Should You Use Painter’s Tape?

September 7, 2022

If there ever was a hot button issue in the world of professional interior painting, the argument over whether to use painter’s tape or to freehand corners and edges is the one! 

Professional painters often have a technique that they embrace and follow for each and every one of their projects. More often than not it involves cutting-in by hand. In contrast, do-it-yourselfers often take the time to laboriously tape each edge, corner, trim, and baseboard in an effort to keep lines neat and straight. 

The question still remains, however, whether homeowners should attempt to cut-in freehand or use painter’s tape for their project. 

Let’s explore this somewhat controversial subject further. 

man painting a wall

When To Use Tape

A case can be made that painter’s tape is used by less experienced painters, people who have not perfected a steady hand and eye for detail that someone who has been doing this for years has perfected. 

  • If you have the time to tape all the trim work and edges of your space, then by all means do so to ensure that razor-sharp line when completed. 
  • If your hand is not as steady as it should be then use painter’s tape to keep the paint in a straight line and allow for small shakes to be erased by the straight edge of the tape. 
  • If you have lots of details to paint and anticipate fatigue. 
  • If the space is small and doesn’t allow for large hands to adequately access the area. 

Taping can be a major inconvenience and a huge drain on your time. However, taping can almost guarantee a straight edge and professional look when the painting project is completed. 

painting walls

When To Cut-In

In a past blog, we defined cutting-in as “the process of painting edges or straight lines with a quality angled brush without tape. It is all done freehand.”

  • The benefits of using this method include saving a huge amount of time by not having to tape around every edge and trim. It also saves time when the time comes to carefully remove the tape. 
  • If you have a steady hand, the patience, and the high-quality tools/angled brushes to paint against the trim, doors, windows, and other edges then give cutting-in a try. 
  • If you have experience cutting-in. 
  • If the surfaces of the wall are not smooth, tape may not help with straight lines. 

The Decision Is Yours

Whether you decide to cut-in or use painter’s tape, the decision is ultimately yours. Just remember to remove the tape when the paint is still somewhat wet to avoid blemishes. Also, remember to use an angled brush should you decide to try cutting-in. 

Let us know if you decide you need professional assistance with your paint project. Our team can take on your paint projects and have them look exactly the way you want them. 

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