Custom Pinstripe Ideas for Cars

by Mark Nero
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Pinstriping is a technique in which a very thin line of paint or other material is used as a decorative flourish on a vehicle. The process is generally used by auto enthusiasts to give their vehicles a unique look. Pinstriping can be something as simple as lines that curve around a car's fenders, or as complicated as an elaborate mural painted on a vehicle's hood.

Tape Stripes

Aftermarket tape stripes are a very common form of auto pinstriping. The pre-cut stripes have a glossy vinyl surface on one side and a heavy-duty adhesive on the other. Although the stripes are pre-cut, you can further modify them using a pair of scissors or razor blade to create your own design or change the stripes' width and length.


Patterned pinstripes can be applied by paint, and they're also available pre-packaged in tape form. There are many ready-made designs available, including flames, barbed wire, skulls and elaborate line patterns. Hand-drawn patterns tend to be more elaborate and creative, but are also more time consuming to paint on vehicles, as opposed to laying down pattern tape.


Using multi-colored pinstriping is a good way to make your vehicle stand out and draw attention. For example, adding red pinstriping to a blue vehicle, or yellow stripes to a green one can make the pattern seem more striking and bold. You should always make sure the striping color is compatible with the vehicle before putting on the stripes, however. For instance, brown striping typically isn't something you'd place on a black motorcycle because the two colors don't contrast enough and the brown would not stand out.

Hand Painting

Hand painting pinstripes can be a difficult task, but also a very rewarding one if done properly. Coming up with an idea for a pattern or having an artist design one and then apply it to the vehicle is a great way to add a custom, one-of-a-kind look to any pinstriped vehicle. Also, hand painting gives an added layer of uniqueness via personal touches like subtle shading that you won't get with an automated paint job.

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