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Didn’t Remove the Painter’s Tape Right Away? Score It for Clean Lines

person peeling painter's tape off the molding in a freshly painted room
Oksana_Slepko/Shutterstock

No matter what part of your home you’re painting, there are tricks to make sure that your hard work turns out looking like a pro did it. Many of those tricks revolve around the proper use of painter’s tape.

If you have a steady hand, you may be able to paint without painter’s tape, but this handy invention saves lots of people from making mistakes and getting paint where it doesn’t belong.

The first rule of using painter’s tape is that you need to remove it immediately after you finish painting, while the paint is still wet. If you wait until the paint starts to dry and cure, you risk the wavy lines and pulling off chunks of paint. Poorly removed painter’s tape leads to more painting.

Sometimes you can’t remove it immediately, though, like when you’re painting multiple coats—and many projects require multiple coats, of course. Occasionally, you will paint too slow or forget to remove the tape in time. Don’t fret; there’s a simple solution to the problem.

Grab a new razor blade or use your sharp utility knife to score very lightly along the line of the painter’s tape. Be careful to stay along the edge of the tape; don’t cut into your beautiful paint job. Scoring makes a clean line through the surface of the paint and ensures the paint peels clean, leaving a crisp line behind.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow has been a professional writer for almost two decades. Yvonne has worked for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and much more as a writer and editor. She's also a published poet and a short story writer. Read Full Bio »

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