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  1. Pretty cool. I hate the paint that leaks under the tape and that always happens to me. We will be painting my grandsons room this spring so this will come in handy!!Diana

  2. I stumbled on your blog after slapping on some more white trim paint, sans painters tape, to go over later. I'm at the end of my rope, honestly. The space is huge and my lines are horrible. So, question: can I still do this even though I've already painted the wall slightly with my paint I want to protect (white trim paint)? Meaning, will this still work if I tape, then paint a bit more white paint on the other edge of the tape THEN paint the gray wall? *sigh* Great tip, either way! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Im sending your link to my husband. He is painting for me this week while Im on spring break at my friends. 🙂 Thanks for linking up.TOniA bowl full of lemons

  4. Being an anal retentive painter myself, what I normally do is paint a thin coat of clear polyurethane after taping to ensure that the color I am painting with doesn't "bleed" onto the wrong side. The poly helps to seal off where the paint would normally seep through. Works like a charm!

  5. That is a great tip and I will definetely try it next time I paint. I would however like the suggestion to painting the rounded corners as well. My email is junglebuddies(at)gmail(dot)comThanks!

  6. It is so much easier if you buy Painters Caulk. I have found it at Home Depot and Lowes. You tape then apply a thin bead of the caulk and spread it out with your finger tip. Let it dry(usually an hour or so) then paint like normal. It gives you the straightest line and you can not tell where the caulk has been. It is only 3-4 dollars and a little goes a long way.

  7. Thank you!! (and thank you pinterest for leading me here 🙂 ) I am always changing up the colors of my rooms and always wind up just a tad frustrated with the edges of the wall. I can't wait to try this!

    • Frog Tape is by far the best! It works great for rounded corners, stripes. You still need to get as little paint on the tape as possible, but there isn’t the seepage you get with the blue 3M tape

  8. Anna, Do you have any advice about taping off wood trim and the paint leaking on it? I don't know what else to do besides take off the trim, and my husband doesn't like to do that because there is a possibility of cracking the trim.Thank you,Angie

  9. @Angie (previous comment)- please contact me with your email address, I have no way of contacting you to answer your question.Thank you!

  10. Here's an additional tip if you don't have the original paint color to seal the tape with first…much like the poster above who uses polyurethane, I run a VERY thin layer of paintable caulk over the edge of my tape….works great! I like the idea of using the original paint if it's handy though….much quicker than caulk!

  11. Anna,Wow! Thank you! I'm always so frustrated with my messy lines, I will try your tip. Would the same tip apply for the corner between wall and ceiling? Also, I have the same issue as Angie with wood trim. I have lot of issues with wood edges, as I have a log house. When I texture the walls, you can always see the white texture under the paint at the choppy lines next to the wood trim. It looks ghastly. Suggestions???Thanks!

  12. Great tutorial. I actually usually paint lines this way, but a few times I've run into the paint peeling off some with the tape. So, I tried to remove the tape prior to it being completely dry. That helped some… Any suggestions on how to avoid the dried paint peeling off with the tape when you remove it since it's attached so to speak? (Email me if you can.)

  13. Love this tutorial….came across it on Pinterest. Slight problem — all the photos are not showing up on this post:)

  14. I found this on Pinterest and came right over! But for some reason your pictures are not showing up. 🙁

  15. I found you via Pinterest and love your tips. I am doing a white ceiling and dark teal walls in my craft room. The ceiling has already been painted white. How do I tape the ceiling so I can paint the walls without any bleeding getting on the white ceiling?

    Also, how do I keep the tape from peeling off the dry paint from behind the tape when I peel it off?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Here is a video tutorial I did on how to get that perfect line you’re looking for. You would do the exact same thing, just around the ceiling, so in your case put the tape all around the ceiling, paint the white paint all around the corners (where the ceiling and wall meet), let it dry for an hour or so, then paint the teal. Remove the tape right away so that the teal doesn’t dry too much and peel off the white. Watch the video, it will make more sense.

      I’d love to see a picture of your craft room after it’s painted, it sound like it’s going to be fabulous! I love those colors!!! 🙂


  16. This can also be achieved with clear caulk. A handy trick if you don’t have the original paint color. It also works wonder on spatter texturized walls or rounded corners.

