How to Paint Tiger Stripes

Daisy Cuinn

Paint walls, floors or furniture with a bold tiger stripe to show support for your favorite team, or to give a room a stylized "wild" look. Painting tiger stripes may seem simple at first, but in order to make them look like animal striping and not black-and-orange prison bars, some planning is necessary.

Look at pictures of tigers to get inspiration for your stripes.

Before you start, find photos of tigers online and in books and study the distinct and unique way their stripes appear.

  1. Sketch out the tiger stripes on a piece of paper. Make sure the stripes intersect and are slightly wider in the middle with pointed tips on the end. You can make the stripes ragged and natural-looking or crisp and stylized, but they should never be even. When you have the basic design on paper, set it aside.

  2. Roll tinted primer on a clean wall or other surface. Use a brush for the edges of the wall or for smaller or shaped surfaces. Allow the primer to dry for three to four hours or as recommended by the manufacturer.

  3. Apply a coat of orange paint in the same manner as you applied the primer. Allow it to dry for one to two hours, then apply a second coat. If you want a more natural looking orange coat, add a small amount of off-white paint and roll or brush it into the orange so that it is not evenly mixed. Allow the orange to dry overnight.

  4. Sketch the tiger stripes on the surface lightly with a pencil, using your paper sketch as a guide. When you are finished sketching, paint the outlines of the stripes in black with a small brush.

  5. Fill in the outlines with black paint using a larger paint brush, taking care not to paint outside of the lines. Apply a second coat, if necessary.

  6. Tip

    For very crisp, stylized lines, mask the outside of the drawn tiger stripes with painter's tape before applying the black paint.


    Paint objects outdoors, if possible. When painting interior walls, always ventilate the room by opening windows.