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7 ways to use tape when painting

When you’re getting everything that you need together for painting, tape is just as important as a paint brush or roller. Without some tape on hand, painting can become a messy business! Painter’s tape is less sticky than masking tape, and is therefore better to use when painting as it’s easier to remove without causing any damage. Here are seven ways to use tape when painting:

1. Wooden door frames and window panes

Painting wooden door frames and window panes with paint or varnish will protect the wood from sunlight, damp, insects and woodworms. The tricky thing is not getting smears of paint or varnish on the glass as you paint the frames. After all, you still want to be able to see through the glass. Place the tape right on the inside border of the frame and you won’t have to worry if you paint over the tape – just peel the tape away after painting or varnishing.

2. Vertical stripes

A striping paint technique is striking! It’s a fun way to make any wall in your home pop. There are so many ways to apply this technique, so you can let your creativity go crazy. Perhaps play around with different colour schemes such as a monochromatic relationship with colours that are shade (mixing colours with black) or tint (mixing colours with white) variations of the same hue. Find a colour combination that works for you. Whatever you decide, make sure you use tape to effectively ensure your stripes remain separate. Accurate measurement and placement of tape is of the utmost importance, It’s also necessary to rub over the tape with something like a bank card to ensure no paint seeps underneath the tape during the painting process.

3. Avoiding ceilings

One of the main mishaps of painting a wall is inadvertently painting the ceiling at the same time. There’s always a tight space between the wall and the ceiling, so it’s best to apply tape to keep paint smudges off the ceiling. Any paint that you want on the ceiling should already be applied and dried before painting the wall, and then it’s simply a case of carefully placing the tape on the top perimeter of the wall. Another tip to ensure a neat paint job is to trade your paint roller in for a painter’s brush for the top five centimetres of the wall – and do this first, before painting the rest of the wall.

4. Protecting light switches and plug points

Tape is especially handy for protecting light switches and plug points from being painted. Ideally, light switch and plug point covers should be removed before painting begins. If this isn’t possible then using tape to avoid a messy paint job around covers is fundamental. Using a thinner paint brush around small objects that cannot be removed from a wall will also assist in keeping things tidy. Remember to switch off the room’s electricity during painting. If you’re going to hire painters for the job then questioning them on how they will protect your property is important.

5. Squares, shapes and other objects

When it comes to painting walls, your imagination is the only limit to what you can design. Painter’s tape is your creativity companion. It will help you paint and integrate smart squares, sleek shapes and orderly objects. Spend some time browsing Pinterest or surf the Internet for some ideas and you will find hundreds of inspiring images to replicate on your own walls. Why not try some of these options:

  • Eclectic motifs
  • Checkerboards concepts
  • Diamond diagonals
  • Geometric arrangements
  • Typographic features
  • Chevron patterns
  • Colour blocking
  • Abstract angles

6. Clean edges and corners

One of the challenges you will encounter when painting walls is keeping all the edges and corners clean. Before picking up a brush or roller, get a damp cloth and wipe down all the edges, corners, door frames, window sills, skirtings and cornices in the room. This helps the tape to adhere to the surfaces. Tape all the trims slowly, carefully and as straight as possible – this will remove any risk of paint seeping underneath the tape and of wavy lines around edges and corners.

7. Horizontal stripes

When painting horizontal stripes in a room, first choose your paint colours – of which one will be your base colour. Paint the whole room with this base colour and the stripes will then be painted on top. Of course, leave the base coat to dry. This gives you some time to do some mathematics. You will need to decide how many stripes you would like and then you can calculate the exact measurements for each stripe. It’s best to exclude the skirting boards from the calculation. Make small marks on each end of the wall where the stripes need to be and then carefully place the painter’s tape horizontally across the wall. Each stripe should have tape above the stripe and below the stripe to ensure each stripe is exactly the same. A handy tip is then to do another close-up paint of your base colour on the inside boundaries of the stripes to fill in all the little texture gaps that the tape didn’t stick to. Let that dry and begin painting your perfectly straight stripes.

So there are many fun and handy ways to use tape when painting. Just remember to peel the tape away as soon as your final coat of paint is dry and to do so as meticulously as possible.

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