and leave every other stencil stripe empty for the white paint.

Step 8

Fill in the white stripes with white paint. The established pattern will alternate between black and white stripes of differing widths.

Step 9

Remove the stencil and line it up with your painted stripes. Tape the stencil to the wall on the top and bottom of the stencil to avoid paint smearing. Continue alternating black and white paint stripes.

Step 10

Repeat Steps 6 through 9 until your wall or border is complete. Allow one full day for the paint to dry before replacing furniture and curtains in the painted room.

Step 11

Remove the painter's tape from the windows, doors and outlets and pick up the drop cloth after the paint is dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not worry about minor painting imperfections -- they add to the natural design of zebra print.
  • Always open a window or turn on a fan when painting to avoid breathing in paint fumes.
  • Stop painting if you feel dizzy or light-headed and leave the room. Open a window or turn on a fan to help ventilate the area.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images