How to Paint a Buffalo Check Pattern | i should be mopping the floor
Homepage Projects and Crafts Free Fonts Free Printables and SVG Files Printables Journals and Planners Facebook Covers and Device Wallpapers Summer Projects and Printables

How to Paint a Buffalo Check Pattern

Today's Tutorial for a Buffalo Check Pattern is sponsored by Plaid Crafts and contains affiliate links. I make a small portion when these links are used, at no additional cost to you.

These Buffalo Check Wooden Letters are the first of a few projects I'm working on for my boys' bathroom overhaul. I think they are perfect to distinguish whose towel hangs where (notice there is definitely not a letter to indicate anyone's towel should be wadded up on the floor...Jonathan, I'm talking to you). 
See how I created the Buffalo Check Pattern below.

Easy Buffalo Check Painting
This tutorial has been the craziest one to put together. I've had the letters finished for a bit, but got a wild hair to go ahead and start on the actual re-do of the boys' bathroom (and ripped out wallpaper and popcorn ceilings in the process) so I could really show these fun letters off. It was an interesting chain of events. But, yay for this wall being done (we still have a *bit* more to do everywhere else in this space). But check out the tutorial for how to paint a buffalo check pattern on these wooden letters below.

Buffalo Check Wooden Letters

I love a good buffalo check pattern. I have it all over my house: on throw pillows, pajamas, blankets, kitchen towels, a lamp, ribbon...and now wooden letters! This checkered pattern is such a classic one that isn't too complicated to paint. Whether you're into farmhouse style, or modern boho, this plaid print works wonderfully in a variety of decor. It's also a lovely pattern for the holiday season...especially a nice red buffalo check pattern. See how simple this is to paint in the tutorial.
Black and White Buffalo Check
These buffalo check letters actually turned out exactly how I had pictured them in my head. That doesn't always happen. They're a little rustic and a little vintage...and the letter shape reminds me of my favorite "varsity" font. Their light texture (from the wax) also adds lots of interest!

How to Paint a Buffalo Check Pattern

Please note: today, I'm specifically sharing how I created this buffalo check pattern onto large, wooden letters. This same principle and method can be applied to larger items (even walls), just adjust your measurements to different sizes based on your craft projects. The basic idea is that you'll want large squares of equal size throughout the pattern.

Walmart Wooden Letters

Supplies for Buffalo Check Wooden Letters

Sanding Wooden Letters

Creating your Buffalo Check Wooden Letters:

  • I gave the letters a light sanding before starting the real fun (pictured above).
  • Be sure to wipe off all of the sawdust with a damp cloth.

Easy wood craft
  • I gave the letters two coats of the chalk paint in Plaster (a lovely creamy white that's not too off-white). These letters take paint really well. 

Painter's Tape
  • After the letters completely dried (I set them near a small fan for an hour or so), I taped off vertical stripes with painter's tape. 
  • I used a small piece of tape as a template to space out my pattern (they were exactly one inch or one width of tape apart).

Chalk Paint
  • I used more of the Waverly Plaster Paint to "seal" the edges of my tape to prevent any bleeds.

Waverly Chalk Paint
  • Next, I used about 1/4 cup of the black chalk paint and diluted it with about a tablespoon of plain tap water. Diluting it makes it the perfect consistency for the black pattern in the buffalo plaid.

Buffalo Plaid Painting
  • To paint the buffalo check pattern, you want a really dry brush with little paint on it. 
  • I kept both a dry and damp paper towel handy, along with a scrap piece of paper to dab off any excess paint. 
  • I did this before every stroke.

Wooden Letter Crafts
  • After the vertical stripes of the black paint dried completely, I repeated the process with the horizontal stripes...again, spacing the lines one inch apart from one another.

Buffalo Check Tutorial
  • Again, I sealed the paint with the original white chalk paint base coat...but this time I was very careful and only sealed the areas without any of the black color of paint.

Painting Buffalo Check
  • Repeat the same process with dry brushing the black color on the horizontal stripes.

Waverly White Chalk Wax
  • To soften the buffalo check pattern a bit, I grabbed my favorite white wax.

White Wax
  • I keep my leftover felt pieces in a scrap pile to use for waxing...I like the way they apply wax. 
  • I just apply a dime-sized amount and work it into the piece...muting the colors just a bit.

Buffalo Check Letters
No more excuses for towels on the floor, y'all! I'm loving how fun and preppy these wooden letters turned out. I want to paint everything in buffalo check, now.

If you love buffalo check like I do, be sure to check out my Buffalo Check State Printables (featured in the video below):

More fun buffalo check pattern projects:

towel bar
Where would you paint a buffalo check pattern in your home decor?


  1. I love those! Perfect for a bathroom. The pattern is great too. We really want to redo our bathroom. I am adding this to our list.

  2. Those are perfect for a bathroom or bedroom. I love simple diy projects like this.

  3. Wow, you made this look so super easy! Talent!! I used to love projects like this. You made it look fun again! Love the way they turned out.

  4. That looks like a lot of work, but you made it look really easy. I love the way the letters turned out. This is so perfect for a boy's bathroom. I'd love to do this for my son's bathroom.

  5. I just love this idea and it is so perfect how they turned out. I love to add a pop of color or different style to a room with a couple of additions like these in my home. I need to get started on this right away because I really like the way it looks! Great job and thanks for sharing!

  6. These are so cute! I love the idea of using them in the bathroom to create a designated space for hanging towels - I'd love to do them in my boy's bedrooms as well, for hanging sweaters - which, oddly enough, often end up balled up on the floor at the end of the day. We have a sort of camp cabin theme going on in their rooms and I think these would look great - I've never done buffalo check on anything, but your tutorial is excellent so I may give it a shot!

  7. I don't have much patience for DIY projects. Yet, I want do make some letters for my son's name in his room. As I watch your step-by-step tutorial, I really think I can manage this one.

  8. A moment of silence for the jobs of ridding yourself of a popcorn ceiling and wallpaper. Neither are much fun, but the space always looks a million times better once you get to the other side. I love cute idea for hanging towels and the blue buffalo check print is perfect. I wish I'd have thought about it when my kids were little, I was forever picking towels up from the bathroom floor! x

  9. These came out really nice. I like how they have a weathered look.

    Kate | The Organized Dream

  10. The project does look so very cool here. I never would have thought to look for wood lettering at Walmart. I will have to be doing some more searching there. And it does look so very rustic after you have put them up. Just a great job.

  11. This is so nice! I think I'm able to recreate it in my daughter's play corner for superhero capes!