Whether you’re taking on a small painting project around your house or hoping to become a professional painter, it is important to know and understand how best to apply painter’s tape.
Creating Crisp, No Touch-Up Lines
The idea of painter’s tape is twofold: Protect and create. When used correctly, painter’s tape can both shield your trim, outlets, flooring, and other walls while simultaneously creating crisp, clearly-defined edges of color. Without painter’s tape, it would be much more difficult to paint any room in your home.
Prepare the Surface
The first step to using painter’s tape is always to ensure that the tape has a grip-worthy surface. This means removing all dust and debris that can easily accumulate from time and other construction projects. Once wiped, it is important that you take the time to remove anything that (quite seriously) isn’t nailed down. For instance, removing your floorboards, flooring, and window trim is often more difficult than simply covering them with painter’s tape, but taking off outlet and light switch covers is not; by removing what you can, you make your taping much easier. Another step in prep work is to ensure that you have the appropriate drop cloths and plastic covering to protect anything that can’t be removed, such as your flooring and windows.
When you begin the process of taping your wall, think ahead as to what barriers will prevent you from easily achieving this task. For instance, if you have an odd corner where a wall meets the ceiling, it may be wise to start your taping there. Other things to consider include:
- Gathering ladders/step stools necessary to reach the higher places
- Remove light bulbs, nails/screws, and any appliances
- Turn on any lights you’ll need before gently taping over only the exposed portion of the switch (after having removed the cover)
- Whenever possible, turn off power to any unneeded outlets or light sources
- Unfold any drop cloths you may have to ensure you have enough to more than cover the floor space
- Identify any areas that will be easier to tape with two people and request help from anyone working on the project with you
- Mark or cover any vents or trip hazards beneath your drop cloths to prevent injury
Placing & Removing Tape
Remember: Any areas you miss with your taping can mean paint where it doesn’t need to be and areas that require touch-ups later. It is always worth taking your time during taping to ensure that surfaces meet at a crisp, clear line. The tape should serve as your boundary, trapping every drop of necessary color inside. For anything that is a splatter risk, such as a floor or permanent wall fixture, be sure to cover and secure it with a plastic bag or drop cloth and a line of painter’s tape. When finished, remove your painter’s tape when fully or semi-dried by carefully pulling up no more than a foot of tape at a time.
Call the Professionals
Nothing is worse than carefully taping out a project only to discover that you missed a couple of spots and have to figure out how to wash paint off of numerous permanent surfaces. Painting is hard enough without the added stress of ruining your home, which is why it is always worthwhile to call the professional painters at Steven’s Perfect Paint for your Brooklyn home.