Please, need tips on straight lines, curved lines, lettering

oceannaJune 9, 2011

I'm trying to design a project, and I'm trying to decide whether to make it more challenging, or keep it as easy as I can. LOL

- Let's say you want to paint vertical stripes on the inside of a toy box. It doesn't have to be perfect. It can be "artsy" but you don't want it to look like a drunk did it and you don't want to have to tape all the lines. Got tips on how to do it? Do you have better luck drawing lines and freehand painting within them? Or do you use some type of moll/stick/rod to paint straight lines?

- How about pinstriping? Got tips?

- Let's say you want to paint a thin-lined oval, maybe a foot and a half wide. How would you approach it?

- When painting long thin lines, is there a trick to keeping the paint flowing smoothly, rather than glopping on the sides at the beginning and running out too fast?

- How about lettering? I've seen some gorgeous examples of lettering from folks who post here. Got any tips?


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Long time since we've heard from you Oceanna, hope you've been happy and busy with lots of fun projects. ;o)

I'm going to let Painting Fool or Kraftymom or someone else who is more experienced than I am give you some answers.

Good luck with your project.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 12:00PM
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Thanks, Luvs! Nice to see you here. :)

In August we get our first grandchild, a boy. I am having a blast working on a Beatrix Potter toy box for the little tyke, as that will be the theme of his nursery. When I get the toy box done, I'll try to post pictures here. Right now it's still in the design stage.

I would love tips on any of my above questions -- what NOT to do would be good as well as what to do. I seem to be great at stumbling into the what not to do mistakes.

I've seen your lettering and it's fantastic, as is the rest of your work.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 2:09PM
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Hi yall, I do stripes on occasion but I am so frugal I do not want to use a lot of tape. So I use the same strips several times before tearing off a new strip. I have also used a ruler but you run the risk of the paint seeping underneath. Whatever you do, if the lines aren't straight, as mine usally aren't, you can white wash the entire area and it will camoflage it somewhat.

For an oval, I cut one from card stock or poster board and use it for my guide.

Be sure to have a nice liner brush, thin your paint until it is like ink, fill your brush, rolling it as you pull out of the paint, the touch the brush tip lightly on paper towel to keep it from dripping. You can use a ruler as a guide, just make sure use the very tip of the brush when painting the lines. Any pressure will cause the line to become thick.

I use my computer for lettering. I pick the font, print it, then using graphite or transfer paper, I transfer the letters to whatever I am painting. Then proceed to paint the letters.

I hope this was somewhat helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brushed By An Angel

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 8:39PM
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Thank you, Brenda. :) I didn't know we could reuse the tape -- neat! You can tilt your ruler up on it's side, then use the edge that's slightly up in the air as your guide without fear of it running under. Good tip about the whitewash. I wouldn't have thought of that.

I agree with making a template for an oval. I once used my laundry basket for a template for a large circle on the wall (I did that one in rose vines).

Yes, a computer is great for lettering. I think I need to practice painting the letters though.

Thanks for the tips!

I enjoyed your link, too. I've been in a pink mood lately, so that was fun.

Your roses are gorgeous. Did someone say you did a rose painting tutorial around here somewhere? Do you have a link to it you can share?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 11:04PM
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Oceanna...Great to see you back again and congrad on the new addition!

I agree about the tape. There is a new brand that is called "Frog Tape" It is the best tape I have ever used, including artists tapes. But always remember to remove the tape a quickly as you can and always fold the tape back on itself at a 45 degree angle away from the painted line.

As I am getting older, line work is getting harder, but I have found that a good Flat Round brush works very well, even better than a flat brush.

I watched a video by Patricia Rawlinson where she put several layers of tape on the bottom of her ruler and then used it as a guide. The tape keeps the ruler free of the paint brush. I have never tried it, so I can't say that is works or not or is easy.

I usually go back with my base color and touch up any bad lines and then go back with the color I am using on the letter.

Most of all...remember that you see your mistakes while everyone else is looking at the entire project....not where you might have made a letter thicker than another!

Again, glad to have you back and don't stay gone so long!!!


    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 12:42AM
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Hi Belle and thanks for the wb! That's good to know about the flat round brush. I don't have any of those and have been thinking I needed to get some.

Your comment about the video reminded me of this video, which shows an even simpler way (though the guy is kind of creepy, IMO):

I used to ink schematics on 30x40 mylar sheets at Boeing, and we had rulers that had cork strips under them, and also ones with slightly elevated metal strips on the sides that do the same thing. I still have them, but never thought about running a paint brush along them. I think they're not high enough, but they worked great with a rapidagraph. You could also tape pennies to the bottom. But I like what that guy does on that video -- so easy!

Thanks about the mistakes not being so noticed. I keep reminding myself of that.

I'll try not to stay away so long. I just don't do decorative painting as often as many of you. I sort of mix creative projects. I'll make a post showing you the last one I did.


Bebe, I've been reusing the tape like you suggested. Works great until the edges get a little wavy with dried paint... but then, I'm working with latex at the moment just striping the inside sides of the toy box, so it would probably be better with acrylic -- not such quick buildup. Still, I've gotten far more mileage out of my tape than I would have, thanks.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 4:39AM
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It looks like Paintingfool and Belle pretty much covered all of the bases for you. :-)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 11:20AM
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