Tricks To Tape Trim

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 25,934
    Taping off trim before you paint a room is a really important thing to do correctly. Most people just slap up some masking tape and hope for the best with less than perfect results. Learn how to do it right for a perfect paint job.

    Travis Larson: Hi! I am Travis Larson. I am an Editor for Family Handyman Magazine, and today I am going to talk about taping off trim before you paint the room. It's a really important thing to do correctly, most people just slap up some masking tape and hope for the best with less than perfect results. I am going to show you how to do it right.

    You only need a few materials or tools to do it right. You are going to need some high end painter's tape, we are using FrogTape. We are going to use one inch tape for the vertical trim and two inch tape for the horizontal trim. I will show you why in a little bit.

    I will also need a flexible putty knife like this to embed the tape, again I will tell you about that in a little bit and you need a utility knife. Make sure you got a sharp blade in it and you are ready to go.

    Before you start taping anything you got to clean the trim especially if it's an older house or it's dirty. So I will start with a dry paint brush and brush all the dust off right away and take a good look at it. Wet your finger put it on there, see if there is any sticky dirt that's left on there. If there is, take a damp rag and wipe it off again, because unless this trim is really-really clean, the masking tape is not going to stick and you are going to get bleed through, which means that the paint that you put on the walls is going to get underneath that tape and go on to your trim and you are going to a have a mess on your hands when you are done painting the walls.

    So now we are going to tape the baseboards. We will do those first and then we will do the windows and doors. Unroll whatever you feel comfortable with a two inch tape and push one end into the baseboard while you lower the roll against the wall, that will keep the tape real close the dry wall so you get the cleanest crispest line.

    You are going to have to work out wrinkles and bubbles as you go, and work your way toward the roll with your other hand. Get it as close and as straight as you can and you will get some real nice crisp paint lines.

    So you could see here that we formed a little roof, it's sticking out into space that's why we are using the two inch tape. So this will act like a little tin roof that will protect the base from getting splatters on it, that's why we are doing that. Okay, now we are going to finish up the inside corners, we are going to tear off a little piece enough to lap over this a little bit. You can use your putty knife to get over these tight spots. Embed it, take your razor knife and cut off the access.

    Now we are going to do the same thing come in the other way. Slice that off, that corner is ready. I am going to embed the tape. This step is really important because this is what gets the adhesive deep into the paint so the paint can't bleed through, it's real simple. This flexible putty knife and just push it right into the millwork around the entire room and you are ready to start cutting in and painting.

    Okay, the room has been painted, we put two coats on today and we are going to pull off the tape. I am going to show you how to do that, but I want to tell you one thing, if you are going to put one coat on and wait a day or two before you put the second coat on it's a good idea to pull the tape and re-tape, otherwise the tape might stick to the wall, and you might have trouble and a lot more cleaning to do.

    So let me show you how to take this tape off. Before you start tearing off the tape, take your utility knife and slit right it along the seam and what that's going to do is cut the paint film itself that is time to tear off the tape. Don't just tear it off like this because the tape is going to rip, tear it off a 180 degrees the way you put it on and you will get a super crisp line and the paint won't come on with the tape.

    So pull off the rest of the tape and that's how you get nice crisp paint lines in your room.