Painting walls is one of the largest tasks when painting the interior of a house. This article will help shed some light on a few tips and tricks to using masking tape to paint great looking walls.
With interior house painting, having nicely painted walls is important. The typical way of painting walls is to first ‘cut-in’ the edges with a brush and then fill in the center areas by rolling the paint on. For the beginner or average DIY person cutting-in is typically done using tape to mask off the edges of the painted wall; paint is then applied without much accuracy in hopes that when the masking tape is removed the freshly painted wall will have a clean edge. Usually the outcome is less than desirable and the problem can at times be attributed to the tape being applied improperly, luckily there are a few ways to improve the results of tape when used for interior house painting work.
When applying the tape, apply it gently without stretching or over-pulling. This gives the tapes adhesive a better chance to do its job and stick more fully to the surface it’s being applied to, reducing the amount of paint that can seep under the edge. Once the tape has been gently applied, press the tape onto the surface using a rag. Occasionally with some uneven or bumpy surfaces the tape can be punctured by the surface irregularity but in most interior house painting applications the surface is relatively smooth so there shouldn’t be a problem. The rag helps to disperse the pressure and again allows the adhesive to more fully adhere to the surface and prevent paint seepage.
When painting your wall with a brush, start brushing and spreading the paint next to the tape before painting directly onto the tape. Once you’ve spread some paint on the wall next to the tape line brush the paint in-line with the tape instead of brushing directly into the tape. This will reduce the likelihood of paint seeping under the tape and/or paint being forced under the tape by the brush.
There are also a couple of tricks to painting with masking tape, these tricks are only really applicable to interior house painting but can really make a difference and will change most peoples opinions of tape I believe. If you have the same color of paint that the tape is protecting, you can paint this color onto the tape before painting your new color. This will fill in any gaps in the tape, so when you apply your new color all the gaps and paint seepage areas have already been filled with the color beneath.
Another trick is to use caulking in a similar fashion as above. Take clear caulking, mix it 4:1 with water and apply this mixture to the tape before applying your finish top-coat. Be sure to let this dry, what this does is similar to the double paint layer, it fills in the gaps and prevents paint from seeping under the tape.
When removing your tape, pull it slowly and at a sharp angle away from the painted surface. It’s best to remove the tape when the paint is fresh (after a second coat or if you’re only doing one coat) as the paint has yet to dry and create a seal. It’s wise to always invest in decent quality products, some tapes have stronger adhesives or are made for specific uses, never be afraid to ask for advice from a home improvement or paint store. Typically you’ll find people versed in the ways of interior house painting working at these places, especially a paint store!.
Remember to be safe, read about your products and adhere to all safety and cautionary procedures. I hope these tips help to improve your interior house painting projects!