Clean paint lines on walls and trim

cheryll1952November 22, 2009

I'm in the process of repainting our walls and trim and I don't seem to be able to keep from getting either wall paint on the trim (crown and baseboards), or trim paint on the walls. I mask off the trim and walls with Frog tape, and I'm not getting bleed through, but since the walls/ceiling/floors are uneven, it seems impossible to get the tape itself in a clean perfectly straight line so that the paint edges are clean. I just repainted the walls a much lighter color and taped off the crown and baseboards. When I peeled off the tape, there are several spots where the tape edge extended just a hair onto the wall and a sliver of the old darker wall color is showing. I had the same problem with the skinny top edge of the baseboard.

How do you tape so that you don't have these problems? I don't have a steady enough hand to cut in without taping.

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Try running a thin flexible putty knife on top of the tape edge. This sometimes helps even out your tape line because your fingertip really can't reach it since it is concave.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 11:23PM
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Sometimes when an uneven surface makes masking the area difficult you have to paint then tape. Paint the uneven area of the wall or trim where the old paint is showing as best as you can to cover the old paint before you tape. Yes, you probably will get some wall paint on the trim paint or vise versa but this will be fixed. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly and re-tape this area. Paint the area carefully and remove the tape. You should now have a straight line of new paint with the old paint covered.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 11:39PM
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What I do is paint the trim first and let it dry. Then I dry brush a little of the trim paint into the joints where the trim meets the wall surfaces-I don't want to build up any thickness, just get the trim color out onto the wall a tiny bit so that when I tape off the trim I can still see the trim color peeking out onto the wall. Now the wall color can go on and you don't see any of the old wall color.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 10:38AM
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That is exactly right trk65 and something I didn't think of. I actually lap the trim paint about an inch onto the wall surfaces.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 2:09PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. They seem so simple I'm almost embarassed that I didn't think of either of them. I'm definitely going to give then a try.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 10:43PM
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I'm sure you will have a nice paint job.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 12:23AM
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