    • It’s definitley a little harder with rough textured walls but this will work. I had pretty textured walls in our last house and I was able to get a straight line using this trick. Just make sure you tape carefully and then let the {original color} paint dry completely dry before painting you new color. Good luck!!


  17. Hi Anna!! Amazing tips! Can’t wait to do this!!
    I’m from Brazil, this was linked through Pinterest.
    Awesome website, congratulations!

      • Happy 4th, Anna! Thanks for the great tip! Will this work with paints that are different finishes? My trim is a semi-gloss, but the walls are eggshell. How would I paint first with the semi-gloss trim paint and then on top of that with the eggshell? Thank you!

      • Yes it will! I’ve done it with 2 types of finishes too. You might have to just do a second coat on the lighter finish. 🙂


  18. I used to do this until I tried the new FROG tape! It is amazing! I painted my bathroom a deep red and the ceiling and trim where white. It looked the lines were cut with a knife!

  19. Also, if you don’t have the original color of paint you’re trying to protect you can use painter’s glaze. It dries clear so you don’t have to worry about the bleed, as well as not having to keep gobs of paint around, just one can of glaze will do ya!

  20. Anna–I really enjoyed your tip on painting a perfect line–and will browse the rest of your site and see what other info you may have that’s great. I wanted to ask you to consider changing the color of your text–the light gray is difficult to read, I find. Anyway– keep up the nice site!!!

  21. Anna! This tute saved my living room. I’ve refused to paint b/c I knew I could do it myself and save money but I was anal about those wavy lines! I wouldn’t dare risk it. I found this site via Pinterest and now my living is a perfectly lined mint green. Thank you sooo much 🙂

  22. I have done this, but I needed to use 2 coats of paint and when I pulled off the tape, even when the second coat was still wet (the first coat had to try) some paint above the tape peeled off too leaving a terrible jagged edge. (I’ve since fixed it or else I’d put a pic to show what i mean, hard to explain it.) Any suggestions here?

    • I’ve had this happen a few times but only in little sections. I think sometimes it’s caused by cheap tape that’s maybe too sticky or the paint has dried too much, but not enough. Does that make sense? I think the paint either needs to be wet and pulled off all the way or completely dry. If you pull it off when it’s still kind of tacky, it will stretch and just pull right off.

  23. I do not have crown moldings like you have in your picture, so when I took my tape off between wall and ceiling, (1 hr. after second coat) the wall paint came off. In some spots several inches of paint came off, so I still had to go around with a small paint brush to touch up. I used a self priming paint, which makes a thicker surface making it harder to get the tape off.

  24. A professional painter I know recently told me about this trick after I used the caulking method to get straight lines in my striped hallway! Can’t wait to try this method out this weekend! Would be much faster than caulking along lines!

  25. GADS how freakin’ easy is this? So thrilled to run across this as I’m just on the verge of painting stripes on the kitchen cabinet doors. I just knew there had to be a secret to getting it done RIGHT!


    • I didn’t, and I didn’t know you should take the blue tape off while it was still wet. Would have saved me a lot of trouble in my kitchen. But the textured swirled ceiling never is right because there is no straight edge.

  26. I know this is old, but we recently moved and my daughter wanted stripes on her wall. I looked around on the internet for how to do that well, and came across this post. So I did what you suggested, painting the white (her undercolor) on the tape before the color, and it looks amazing!! Thanks for a great tip!


    • Awesome! I’m so glad I was able to help you out. 🙂 If it makes you feel any better, even though it’s an old post I get comments all the time on it.

  27. What if your trim paint is an oil base or a latex gloss and you have painted that first. The wall is next and it is a latex flat or satin. Does that matter or affect the coverage?

    • This is the problem I had in my kitchen. It works the same, just try to do a really thin layer of the latex paint and then do a double coat of the flat paint. When you’re done you won’t even notice!

  28. Fabulous idea! I had given up on tape because I did a better job without it. I found this just in time to paint the trim in two rooms and still have half the house to do afterwards. I’ll be sure to give you a shout out when I post!

  29. We never have the undercolor or original color so we use paintable caulk, very thin and spread well usually with a finger, on top of our painters tape. Once it has dried, it makes that paint barrier and prevents leaks. Good thing too since walls in the SW are all textured.

