Best time to remove tape?

Annette HolbrookJanuary 15, 2007

I am about to put my third and final goat of dark green on the bottom 3ft of my wall. I remember some DIY show saying to remove the tape while the paint is still drying, not to wait until it is dry. Is this correct or am I having a phantom memory LOL? At this point I am going to have to wait until tomorrow to do the last coat since I'm just too whipped to do anymore painting tonight.


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I don't know either, but I do need to know, so somebody please jump in and reveal the big secret here.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 11:15AM
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I don't know when the best time to do it is, but I always take it off before the paint dries, and so far I've never had a problem. I just have to be careful not to get the wet paint on the tape onto anything else.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 2:45PM
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I'm no expert here at all but have just been visiting this forum to get some different ideas...Last week I was painting some quarter round white on top of a dark parkay floor and used the blue tape for the my 1st time ever. I had to use 2 coats on the quarter round and waited until the following day to pull the tape up. I used a utility knife up against the edge of the tape while I was pulling to make a clean edge. It turned out looking perfect so I'd recommend that it you can't pull it before the paint dries.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 7:19PM
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There seems to be disagreement:

If you wait for the paint to dry it's harder to pull the tape off. If the paint's wet, greater chance of seepage. I guess you have to 'pick your poison'.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 8:48AM
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Hi all. Just my experience, but it has been a lot tougher to pull off the tape after it is dry, especially with multiple coats. Maybe it is because I don't paint very well, so quite a bit gets on the tape in my diligence to not miss a speck of wall. If I tried to pull it off without scoring it, the latex paint would sometimes pull off the wall and I would have to put my finger on it to stop it from pulling away more (which left ugly spots that had to be repainted).

Just yesterday I painted some trim and quarter-round and tried pulling it up after it had dried a few hrs, but wasn't completely dry and it worked much better than when I waited. You do have to be careful about the paint on the tape not touching anything else when you pull it off, but on the plus side if you DID get a smidge on the wood floor etc (while painting or pulling off the tape) it was still damp enough to wipe off with a damp paper towel.

Hope that helps! Just my two cents!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2007 at 5:18PM
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Hi "Tapers'"!

Since TWO coats on primer is the way to go for 99% of paint'll have a dried coat of primer, + a 3hr.-old FIRST coat, and a fresh coat#2 of paint on top of your painters tape.

Therefore, there's dried product on the tape regardless. Your 2nd coat of paint may be wet, BUT the earlier coats will have bridged onto the tape and probably tear off the wet coat too.

Sooo, IMO, wait 'till ALL coats are dry (next day), lightly slice at the tape edge with a narrow snap-off knife to cleanly "edge" your new paintfilm!
* Should only take a couple minutes to "slice" a room.
* This way, no wet paint on the tape to worry about.
* As stated by previous posters', wet paint on tape being removed is just another accident waiting to happen!

Happy Taping!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2007 at 7:34PM
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Molly Brown

My problem has been on stairs where a rug ends before the side edge of the stair, it's kinda rolled under and then the edge of the wood where the spindle is attached is exposed and painted. I cover the rug with tape as much as I can and tape as far under the roll of rug I can to protect the rug. Then I push the brush with paint on it as far under the rug edge as I can. If I take the tape off too soon, paint gets on the rug, if I wait too long I have to cut the paint to separate the connection between the two. There's probably no answer to this....

    Bookmark   January 31, 2007 at 12:56PM
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I would remove it when the paint is dry to the touch. If you wait a day or two, the paint will harden and the tape will be difficult to remove and it may pull off some of the paint from the surface you just painted.

You may have to tape several times, especially if you are using an alkyd primer. I wouldn't leave the tape on for the entire painting process. Remove after priming and then tape again when you put the finish coats of water-based paint.

Somewhere on the painter forums it was suggested that you press down the edge of the tape firmly by going over it several times. I used a softer plastic putty knife to do this. It worked beautifully for me and I got nice, clean edges despite the fact that I smeared paint all over the tape edges. As soon as I had finished cutting in the second coat of wall paint I removed the tape and this seemed to work best.

With regard to painting around carpet, it helps to use those edgers that look like old venetian blind slats (unless you have some old venetian blinds you could use).

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 2:49AM
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