Painting Edge on Trim

jockewingMarch 29, 2009

So I have sanded and I am now to the priming stage. I realize that it is impossible to get a straight line with how narrow the part of the trim that touches the wall is. I guess it wouldn't hurt to go onto the wall with the primer since I'm repainting the walls anyway, but I can't do that with the ProClassic since it's semi-gloss. Is tape the only answer if I'm not good enough for free hand? Any other options? Please help I want to get this tedious mess done!

I saw something called Frog Tape that's green--is that any good?

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You can go on the wall with semi gloss if you're going to paint over it with no problem. Go a little on to the wall. When it dries (at least 24 hours), tape the edge of the trim, run over the edge twice with a putty knife to seal it well. Frog tape is good. It's supposed to activate a sealant when water based paint hits it, so it seals better. A little trick that works better is to run a damp sponge along the edge of the Frog tape. That activates the sealant BEFORE you paint. Let it dry, then paint. You'll get a good sharp edge.

I haven't done this trick on the ceiling with the Frog tape as I freehand my ceiling line.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 7:27AM
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Oh, thanks Randita. I thought it would mess up the wall paint to be going over a semigloss surface (bonding issues?). The lip of the trim that touches the wall is so thin, it is impossible to keep the paint brush level on it as it constantly slips off. The trim is so close to the floor I am having to shove a long straight edge under it, which works pretty well. It is amazing how much better it looks with just primer! So fresh and bright. So if I'm repainting the room anyway, I guess it's OK to just overlap the edge against the wall. That would make things SO much easier!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 11:06AM
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I don't bother doing this, but if you're concerned about bonding, you could just run the edge of a fine grit sanding sponge against the wall where you overlapped the semi-gloss to take off the sheen. But you just have to be careful not to sand the trim you just painted.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 2:42PM
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Randita, went to Walmart, Lowes and Home Depot, and NO Frog Tape! The guy at Home Depot said I'm the second one asking today, but the company just recently bought it all back from the Home Depot, reasons unknown. He said it had been selling well and alot of people commented that it worked. I wonder if there was some kind of recall? I guess I'm stuck with blue tape. What's that trick some people do with glaze on the tape to prevent seepage?

I got about half the trim in the living room sanded and primed, and I did a few sections with the first coat of ProClassic. It goes on relatively easily, and the brush strokes really do lay down. I am getting really good success. I'm so happy!!! It makes such a HUGE difference in the room.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 8:09PM
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The blue tape will be fine. Here's the trick. Put the blue tape on (after the ProClassic on the trim has dried for at least 24 hrs.). Run a putty knife over it twice to seal well. Then with a small brush, paint a thin line along the edge of the tape with the ProClassic. Let dry a couple of hours. That seals the edge and any seepage that goes under the tape matches the trim.

Then you can edge along the tape with your wall paint. You may want to leave the tape on the walls while you roll the walls because you will get roller splatter on your freshly painted trim if you don't have it covered. But it's best not to leave the tape on for more than a few days or it might pull the paint off when you remove it.

Another thing I've learned. When you're painting the wall along the trim vertically on the side of a door or window, you can use the blue tape and press it down with the putty knife (twice) and you won't need the extra step of sealing the edge with the paint as above on the baseboard molding. It will come out well. Don't know why you can get away without using a paint seal on the vertical edges as opposed to the horizontal edges, but it works for me.

Glad the ProClassic is working for you. I love it.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 8:30PM
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Go to and click on icon for find store locator, put in your zip code and it will tell you where you can find it in your location. We used to have it at Home Depot too but the company seems to have changed their vendor. Now it is at a couple Ace Hardware stores in our town. The website says it is sold at Sherwin Williams stores also.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 2:42AM
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Hi Randita, maybe gravity is playing a bigger role on horizontal vs. vertical surfaces?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 11:05AM
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sunnytop. Yes, I saw Frogtape at my local SW store. SW is also now carrying Purdy Chinex brushes. A while ago, I asked at the store about Chinex and they said they didn't have plans to carry Chinex. In the meantime, they must have gotten a lot of queries, because last time I went, they had Chinex. Now I won't have to internet order them, which is nice.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 12:35PM
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It's probably because dust sits on the horizontal areas and that has an effect on how well the tape sticks. This is why you dust off your baseboards even if it looks like there is no dust. I never use Frog Tape nor do I feel the need to use it. The only possible time it may be helpful is for when you are taping textured surfaces, striping, ceiling lines where the drywall line is poor and stuff like that. If you blade your tape down properly, your bleed should be minimal. Use a flex blade instead of a stiff one and aim the blade at the back edge where the paint would seep behind. A lot of homeowner painters will blade the tape down flat and never get the actual back edge matted down which is the most important part.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 4:53PM
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jockewing, there has recently been a problem with the frog tape. I still swear by it, but there was some type of metal or gravel rolled into the sticky part of the tape. I reported it to the local hardware store where I purchased it and urged them to contact the manufacturer. I have only found this to be the case on the 1 1/2". I bought 1" at the same time and am still able to get the 1" and 2" at my store, but still not 1 1/2". I think this was around the beginning or middle of March 2010. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 3:01PM
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I usually freehand everything including trim (tape just makes a big mess for me). But a good brush (I like Purdy XL Dale Pro angled) is critical.

Another way I've done trim is take a trim pad like this. Get paint on only the outermost tip (narrow end furthest away from the handle).

Maybe 1/4" of the tip loaded to avoid drips. And then lightly drag it across the top of the trim piece with the handle of the trim pad perpendicular to the wall. If pad is tilted down just a bit (handle lifted upward just a bit), that also helps keep any paint off the wall. I keep an art brush on hand just in case for little spots. And a putty knife wrapped about two layers thick in damp, well wrung out t-shirt (lint-free) fabric. Quick, immediate swipes with the wrapped blade will get any mistakes off the wall and if careful, preserve what's just been applied to trim.

If you get semi-gloss paint on the wall, but aren't painting walls semi-gloss, you'll have to address that so it doesn't show a line under your wall paint. Either scuff sanding it if walls aren't being primed, or prime it well and give it a good top coat to hide it. Easier just to keep it off the wall to begin with if you can. ;)

Just my 2 pennies worth. ;)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 5:02PM
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I just wanted to add that I LOVE Frogtape. It's more expensive than the blue stuff, but so worth it. I just pick it up at my local True Value.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 5:51PM
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Silly question - but do you typically paint trim first or last in the room? I have a pretty rough cottage cheese texture on the walls which we just painted. I'm having all kinds of bleeding issues with the trim paint bleeding under the blue tape. Maybe I should have done the trim first...

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 11:18AM
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Trim first, let trim dry, tape trim off, paint walls. Taping off textured surfaces can be difficult, even with froggie tape or properly sealed tape....some things you just have to do by hand.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 8:01PM
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I envy those of you who can paint a straight line without taping. I tape everything. Jockewing, blue tape will be fine for this job.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 10:08AM
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