  30. Hello, I read your tutorial on straight edges. I am A horrible painter to begin with, but I have A difficult situation. I am trying to paint A straight edge with latex paint against oil based molding. I don’t want to even attempt to do as you suggested,and paint with oil before i tape. My lines came out horrible and Im not sure what to do…… Any ideas or solutions to this particular scenario?


  31. You mention when painting a straight line on a ceiling to pull the tap away from the wall when the paint is still wet….what if I want to do a second coat….do I re-tape after it is dry or leave the tape up and pull off while the second coat is wet?

    • I would do the second coat right away so it both coats don’t have time to dry, then remove the tape. You might have a few places that will pull off, but you can touch them up easily. 🙂

  32. I just remodeled an entire house (took 2 rooms down to studs)….everything in every room has been redone. I have caulked up all the new crown above and below, and am about to finish caulking the baseboard and shoe moulding above and below. I wish I could tape all of it to do this straight line trick, but I would be out hours and hours and major money on expensive painters tape to do it. 🙁 Luckily, my lines look straight, unless you get on top of some of them and stare. Hopefully I will be able to do a decent job… lines get less straight the older I get. 🙂

  33. That you for this great tip! We will be painting our wall very soon.
    May I ask what paint color is that on the wall. My husband & I really like that color for our living room. Thank you so much!

  34. Another way is to tape and then go over the edge of the tape with clear calk and it won’t bleed under the tape

  35. Hi Anna,

    Could you please re-post the video tutorial? When you follow the link it says it’s not found.

    Thanks! 🙂

  36. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe how simple this painting technique is! I have done so much painting both in and outdoors and have even avoided certain areas and came up with something different just because I didn’t want to have to retouch a straight line. It never occurred to me to first paint the original color. Thank you so much!

  37. HELP!!I am trying to paint my baseboards, PROBLEM:: how do you keep the paint off the hardwood flooring? I have tried the blue , green ect. cannot keep the white paint off the dark floor. Please help with one of your great tips!!!! THANK YOU !

    • Hey Judy,

      This is Monique, Anna’s Assistant. Anna uses a painter’s tape connected to the painter’s plastic and then slides it in underneath the baseboards. In most cases, there is a small gap betwwen the baseboard and the flooring. Hope this helps!

  38. Thank you. I’m in the process of painting my bathroom now. My problem with tape is that many times the tape will pull the paint off the wall when I am removing it.

  39. Hi Anna,
    Thanks so much for the tip. I have been using this method all over our house we bought last year. It works so well! Amazing! I even posted this on my FB page since I love it so much.

  40. Anna,
    Do you think that technique will work also for rough plaster walls? Our walls are not smooth but have little raised bumps.

    • Our walls aren’t smooth in our current house and the trick works great. There is also a product by Frog Tape that works too, here’s a link – (affiliate link). I’ve done it both ways. I think if you have the original paint it’s worth the time to do it the way I show in my tutorial but if you don’t then use the Frog Tape. 🙂

  41. This is a great tip. I have original wood work that has not been painted. Any tips on taping off my woodwork and painting without my paint bleeding onto the woodwork?

    • Hi, Lacey! I’m Anna’s assistant, Bethany, and for taping off original woodwork, Anna recommends a product by Frog Tape that works by preventing the paint from bleeding through. Here’s a link – (affiliate link). Be sure to read the instructions, as you apply it a differently than regular painter’s tape. I hope this helps!

  42. Anna,
    I use this technique as well but sometimes you don’t have any paint left from the earlier paint job to do the first coat (especially if you just moved in and don’t need to paint molding/baseboard). In these cases I use matte varnish to “seal” the tape line. I always use varnish to seal tape lines when I’m painting wall stripes as well. Works like a charm!

  43. You must be a very special lady to like housework. I think “cleaning” is a nasty word. But I will be using you hint as soon as I can figure out what color to paint my living room. Thanks for the very helpful tip.

  44. So what do you do if you do not have any of the original paint? Just moved in to new home and want to paint walls only. A small area with 3 doors. So a lot of cutting in around door molding and ceiling. Only 1 true wall to paint.

    • If you don’t have the original paint you can use a product that Frog Tape makes. I’ve used it in a few places in our current house and it works great, as long as you follow the instructions on the product. Here’s a link to where you can buy it on – (affiliate link). Good luck! 🙂

  45. Thanks so much for this. We are remodeling and will one day be to the point of painting…this lets me know how! Thank you so much!

