Create Clean Edges with Painter's Tape Plus


Fine Homebuilding's Tips & Techniques

Just about every painter knows that paint and frustration lurks when a painted surface must butt up against an unpainted surface such as a part of a cabinet, stairs or wood trim.

Easy-release painter's tape aloneCreate Clean Edges with Painters Tape won´t keep the paint off the unpainted surface, not completely. The paint will flow into the minute irregularities beneath the tape´s edge - leaving a fuzzy line when the tape is peeled away.

Yes, some painters have a steady hand and are skilled enough to do this job freehand, but for most of us, the task is rarely successful.

We recently solved this problem in an entertainment-center project that my company built.

As shown in the accompanying illustration, the cabinetry has painted uprights and lacquered shelves.

To get the clean line we were looking for, we first applied a strip of easy-release painters tape to the shelf.

Then we ran a thin bead of latex painter´s caulk to the intersection and wiped it with a moistened finger a couple of times to remove virtually all the caulk. We weren´t concerned about leaving a bit of caulk on the parts to be painted, only on sealing the edge of the tape.

After we were done painting the uprights, we carefully removed the tape while the caulk and paint were still wet.

The result ? A clean paint line without a master´s hand.

One word of caution, however: If the caulk and the paint are dry by the time you remove the masking tape, run a sharp utility knife down the intersection first.

- Chuck Green, Ashland, Mass.

Tips & Techniques provided by Fine Homebuilding.
©2005 The Taunton Press

To request a reprint of this feature, e-mail Christina Glennon at Fine Homebuilding


Tom Kile and Darrell Nipp are your Amarillo real estate experts!
Tom Kile & Darrell Nipp
3440 Bell, Suite 100
Amarillo, TX 79109
Contact Us