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Professional Tips and Tricks

In my 40 years as a house painter and contractor, I've gathered many tips and practices that are now part of my every day routine. Some of these tips simply make my work faster or more efficient. Other tips help produce higher quality results.

I'm certain that homeowners painting their own dwellings will benefit from these suggestions. Less-experienced contractors may also find my suggestions helpful, so over the coming days and weeks I hope to provide this information freely via my Twitter feed.

Why am I sharing this hard-earned experience? It's my belief that generosity of knowledge and practice brings benefits to the giver and the recipient. I hope you'll call on me the next time you require a professional house painter.

You can access previous tips and keep up-to-date by "following" me on Twitter.


Masking tape tip #7: Occasionally you may find that the removal of the masking tape (after painting is completed) interferes with the edge of the painted surface. For example, the edge of the finish paint may come off the wall with the tape. This happens because—at the time of tape removal—the bond between the paint and the tape is stronger than the bond of the new paint to the surface you've painted. You can often avoid this problem by waiting overnight (or longer) for the paint to dry more thoroughly on the surface before removing the tape. If this is not possible, use a razor knife to carefully score the joint where the tape meets the painted surface.

Be sure your surfaces are clean before applying paint (even when using primer), and always use a primer if you are uncertain as to the type of paint that was previously applied to the wall. You can also avoid this problem by running a sander along the wall next to the masking tape prior to applying the first coat of paint.


A painting contractor began to remove the masking tape at the end of his day, and a huge section of the new paint (about 8 inches square) lifted off the wall with the tape. This problem is almost always due to uncured paint and/or poor adhesion of the first coat of paint.

This problem can be avoided by waiting for the paint to cure before removing the tape or by using a good primer for the first coat. Although primers are not generally necessary on residential repaints, their superior adhesion can help avoid this problem.

Copyright ©2011 by Nathan Harms
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