We just had a new gas fireplace installed and the contractors built a wooden surround / mantel for it, but I asked them to leave the staining / finishing to me (I'm a hobbyist furniture maker, so I think I can do a nicer job).

Unfortunately what I didn't count on is that the facing around the fireplace unit is tile with white grout, which extends out and butts up against the wood surround. I'm afraid that even if I tape the edges and am super careful, it's probably impossible to avoid getting any stain on the grout line where the wood/tile meet.

Any clever ideas on how to protect this temporarily? Or would I be better off just actually removing that grout line and re-grouting after all the finish is on?

  • Maybe apply grout sealer. Let dry then careful taping with non wicking painters tape(frog tape) if it works great if not remove and regrout after finish is dry
    – Kris
    Dec 15, 2017 at 16:15
  • I have used painters tape but had some seepage of stain , I found that using painters tape and some clear fingernail polish to seal the edge kept the stain from wicking into the grout/ tile. I have done this several times with good results.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 15, 2017 at 19:32
  • Thanks guys. I'm thinking I'll use sealer, which needs to be done anyway, and then try Ed's suggestion - wouldn't have thought of the nail polish!
    – Paul D
    Dec 16, 2017 at 23:06

1 Answer 1


I'm thinking removable caulk might work. I've used it to seal windows during the winter, and it comes off pretty easy from glass and plastic, so it might work.

This would give you something a little larger to work with, as far as making sure it hits all the right spots, as well as when trying to remove it later. Leaving a large bead would also make it easier to adhere tape to.

IDK if tape sticks to it, but it's an idea. I also don't know how well it would come off grout, or if it would damage it when trying to peel it off.

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