How to Paint a Checkered Wall


Painting walls offers you an opportunity to customize the appearance of a room. You are only limited by your imagination. Designs, prints, and custom colors are combined to create a personalized room. Checkered wall patterns are some of the most difficult patterns to create. One option is to tape off each colored square individually. The process works but can leave uneven squares. The easiest and most accurate method for creating identical squares is also the method that takes the longest as you have to wait for paint to dry before finishing.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 colors of paint
  • Painter's tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Chalk line
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint the wall the desired color for the lighter of the two colors with a paint roller. Paint the corners and edges nearest the trim with a paintbrush.

  • Measure across the ceiling and floor with a measuring tape, making pencil marks on the wall with a pencil for the width of the squares for the pattern. For example, make a vertical mark on the wall every 12 inches along the ceiling and floor if you want 12-inch squares. Measure across each vertical corner of the wall and place marks spaced equally apart as the horizontal marks on the floor and ceiling. Each mark on the ceiling will correspond to a mark on the floor, the same as each mark in the corner will correspond to a mark in the opposite corner.

  • Stretch a chalk line from one mark near the ceiling to the corresponding mark near the floor. Hold the chalk line tight and lift the string off the wall. Release the chalk line to create a blue line from the top mark to the bottom mark. Repeat for each pair of corresponding marks along the ceiling and floor and the corresponding marks for each corner. You will have the pattern laid out for the checkerboard.

  • Mark every other square with a penciled X to signify which ones need to be painted. Paint alternate rows to accurately paint the checkerboard pattern.

  • Stretch painter's tape below the top most horizontal line, above the second line, below the third, and above the fourth line. Repeat the pattern going down the wall. Stretch tape vertically starting to the right of the left-most line, to the left of the second line from the left, to the right of the third, and to the left of the fourth. Continue the pattern horizontally to the other end of the wall.

  • Paint the squares with an X in them on the rows that are outlined properly with the tape, which should be the first, third, fifth and additional odd numbered rows. Allow the paint to fully dry and remove the painter's tape.

  • Repeat Step 5 except apply the tape to the opposite of each horizontal and vertical line that will outline the squares on the even numbered rows. For example, stretch tape above the top most horizontal line, and below the second line. Stretch tape vertically to the left of the left-most line, and to the right of the second vertical line from the left. Paint the squares with the X in them on the rows that are properly outlined, which should be the even-numbered rows. Allow the paint to dry and remove the tape.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use the blue chalk outlines to tape over the light-colored squares and paint the darker-colored squares all at once. The upside is less drying time for the paint. The downside is the higher chance of uneven lines across the wall. Stretching tape from the top to the bottom of the wall or side to side of the wall allows for perfectly straight lines.

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  • "Lowe's: Complete Home Improvement and Repair"; Don Vandervort; 2005
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