The key to a great looking professional paint job is good masking. And as most know, masking tape is the most important tool used in preparing your home for new paint. Here are the top 6 masking tape tips to help you with your next painting project:
1. Choose the right tape for the job
- Masking tape comes in varying degrees of adhesion based on a scale ranging from 1-100 represented by different colors (tan, blue, green, yellow, purple etc).
- The less the adhesive strength of the masking tape the longer it can be left on a surface or used on more sensitive surfaces.
2. Clean the surface to be taped
- All surfaces should be clean and free of dust or dirt before placing any tape on them. For best results, dust the surface and then wipe the area down with water and detergent or rubbing alcohol. However, rubbing alcohol can dull certain surfaces, so try it on a small, inconspicuous area before applying on a large scale.
3. Use tape as a guide not a crutch
- When painting with a brush, apply the first stroke a few inches from the tape to unload the brush. Once you’ve spread some paint on the wall away from the tape use the tape line as a guide. Brush in-line with the tape instead of brushing directly onto the tape to reduce the likelihood of paint seeping under the tape.
4. Use caulking for the perfect line
- To create a perfect, crisp line between 2 colors, first lay down a line of blue painter’s tape, and then wipe latex caulk over the edge where the two colors will meet. Next apply a coat of paint slightly onto the tape where the caulking was applied. Finally, remove the masking tape before the paint dries to reveal a flawless straight line.
5. Score the edge of the tape to avoid peeling
- When protecting baseboards or other molding, before removing masking tape, run a knife along the edge of the tape at a 45 degree angle to ensure the fresh paint doesn’t peel away with the tape.
6. Remove tape at a moderate speed
- Keep a 90 degree pulling angle and don’t pull too slowly when removing masking tape. Pulling slowly can leave behind adhesive residue.
- Masking tape pulled too quickly has a tendency to tear.