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Paint Buffalo Plaid

Wether you call it Buffalo Check or Buffalo Plaid, there's no denying how popular it has become. I'd seen some tutorials, but they left me still trying to figure it out. I knew there had to be an easier way. And now it's my chance to teach you how to paint Buffalo Plaid.

Once you get the pattern down, you can use it for trays, signs or just simple decor. It also doesn't have to stop with the traditional Red/Black or White/Black either. Think ahead for Valentine's Day, Spring or Easter. You can use Pinks/Reds for Valentine's Day or Pastels for Spring and Easter. So many ideas!

(If you're a visual person like me, I've included a video of me explaining the whole process at the end of this tutorial. Or you can follow along with the instructions.)


  • Wood or Tray to your desired size

  • Three colors of Paint (We used DecoArt Santa Red, Grey Storm and Black)

  • Paint Brush

  • Painter's Tape

  • Measuring Tape or Ruler

  • Pencil

I started with a plain piece of wood painted in Red. We used DecoArt in Santa Red.

Here's a tip for you, too. Red can be a very translucent color, meaning it can take many coats to get full coverage. I painted my board in Black, first to give it a good primer. It only took 2 coats of Red to cover the board after that.

Now here comes the fun part. You'll need to find the center of each side. You'll want to have a clear stripe of the Red going vertically and horizontally to make this look centered.

To do this I took the width of my painters tape and divided it in half. From my Center Point on each side, I added that half measurement and made a mark on each side of my center point. That gave me the Center Tape Line. From there you can add the width of the tape and make a mark to each corner. (If that sounds confusing, watch the video below.)

Place the tape following your marks to make stripes. I then painted them in DecoArt Storm Grey.

Once that dries, remove the tape.

Then measure out using the same technique for the vertical lines (find your Center and work out from there). Paint those stripes in Storm Grey, too.

Again, remove the tape when it dries.

Next you're going to place the Painters Tape on the horizontal lines, covering up the red.

I placed small x's with a pencil marking where the each of the Grey lines crossed. These are the areas, you'll be painting in Black.

Next place your Painter's Tape on the vertical lines. Make sure you can see your x's.

Now paint those squares in DecoArt Black.

When it dries, you can remove your tape.

And now you have Buffalo Plaid. The only change I might have made was choosing a lighter color in Grey. I think it would have looked a little better, but overall I was very pleased with the outcome.

Here's my Facebook Live video showing the entire process, too.

I'd love to see your creations. Feel free to email them us at



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