There's no better way to spruce-up your space than with paint, and what we at Apartment Therapy might love more than a beautifully-painted room are the super sharp paint lines that make your efforts pop! Good masking is the key ingredient to professional-quality paint lines. It also shields against paint drips, spatters and accidental brush strokes. But since not all painting projects are the same—various surface materials and textures will affect the type of painter's tape you use and how you mask the surface—we've partnered with ScotchBlue™ Brand to bring you these simple tips so you, too, can mask like a pro!
Whether you're an experienced painter or a newbie undertaking your first painting project, these tips will change your painting experience. No matter what the surface or masking technique—the standard taping method or even the basecoat or caulking method shown in the video above—we promise these tips from our friends on the ScotchBlue™ Brand team will help you complete your project in no time!
Standard Application: For Super Sharp Paint Lines on Smooth Surfaces
A great paint job starts with knowing which tape to use, how to use it, and how to remove it. For a clean, professional look with super sharp paint lines, follow these tricks of the trade.
- Start with ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Advanced Delicate Surface with Edge-Lock™ (the one with the orange core).
- Make sure the surface you're about to mask is clean, dust free and completely dry.
- Pull tape off the roll a few feet at a time.
- Apply tape to the surface, pressing down the edges as you go. Don't stretch the tape, as this can cause it to lift or break.
- To further seal the tape, press the edges down with a putty knife or 5-in-1 tool.
- Apply your paint and let it dry for 24 hours.
- Remove tape at a 45° angle. If adhesive begins to transfer, use a 90° angle. If paint starts to lift, use a sharp tool to cut along the painted tape edge.
Basecoat Method: Masterful Masking for Medium Textures
When you want to add color and personality to a room, your options are almost limitless. But no matter what you want to do—create an accent wall, add an accent frame or chair rail, design wall panels or add accent graphics—you almost always start with a base wall color. And if your wall has light to medium texture, follow the right masking method before you add the next color, to prevent paint bleeding and to keep super-sharp, professional-looking paint lines.
- Use ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Advanced Delicate Surface with Edge-Lock™ (the one with the orange core).
- Apply tape to the surface, pressing the tape down into the valleys of the texture, but don't stretch the tape.
- Using a brush, paint a little of your basecoat color along the edge of your tape, to create a seal.
- Let this dry for 12 to 24 hours, then paint your next color.
- Remove tape at a 45° angle. If paint starts to lift, use a sharp tool to cut along the painted tape edge.
- To see this method in action, check out our video on masking for medium textures.
Caulking Method: Create Crisp Lines on Course Textures
Oversplashing and paint seepage can be two of the toughest challenges when painting rough, textured surfaces. But with a few simple steps, you can avoid getting paint where you don't want it. You can even get super sharp paint lines! Here are a few tips that show you how:
- Use ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Advanced Multi-Surface with Edge-Lock™ (the one with the green core).
- Lay the tape down, and press the edges of the tape into the textured surface as much as you can without stretching the tape.
- Take paintable, clear painter's caulk, and apply a little of it along the edge of the tape. Press down on the caulk to seal gaps, and remove excess caulk with a damp cloth.
- Let caulk dry for a few minutes, and then paint your next color.
- Use a sharp tool to cut (score) along the painted edge of the tape, then pull tape back at a 45° angle to remove it.
- To see how this technique works, check out our video tips for masking heavy textures.