How to Paint a Spiral on a Pole

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Painting a spiral on a pole can be done with only a few common painting tools.
Painting a spiral on a pole can be done with only a few common painting tools. (Image: barber pole image by Tammy Mobley from Fotolia.com)

With only a few common tools and an adequate level of patience, you can have a professional spiral design on the cylindrical columns and furniture in and around your own home. Painting a spiral design can help create a custom and whimsical look for the inside of your home, and can help dress up unsightly utility poles that are located outside.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Painter's tape
  • Ruler
  • Paint-two colors
  • Paintbrush
  • Polyurethane

Clean the surface that is to be painted with a mixture of warm water and vinegar. The water and vinegar should be mixed at a 1:3 ratio. Allow the surface to completely dry.

Paint the lightest color of the two that are to be used over the entire surface of the pole. If you are covering a darker color or an exterior surface, two coats should be applied. This layer should dry for at least 48 hours before continuing.

Determine the desired width for your stripe, and purchase the proper width painter's tape from your hardware store.

Start at the top of the pole and begin winding your painter's tape down and around it in a spiral pattern. Be sure to measure the distance between your tape edges every 6 inches to ensure that the stripes will be even.

Apply pressure to the edges of the tape after it has been placed on the pole. This will help prevent the color from seeping under its edges.

Paint the second color of the two onto your pole. It may be necessary to apply a second coat for even coverage if the under-layer is showing through.

Remove the blue painter's tape after 48 hours or when the paint has completely dried. Start at the top and slowly peel the tape away to keep from nicking the freshly applied paint.

Apply a layer of polyurethane to help keep your new spiral design safe from the sun and other weather-related hazards.

Tips & Warnings

  • Painter's tape must not be left on a painted surface for too long. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions on your painter's tape to reference the ideal removal time period.

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