Two Stripe Methods
1. The Basic Stripe: Stripes can be bold or subtle. Painting stripes on the wall can add an elegant touch to your nursery. While it's not difficult to master this technique, it will take some time—get your ruler and pencil ready!
First you need one paint color in two finishes. For a child's room that may need to be cleaned often, opt for glossier finishes that are easy to clean. For instance, satin as your base coat and semi-gloss for the stripes.
Paint the entire room with your satin-finished paint. Allow at least four hours for the paint to dry. Use your ruler to decide on the width of the stripe, somewhere between 10 to 12 inches, depending on your preference. With your pencil make small dots the width of the stripe down the wall. When you're done, place masking tape along the dotted pencil lines. Gently erase any pencil marks that are too dark or too big for your coat of paint to cover. Follow this procedure around the room to create your stripes. Keep in mind that the stripes you paint, and that will appear, should be from what you paint outside the taped lines. It's easy to get confused with all the stripes; try drawing an arrow on the tape to mark where you will be painting. Apply two coats of paint (but keep the paint coats thin). Wait until the paint is completely dry before removing the tape.
To create an illusion of height to the room, you may want to add a border at the top of the wall. Simply tape off a four-inch border and paint the top to match the ceiling.
Remember that you can also choose to do a single wall or opposing walls if you don't want to do the entire room.
2. Combing: Not looking forward to spending time with a ruler and tape, but you still like the idea of stripes? Instead of large stripes, you can paint smaller, thinner lines with the combing technique. As the name implies, you will be using a rubber paint "comb" available at most paint stores and home improvement centers. Choose two colors that contrast each other enough so that you will be able to see the stripes. Decide which color you want to be the background. After you prep the room, paint the background color. Allow at least four hours for the paint to dry. Working in small sections, add a wet coat of the secondary paint color to the base. Using the comb, draw lines from the top of the wall to the bottom. Continue this around the room, making sure not to apply too much of the wet paint at a time. You need it be able to "comb" the paint away to reveal the base color. You can add glazing liquid to the secondary paint so that it won't dry as quickly.
Again, consider painting one or two walls, or adding a baseboard partway up the wall and painting the strips below it.