  46. Great idea. We have crown molding an expensive but finish for our home. I agree, the unfinished line always looks, well, unfinished. Thank you for the great tip!

  47. Anna, I have a question about painting a straight line. What if your crown molding and baseboards are painted with an oil base paint? If you come up on your walls with the oil base paint your latex doesn’t take. So what do I do now

    • Hi, Sandra. I’m Anna’s assistant, Bethany. In your situation, Anna recommends using a product that Frog Tape makes. It works great for creating a straight line, as long as you follow the instructions on the product since the application is different than normal painters tape. Here’s a link to where you can buy it on – (affiliate link). Hope this helps!

  48. Trim paint is usually a semigloss or gloss. Don’t you have trouble painting over the thin line of semigloss with flat paint when you use the above method?

    • Hi, Delora. I’m Anna’s assistant, Bethany. Yes, Anna ran into this situation in her kitchen, but it works the same. Just try to do a really thin layer of the latex paint and then do a double coat of the flat paint and when you’re done, you won’t notice. You can also use a product called Frog Tape if you don’t want to use this method with two different finishes. Here is the link: – (affiliate link). Hope this answers your question. 🙂

  49. that is a awesome trick, but if you do not have the time or patience or extra brush, you can use your new color. the trick is to make sure the brush does not have a lot of paint on it(a dry brush) and lightly go around the whole area where you taped off. I like to just dip the tip of the brush in the paint every 3-5 feet. This paint will dry and make a soft but good seal between tape and wall

  50. Dear Anna:
    You might have a solution to my wall problem. I have the worst looking walls there are, the masonry was done very bad. the walls are not smooth, I tried doing sponging, which has helped some but I would like to change to something else, My walls need a change badly. Thank you for your help

    • Hi Miriam! I’m much more of a visual person so if you could email me a picture of your walls/situation, that would really help. My email is askannamoseley (at) hotmail (dot) com. 🙂

  51. I gently warm the tape with my hairdryer before removing – it softens paint and pulls away perfectly every time.

  52. Hi Anna. I just ran across your page on pinterest and thought I would let you know there is a quicker and easier way to do paint with straight lines. The green Frog tape is a must for me but after you have the tape in place, start your stroke on the tape and going onto the surface you are painting rather than the typical starting on the surface going toward the tape. When you go in the direction toward the tape you actually push paint under the tape but if you start on the tape and move off of it, it does not. Hope this helps. Nicole

  53. My only problem thought was if you don’t have the original color for the 1st coat.
    Also, I previously lived in a house with the walls not meeting square at the ceiling (don’t know how to say it) but somewhat “rounded” edges. Could anything help painting that??
    But, thank you for this helpful info.

    • Hi, Paula! I’m Anna’s assistant, Bethany. Have you tried a product called Frog Tape before? It is a bit different than painters tape, and when used correctly according to their directions, it prevents paint from seeping underneath. Anna generally recommends Frog Tape if you don’t have the original wall color for the first coat. You should also be able to tape around those curved edges using this product. Hope this helps!

  54. Skip the step of painting the colour of the mounding and use yellow frog tape then dust the paint of the wall colour on with the first cut. Then cut in normally with the second cut. You’ll never have bleed through

  55. Hey Anna!
    I have done more painting than Icare to admit. Easiest way to avoid seepage under tape is to run a putty knife across surface of tape once you have tape in place. Presses tape tight to surface. No more seeping!

  56. Hi,
    I’ve never had paint bleed through the blue painters tape but I do find that it will seep in at the edges of the tape, leaving ragged edges. Any tips for that? Thank you.

  57. Thank you so much for this amazing tip! I did this last night and it worked beautifully! Thanks for the easy tutorial and tips!!! I could just hug you! Never again will my lines look astray!

  58. While admiring a friends home and choice of paint colors, I asked them how in the world they painted such clean straight lines where differing colors met on a rounded corner. I was told that after taping off a vertical line, place a VERY thin layer of clear caulk on the tape edge with a wet finger. The thin layer of caulk is paintable and flexible enough so that it breaks away when the tape is removed, revealing a clean, error-free edge.

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