How to Paint Zebra Stripes on Letters

by Buffy Naillon Google
Stenciling allows you to paint zebra strips on your wood or ceramic letters

Stenciling allows you to paint zebra strips on your wood or ceramic letters

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Stenciling allows you to add a decorative element to your walls, furniture and accessories. If you're working on a project that involves stenciling zebra stripes onto lettering, there are plenty of stenciling resources available to make this project a reality. By working carefully, you'll be able to paint zebra stripes on wood or ceramic letters, making decorative accessories suitable for decorative styles such as zoo days or African safari.

Items you will need

  • Wood or ceramic letters
  • Newspapers
  • Acrylic pain in white, brown and black
  • Stencils
  • Scissors
  • Architect's tape
  • Small bowl
  • Paint stick
Step 1

Find wooden or ceramic letters in a font style of your choice. When you're looking to create this craft, consider the decorating style in the room in which you'll display the letters. If you're in doubt, look for letters done in a standard font instead of a script font. It'll be easier to read the letters after you paint the zebra stripes on them.

Step 2

Spread out newspapers on your work area. Tape the newspapers down with masking tape.

Step 3

Lay the letters on your work area.

Step 4

Paint the letters with your white paint. Use a sponge brush for smooth strokes. Allow them to dry according to the instructions that came with the paint.

Step 5

Place the zebra stripe stencils on top. Make sure you experiment with the direction you want the stripes to flow before you cut down the stencil.

Step 6

Tape the stencil onto the letters using architect's tape. Ensure that the stencil is snugly in place. It shouldn't slide around on the letter; if it does, add more tape. A stencil that slides around will produce smudged looking zebra stripes.

Step 7

Mix a bit of the brown paint with the black paint in your small bowl with a paint stick. Zebra stripes range in color, often looking like they're brownish-black. Stir in equal parts of both of the paints until you achieve the hue you desire.

Step 8

Dip your sponge brush into the brownish-black paint and tap the excess paint from the brush so that it is nearly dry.

Step 9

Dab the stripes on your stencils gently. Too much force will cause the paint to leak under the stencil. Make sure your brush lands in the center of the stripe. Leave the border area for later. Get the paint as close to the edge of the stencil without touching the edge of the stencil. Allow the paint to dry.

Step 10

Touch up the edges of the stripes carefully. Use the flat tip of the sponge brush. Hold the stencil down with your finger. Move the tip of your sponge brush around the edge of each stripe carefully. If you don't hold the stencil down and don't move your brush lightly, the tip of the brush could go under the stencil, which will make your stripes look less crisp. Dab the brush along the edges of the stencil that form the stripes. Do this until all of the stripes are filled in. Allow the paint to dry.

Step 11

Remove the stencils from the letters.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the stencil is too big for the letter, you may want to cut it down so that the edges of the stencil line up with the top and bottom of the letter. This will make it easier to handle as you're working.

About the Author

Buffy Naillon has worked in the media industry since 1999, contributing to Germany's "Der Spiegel" magazine and various websites. She received a bachelor's degree in German from Boise State University. Naillon also attended New York University and participated in the foreign exchange program at Germany's Saarland University. She is completing her master's degree in educational technology at Boise State.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images