How to paint buffalo plaid

DIY Projects

Check out this step by step guide on how to paint buffalo plaid. We made trays using these circular board panels we found. This post contain’s some affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through the link.

1. Pick your paint

You are going to want to pick 3 colors for the buffalo plaid design. We did white, gray, and black on the one board that you will see throughout this project. On another board we did cream, yellow, and blue. You can check out the different paint colors, here.

2. Take first color and paint board

Using the white paint we painted the top of our board. This color will need 2 coats. We waited till the end to paint the bottom of the board because the edges do get a little messy and this can be the time you clean them up. We found these boards at Lowes, right here.

3. Dry your board

Before moving to the next step you want to make sure your board is completely dry. We will be using our Wagner heat gun a lot throughout this video. We love our heat gun and you can find that here!

4. Get Taping

We recommend using frog tape for this part. You can find the frog tape here. Just make sure you get a good thickness. You are going to take one long piece of tape that hangs over the board a little on both ends and place it directly down the center of the board. Taking a smaller piece you are going to place it right on the side of the center tape. You can start on either side. The small piece is like your spacer. This is just going to help you space out your long pieces of tape and hopefully help you to lay them straight. Take a look at the pictures below.

Once you have completed the first taping step, this is what it should look like.

4. Paint your second color

Taking your second color of paint, we did gray, you are going to paint over the tape. You do not want to apply to much because you don’t want it to seep under the tape. Also, to avoid any paint from going under the tape you want to brush away from the edges of the tape rather then toward the edges of the tape. Make sure you cover the whole board and where you have any exposed white. You do not want to pull up the tape until you have it fully covered.

5. Dry before removing tape

Before removing the tape you want to make sure you get it pretty dry. We can not use our heat gun just yet because we do not want to melt the tape onto the board. So we took our blow dryer and set it on cool air. This helped to dry it up so when we peel off the tape the edges are pretty dry.

6. Peel off your tape

Once you feel it is pretty dry, you can remove your tape. You want to pull it slowly and carefully making sure you don’t peel up any paint under the tape.

7. Now dry with heat

Now that you removed the tape you can use your heat gun to fully dry the paint before applying your next step of tape.

If you do not have a heat gun you can just let it air dry, time will depend on the paint you used and amount you applied. Just make sure it is fully dry before moving to the next step or your tape will pull off your paint.

You can also buy yourself a heat gun here!

8. Apply next set of tape

Taking your frog tape, you are going to do your next set of stripes. Repeat the steps above and this time we will be placing our tape horizontally.

Starting directly in the center with your long piece of tape and then spacing the tape out using your small piece of tape. You are going to repeat these steps as shown in the picture below.

9. Paint again

Taking the same color paint as your first set of stripes, paint over your board again. Remember to not put too much paint on your brush. When you are brushing, make sure to brush away from the edges of your tape so paint does not go underneath the tape.

10. Cool Air time

Set your blowdryer to cool air and go over your board until you feel it is pretty dry. Do not peel off the tape until you do this step.

11. Peel Away your tape

Once you feel the paint is pretty dry you are going to peel it off. Remember to peel slowly and carefully so we do not lift up any paint from the previous steps. Do not mind the popsicle sticks as I did this to make sure I new where to place the tape back down without messing it up. I will explain that when it comes to that step.

After you have peeled away all the tape you can take the heat gun to it quickly to make sure it is fully dry as we will be putting more tape down.

12. Apply more tape

This step was confusing at first, but you want to apply all the tape back onto the board after it is dry. First take long pieces of tape and apply over any row that has a white square.

Next, you will see how some squares are light blue and some squares are dark blue on the tape. The light comes from a white square underneath and the dark comes from a gray square underneath. You want to place your tape down the row of light blue squares. See the pictures below for a better visual.

13. Final Paint

For this step you are going to take your final paint color, which we did black. Cover all the exposed squares with a light coat of paint. Be sure not to put too much paint on.

13. Cool dry your board

Before peeling up your tape for the last time, you are going to cool dry your board.

14. Peel up tape

Once you feel the paint is pretty dry, you are going to slowly peel up all the tape.

15. Dry your board fully

Once all the tape is removed, you can dry it fully with a heat gun or let it sit overnight to make sure it is completely dry. You want to make sure the paint is fully dry as we will be sanding in the next steps.

16. Distress time!

Using a 120 grit sanding block or paper we distressed our board to our desired look. You can use a block and wrap the sanding paper around it or you can just get a 120 grit sanding block. Find that here! Giving it a quick sanding also helps to hide any imperfections.

17. Dust off

Using a cloth or paper towel you are going to want to wipe off your board and remove any dust before applying any sealant.

18. Seal it

We decided to seal ours with some wax. We use a nice floppy brush to apply the wax. You want to wipe it on with the brush until the whole entire board is covered. Then you are going to take a paper towel or cloth and buff out all the wax. Buff it out until the surface is nice and smooth with no tackiness to it.

19. Attach Handles

We found our handles at Hobby Lobby. Using our drill we attached them to each side.

We painted the back side of the board at the end because throughout the project the paint gets on the edges, so it was best to clean it up at the way end.

Look how cute these came out!

We found our plates at TJ Maxx before choosing our paint colors. Aren’t they the perfect match?

Don’t forget to share your projects with us! We would love to see any ideas you come up with!

Jamie and Debbie - Chalk It Up Fancy

About Us

Hi! We are Debbie and Jamie

We are the mother-daughter duo behind Chalk It Up Fancy. We hope that our story and journey inspires you! 


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