How To Keep Paint from Bleeding Under Tape

As a painter, it is frustrating to find paint has bled underneath the tape.

All the hard work gets ruined because the tape could not prevent the paint from seeping under the tape.

After all, the purpose of using painter’s tape when painting is to mask off or hide surfaces that should not be painted.

Painters mostly use tape to paint straight lines or when painting two shades of paint on a surface.

If you want to avoid such a scenario, there are several things you need to observe.

Below I have outlined few tips on how to keep paint from bleeding under tape.

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1) Paint Base Coat

This is the first thing you should do to prevent paint from bleeding underneath the tape.

You can choose any colour as your base coat.

However, if the surface you want to paint already has the base coat colour you want, there is no need to apply a base coat again.

2) Clean the Surface

Painting on a dirty surface is one of the main reasons paint seeps underneath the tape.

Therefore, it is essential you first clean the surface you intend to paint thoroughly to remove any dirt that might be present.

When cleaning the surface, use clean water or a general-purpose cleaner.

After cleaning the surface, wait for it to dry off before you proceed to apply the tape.

Dirt prevents tape from adhering properly to the surface.

Dirt allows air to be trapped between the tape and the surface, which results in the paint bleeding bleed underneath.

3) Apply High-Quality Painters Tape

For quality results, avoid using plain masking tape. Painter’s (blue) tape, also known as low-tack tape, is the preferred choice for professional painters.

This is because it has excellent adhesion properties; hence seals tightly once applied, preventing seeping problems.

Also, it is easier to remove and leaves no residue. If you want to paint a textured surface, go for extra sticky painter’s tape.

You can even do some tests to see if the tape you intend to use sticks well to the surface you want to paint.

This way, you will avoid the agony of finding the tape you used was not effective in preventing seepage of paint.

4) Practice Applying the Tape

The way you apply the tape also affects the end results. If you are a novice in applying painter’s tape, you will most likely have bad results.

When practising, learn how to stretch the tape properly and how to place the tape on the surface you intend to paint.

This way, you will avoid overstretching the tape to the point of puckering it or trapping air bubbles in between.

5) Paint the Base Coat Colour Over the Tape

This is a step that most people fail to do.

Painting the base coat, you used in the initial stages over the tape edges creates a seal that prevents the subsequent coats from bleeding underneath the tape.

After you have done this, you can paint the second paint colour and wait for the paint to dry before you can peel off the tape.

6) Properly Peel Off the Tape

This is the final step. Therefore, you should be careful when doing it to avoid damaging your paintwork.

Be gentle when peeling off the tape, and you will be surprised by the excellent work you’ve done.