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Mask Like a Pro

Mask Like a Pro
 

Good masking is the key to clean, professional paint lines. When you want the professional edge on your next painting project, use ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tapes.


 

Tools You May Need


  • ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape
  • Primer, paints, glazes, varnish
  • Paint brush
  • Roller & tray
  • 5-in-1 tool/putty knife
  • Caulk
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil & level

You may also need:


  • Ladder
  • Drop cloth
  • Utility knife
  • Cardboard for templates
 

Getting Prepared


The following steps can help you prepare for
almost any painting project:
  • Make sure you're using the best tape for
    the job. See the tape selector chart for
    assistance.
  • Remove wall hangings (pictures, nails,
    fixtures) and fill nail holes. Then use
    sandpaper to smooth the wall.
  • Make sure the surface is clean, dry and
    dust free before you begin the project.
 
 
Tips for Sharp Paint Lines on Every Project
A great paint job starts with knowing which tape to use, how to use it, and how to remove it. For a professional look with clean, sharp paint lines, follow these tricks of the trade.
Find the Right Tape
Painters Tape On any given painting project, your masking needs could vary from room to room or surface to surface. Count on ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape to give you the edge, no matter what surface you need to mask. Simply use the tape selector chart to find the right ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape for your next project.
Learn How to Use It
  • When you're ready to mask, pull tape off the roll a few feet at a time.
  • Apply tape to the surface, pressing down the edges as you go. Don't stretch the tape, as this can cause it to lift or break.
  • Secure the tape to smooth surfaces by pressing the edges down with a putty knife or 5-in-1 tool. Don't use these tools on medium or heavy textures, as they can tear the tape.
  • To further seal against seepage and paint bleeds, use your brush to paint a little of your basecoat color along the tape edge.
Know How to Remove It
  • Remove tape at a 45° angle, using a moderate speed.
  • For best results, pull the tape back on itself. If adhesive sticks to the surface, try a 90° angle
  • If paint starts to lift, use a sharp tool to cut (or score) along the painted tape edge.
Adhesion & Surface
To help ensure clean, damage-free removal, your tape's adhesion level should correlate to the type of surface you are planning to mask.
  • Delicate surfaces like wallpaper and fresh paint call for ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Advanced Delicate Surface with Edge-Lock™ Protector.
  • Masking light to medium textured surfaces is the job for ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Advanced Multi-Surface with Edge-Lock™ Protector.
  • For best results on heavily-textured surfaces, use ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Original Multi-Surface or ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Advanced Multi-Surface with Edge-Lock™ Protector.
Get the Edge
Painters Tape Super sharp paint lines require Edge-Lock™ Paint Line Protector, our advanced adhesive technology.
Clean Removal Time Tips
ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape:
  • Advanced Multi-Surface with Edge-Lock™ Protector: 14-day clean removal
  • Advanced Delicate Surface with Edge-Lock™ Protector: 60-day clean removal
  • Original Multi-Surface: 14-day clean removal
Environmental Conditions
Environmental factors should be considered when choosing your tape.
  • Temperatures between 50˚F and 100˚F are ideal.
  • Clean, dry conditions are optimal.
  • Avoid direct sunlight if possible; and know that all ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tapes are UV and sunlight resistant.
Masterful Masking for Light to Medium Textures
The right tape method can help prevent paint seepage and help give you super sharp, professional-looking paint lines. The following steps will help you get the best results on light to medium textures.
Painting Stripes

Step 1: Mask Surface

Accent Shapes

Mask your surface with ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape (find the right tape using the tape selector chart). Press tape down into the valleys of the texture, but don't stretch it.

Step 2: Seal with Paint

Accent Wall Frames & Chair Rail

Using a brush, paint a little of your basecoat color along the edge of your tape, to create a seal. Let this dry for 24 hours.

Step 3: Paint Surface

Accent Wall Frames & Chair Rail

Apply your paint and let it dry for 24 hours. If your project requires multiple colors that may overlap, start with the lightest color first (to avoid bleed through), and let each coat of paint dry for 24 hours before applying the next color.

Step 4: Remove Tape

Decorative Striped Patterns

Remove tape at a 45° angle. If adhesive begins to transfer, use a 90° angle. If paint starts to lift, use a sharp tool to cut (or score) along the painted tape edge.

   
Crisp, Clean Lines on Heavy Textures
You can get professional, super sharp paint lines on heavily textured surfaces. A few simple steps will help you avoid getting paint where you don't want it and get those super sharp paint lines every time.
Painting Stripes

Step 1: Mask Surface

Accent Shapes

Mask your surface with ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape (find the right tape using the tape selector chart). Press the edges of the tape into the textured surface as much as you can without stretching the tape.

Step 2: Seal with Caulk

Accent Wall Frames & Chair Rail

Apply paintable, clear painter's caulk along the edge of the tape. Press down on the caulk to seal gaps, and remove excess with a damp cloth. Let the caulk dry for a few minutes before you apply paint.

Step 3: Paint Surface

Accent Wall Frames & Chair Rail

Apply your paint and let it dry for 24 hours. If your project requires multiple colors that may overlap, start with the lightest color first (to avoid bleed through), and let each coat of paint dry for 24 hours before applying the next color.

Step 4: Remove Tape

Decorative Striped Patterns

Use a sharp tool to cut (score) along the painted edge of the tape, then pull tape back at a 45° angle to remove it.

Tricks for Taping Along Tiles
Masking rooms with tile, such as bathrooms and kitchens, is easier than you think. With a few simple steps you'll get into the groove and mask like a pro.
Painting Stripes

Step 1: Mask Surface

Accent Shapes

Mask your surface with ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape (find the right tape using the tape selector chart). Press tape down into the valleys of the texture, but don't stretch it.

Step 2: Seal with Paint

Accent Wall Frames & Chair Rail

Using a brush, paint a little of your basecoat color along the edge of your tape, to create a seal. Let this dry for 24 hours.

Step 3: Paint Surface

Accent Wall Frames & Chair Rail

Apply your paint and let it dry for 24 hours. If your project requires multiple colors that may overlap, start with the lightest color first (to avoid bleed through), and let each coat of paint dry for 24 hours before applying the next color.

Step 4: Remove Tape

Decorative Striped Patterns

Remove tape at a 45° angle. If adhesive begins to transfer, use a 90° angle. If paint starts to lift, use a sharp tool to cut (or score) along the painted tape edge.

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TAPE COMPARISON

Guide to Good Masking

Common taping techniques and step-by-step guides.

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