How to Use Masking Tape for No Paint Bleeding

Written by heather lacey
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How to Use Masking Tape for No Paint Bleeding
Painter's tape is a type of masking tape designed for painting. (Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images)

Masking tape can be a painter's best friend or worst enemy. While tape can help make perfect lines, those lines can be ruined by paint seepage if paint gets between the wall and the tape. Painter's tape is the best choice to mask areas that should not be painted, and proper application and a sealing coat of paint are the keys to making sure tape works in your favour.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Painter's tape
  • Putty knife
  • New paint colour
  • Clear paint
  • Paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Apply painter's tape to the surface to be painted, securing only 1 or 2 inches of tape at a time to ensure a straight line. If you are painting a wall, press the tape as close as possible to the edge of the corner or moulding line.

  2. 2

    Press the edge of the tape that faces the surface you will not paint to remove any ripples or puckers where paint could seep through. Use your hands or a putty knife to press firmly.

  3. 3

    Paint over the edges of where the painter's tape with clear paint. This coat will seal any gaps in the tape, and if any paint leaks through, it will be the clear paint which will be invisible on the wall.

  4. 4

    Paint the surface, using care not to paint on the wrong side of the tape.

  5. 5

    Remove the tape after the paint has dried for several hours. Pull the tape away from the wall slowly without pulling at an angle. Peel the tape back over itself to avoid tearing the tape or removing fresh paint from the surface.

Tips and warnings

  • Painter's tape is generally sold in the paint section of hardware or home improvement stores. It comes in a variety of colours for different widths and surfaces.
  • If you plan to paint two walls different colours, paint over the painter's tape with one of the wall colours to seal tape gaps, then proceed with painting each part of the wall the colour planned.
  • Regular masking tape is often too sticky for walls and can be difficult to remove.

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