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Do I Need to Tape Before I Paint?

Painting a room is the best way to update its personality and aesthetics. But before picking up a brush or roller, you need to prepare the space. Apart from moving furniture, laying down drop cloths, and cleaning baseboards, many DIY painters often neglect an important step — taping. 

As a rule of thumb, professional painters advise applying painter’s tape. It helps to assure clean lines with no messy edges making your painting project look more professional. But some DIY painters believe that taping takes too much time and is unnecessary. We’ll take a look at some of the reasons why you should use tape before painting, and some tricks of the trade to make the job faster.

east hampton ct professional exterior painting wood siding of home

Why You Should Tape Before Painting

Painter’s tape is an inexpensive item that is widely available in any hardware or craft store.  It helps avoid painting mistakes and makes your project more productive. Pros also use painter’s tape to ensure straight lines, prevent overlaps and avoid getting paint on other surfaces like the molding or ceiling. 

The tape is applied to surface areas that you don’t want to paint or will use another paint color. For instance, applying tape to the molding will allow you to paint a wall faster ensuring you can paint all the way down to the edge of the molding without getting paint on the molding itself. Also, the painter’s tape is designed to adhere to the surface without leaving marks or residue. 

Other types of tape, like masking tape, for example, will not adhere to all surfaces, and some kinds of tape can leave glue marks on the surface. 

Painter’s tape can be applied to practically any surface like windows, ceilings, walls, and wood furniture. It is easily removed without splintering, so you don’t have pieces of tape stuck to the surface. It also won’t peel off while you’re painting. The tape can also help in creating colorful shapes and intricate designs and patterns. 

Taping Tricks of the Trade

Before applying the tape, make sure the surface is clean and dry. It will ensure that the tape will adhere to the surface. Rather than cutting pieces of tape, it is best to carefully unroll the tape using your finger to guide the tape along the surface. Here’s a pro tip: You can use a tape applicator that makes applying painter’s tape to the surface even faster. It also helps ensure that the tape is straight along the surface. It is especially helpful when you want clean edges. After you apply the tape to the surface, use your fingers to press down to secure the tape to the surface. Wait approximately 60 minutes for the tape to set before painting. 

Painter painting wall light blueWhen to Remove the Painter’s Tape

Wait until the painted surface is completely dry before removing the tape, usually 24 to 48 hours. The last thing you want to happen after spending all that time prepping and painting are for a drip of paint to ruin your entire project. Remove the tape by carefully lifting and peeling back the tape on an angle. The result will be a professional-looking paint project with clean, straight lines. 

Franklin Painting crews can meet your painting needs! Offering exterior house painting, interior painting, deck staining, and more. Our professional house painters can do the job! Our highly trained, professional and courteous employees make sure the job gets done the way you deserve. 


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