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How To Mask a Room for Painting

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How To Mask a Room for Painting

Pull Off Tape at 90 Degree Angle to Wall

Photo © Lee Wallender, licensed to About.com
Applying masking tape before painting a room seems like a no-brainer. After all, haven't all of us used tape before? Well, this is a little trickier. The better job you do with masking, the less mess and fuss you will have in the end.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 1 hour average (depending on size of room)

Here's How:

  1. Apply Masking Tape to Areas That Will Not Be Painted

    Using "blue tape" or another low-stick masking tape, apply short lengths (no more than 24") of tape at a time on the area to be masked.
  2. Press Masking Tape Down--Hard

    Press the masking tape firmly onto the surface with the tips of your fingers. Make certain there are no bubbles or folds in the tape for paint to wick under the tape. This is the advantage of using low-stick tape: you can press it down very hard without worrying about the tape pulling the paint up.
  3. Paint Surface Outside Masking Tape

    Paint the non-masked area. Because you firmly pressed the tape down, you can safely hit the paintable areas without fear of the paint seeping under the tape.
  4. Wait Until Paint is Dry Before Removing Masking Tape

    Wait until the paint is dry. If you need to do a second coat of paint, do that. But I recommend removing and then remasking if you want to do any more than two coats. Any more than two coats of paint and the tape will not be strong enough to cut the dried paint on top of it.
  5. Remove Masking Tape

    Take a deep breath and pull the tape off in a slow, continuous motion at a ninety-degree angle to the painted surface. The tape will "cut" the paint in a clean line.

What You Need

  • Low-stick masking tape.
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