Painting Straight Lines and Corners

Painting straight lines is relatively easy, once you know how to use masking tape. The most important is: the surface should be strong (no chipping paint or crumbling plaster). New paint coats have to harden out a few days, before you can work on them with masking tape.

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Masking tape does it - but not all by itself

Masking tape does make a difference, but still paint can bleed under the tape when it's not stuck on well. Painting straight lines in watery techniques (like waterstaining) requires a little more attention to the flow of the paint. Then the tape mainly works as a ruler, it may not stop the paint from creeping under the tape. It helps having just enough painting liquid in your brush, to make the line - superfluous liquid may bleed under the tape.

How to use masking tape

The timespan in which the masking tape is on, should be as short as possible. First prepare the whole painting surface and your work surrounding, and once you're ready to paint, put on the masking tape - and when you line is done, remove the tape immediately. Only put some pressure on the side, where you'll be painting the straight line.

The longer the masking tape is on, the more danger of damage (taking off paint chips or more) when you take it off.

masking tape

One straight line on a wall

For painting straight lines like this, you need two persons, and one very long piece of masking tape. One of you will stand above, applying the top edge of the tape, the other will do the same on the bottom. Stretch the tape straight, and put it on lightly. After that, rub the edge where you will paint the line. While applying the tape, an eventual third person can judge if the line is straight (or measure it out, before applying the tape)

Painting straight lines on irregular surfaces

When you apply the masking tape like I described just above, you can creat the illusion of a straight line, even when your surface is slightly irragular. In cases of structured wallpaper, pay some extra attention to rubbing the tape to the wall, to prevent the paint from creeping under the tape.

Painting the straight line

Your paint should be rather thick. Use a small brush, and paint in strokes along with the tape - don't wipe the paint under the tape. Once the stroke is there, remove the tape.

Painting straight lines

Painting straight lines on a round corner

In the case of round corners, let your colored wall section end just before the corner sets in. Then you exactly define the wall itself. It looks nice when the color field itself is straight.

And of course: you can do this on your furniture or canvas as well.

Related pages:

Oil Painting Techniques

Acrylic Painting

Watercolor painting

Color Schemes

Interior Painting techniques

Interior Painting Ideas


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