How to use painter's tape the right way (2023)

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Painter's tape is used to create clean lines, protect ceilings and trim, and create apaint jobsIt looks like it was done by a professional. However, using painter's tape can be trickier than it sounds.

While experienced painters sometimescut without tape, beginners often usepainters tapeto cover areas you don't want painted, then peel away to reveal perfect lines for the best result.

Read on to learn about the different styles of painter's tape to ensure you choose the right one for the job, and find out how to use painter's tape for a flawless end result.

RELATED:13 tips to make any paint job faster

5 types of painter's tape you should know

Before we get into the details of how to use painter's tape, let's look at the five most common types on the market. Hebest painters tapefor you it depends on the task at hand.

1. All Purpose Painter's Tape


All-Purpose Painter's Tape is suitable for most common household projects. It has a medium tack that allows it to adhere to standard painted walls without causing damage. It can also be used on floors, coverings, baseboards, tiles and glass. Some brands use colors to distinguish grades of their painter's tapes, and most blue tapes are considered all-purpose tapes.

Our recommendation: ScotchBlue Original Multi-Surface Painter's Tape en Amazon por $ 7.90
ScotchBlue Original Multi-Surface Painter's Tape is an excellent versatile medium tack selection that works well on a variety of surface types.

2. Painter's Tape for Textured Surfaces

When masking textured surfaces for paint, it's important to use a higher tack tape, which is ideal for rougher materials like brick, concrete, and wood. Many brands make their high tack tape green.

Our recommendation:Scotch Rough Surface Painter's Tape en Amazon por $ 7.35
This Scotch option adheres well to rough, textured surfaces like concrete, brick, stucco, and rough wood.

3. Painter's tape for delicate surfaces


One of the risks of using painter's tape is potentially damaging the finish. However, this is not a problem with sensitive masking tape. Some brands use the color purple to identify their delicate masking tape.

Our recommendation:FROGTAPE painter's tape for delicate surfaces at Amazon for $9.98
This low tack masking tape is easy to tear and remove without damaging the delicate surface underneath.

4. Exterior painter's tape


When working outdoors, maximum adhesion is required, especially if your project lasts several days. Outdoor painters tape is designed to withstand the elements and won't peel off when it rains.

Our recommendation:Scotch Exterior Surface Painter's Tape en Amazon por $ 9.28
This tape adheres well to common exterior surfaces such as metal, vinyl, painted wood, and glass, and is ideal when you need a high-tack option.

5. Decorative trim tape


the attemptclever diy projectsThey may appreciate the thinner rolls of painter's tape that allow them to create fine lines for a design. Some decorative tapes have unique patterns, such as chevrons, that can be used to create a graphic effect on walls and other surfaces.

Our recommendation:Chinese 6 rolls of Fine Line Tape on Amazon for $12.99
This set of six rolls of tape comes in a variety of widths, allowing users to use it for a variety of art painting projects.

RELATED:The 8 painting mistakes that almost everyone makes

How to mask a room to paint walls

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When masking for painting walls, painter's tape is used to protect ceilings, baseboards, and crown molding. The following steps will help ensure that your lines are crisp and not splashing paint on unwanted surfaces.

STEP 1: Prepare and clean walls, ceiling and trim.

Before beginning any painting project, it is important to make sure that allsurfaces are clean and dust free. This is especially important when using painter's tape, as it will not adhere properly to dirty surfaces.

After cleaning, make sure everything is completely dry before proceeding to the next step.

STEP 2: Attach the tape to the trim and ceiling.

The next step is to identify the areas you need to protect. In most rooms, this means the ceiling, the trim around windows and doors, and the baseboards.

Cut 1-foot pieces of tape that are easier to handle. Apply to the desired area in a straight line. Start in the middle of each piece, smoothing it out with a finger or spatula as you go. If any part bubbles or is uneven, it is best to remove it and try again.

STEP 3: Remove the tape once you have finished painting.

While painter's tape can usually stay in place for hours, or even days, without damaging the underlying surface, it's best to do so.take it offas soon as possible for best results.

Slowly remove the tape from the panel at a 45 degree angle. If the individual sections don't come off easily, a putty knife will usually help.

How to use painter's tape when painting trim

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When it's time to paint your trim, you need to protect your walls, floors, and ceilings from getting covered in paint.

STEP 1: Apply tape to the floor, whether it is carpeted or a hard surface.

Painter's tape can be used when painting trim to protect hard floors like wood and tile, and carpeting. It is particularly important to protect carpets from paint.

Make sure the floor is clean, then tape a wide piece of masking tape along the edge where the baseboards meet the floor, working one foot at a time. For carpets, use a putty knife to place the tape so that no carpet is exposed to the paint as you work.

STEP 2: Use duct tape to protect your walls from paint.

The next step is to apply painter's tape to the walls where they meet the panels. Make sure the walls are clean and free of dust before applying the tape along the entire length of the frame.

If you painted your walls first, it's important to wait 24 hours, or until the paint is completely dry, before using the painter's tape to make sure the paint doesn't come off when you remove it.

STEP 3: Attach the painter's tape to the ceiling.

If your trim includes crown molding, or any other trim that adjoins the ceiling, the ceiling needs protection. It would be easy to assume that white siding paint is imperceptible on a ceiling, but siding is usually painted with a semi-gloss paint, while ceilings are generally recommended to be painted with a flat paint.

Apply paint along the top edge of the trim, smoothing it out as you work.

How to use painter's tape when painting a ceiling

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When you paint a ceiling, you protect your walls, especially if they are freshly painted. If the room has crown molding, tape can be used to maintain its crisp white color.

STEP 1: Apply tape along the edges of the blanket.

If the room in question doesn't have a top rail, tape painter's tape directly to the walls where they meet the ceiling. If the walls have been recently painted, make sure they are completely dry.

Make sure the tape is perfectly flush with the edge of the blanket and that there are no bubbles or ripples. Take your time, it's important to make sure the tape is straight.

STEP 2: Attach painter's tape to the trim.

If the room has trim that goes all the way to the ceiling, use the same technique as above and apply the tape to the trim.

Press down on the edges of the tape with your fingers or a putty knife to make sure it adheres to the trim. If you are working with a particularly detailed molding, this may take a little longer.

STEP 3: Remove the tape once you have finished painting.

When you're done painting the ceiling, remove the tape from the walls or trim as soon as possible. If the paint has already dried, you may need to use the straight edge of a putty knife to score the tape and remove it cleanly without chipping the paint off the ceiling.

These proven painters' taping techniques will help your space look like it was professionally painted, even if you did it yourself. Painter's tape is the ideal tool for inexperienced painters and ensures crisp, clean edges every time.

The prices listed here are correct at the time of publication on 03/28/22.

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