Background information I tried to paint two different colored stripes on a wall. I used tape for masking the stripes and then I first painted the tape with the background color to "seal" it off. Then I painted the stripes in orange / blue and the plan was a perfect edge. However as you can see in the picture, the edge is far away from perfect and I'm not sure why. The whole wall Closeup


  1. Do you have an assumption on why this happened, even though I prepared the wall with tape and the background color?
  2. Do you have an idea on how I could repair the wall? My best idea was that I use a really small brush and a calm hand and then try to paint over the bad edges...

Thank you in advance!

EDIT I repaired every mistake with an really small brush! Worked out perfectly!

2 Answers 2


I hate to tell you this, but you will have to either start over or make the stripes wider when you redo them. Unless you are some "gifted" artist, you aren't going to be able to free-hand those lines.

The hardest part about your dilemma is the fact that the wall has a rough surface. It's going to be pretty hard to achieve a "perfectly" straight line. However, the smudges can be prevented.

First of all, you can't use just any painter's tape. I used 3M Safe-Release tape for years until I found a few better tapes. Frog Tape works very well and they have different types depending on your surface. I recommend using Frog Tape Multi-Surface for your project.

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Taping is not the only thing to keep in mind. When you paint your stripe you need to do what is called "feathering". Dip your brush and then wipe it nearly dry on the edge of the paint can. Apply the paint "away" from the edge of the tape. If you paint toward the tape edge you increase the chances of pushing the paint underneath the tape. Fill in the stripe by feathering it as well. The stripe will not cover the paint underneath yet. It should appear streaky and light. This is intentional, as you are creating a "tack coat" for the finish coat to better adhere to.

After you feather the stripe, wait about 30 minutes for the paint to dry about halfway (for latex paint). Afterwards, go back and feather the edges once more and fill in the stripe again. The stripe will be much richer and will cover better. Sometimes you might need to do a third coat. If you know that the color of your stripe isn't going to cover well (e.g., Pink over Yellow), you might need to use a stain blocker on the first coat. However, you will need to apply it very lightly and allow to completely dry before applying any finish paint.

I like to remove the tape while the paint is still wet. It prevents issues with the paint possibly sticking to the tape.

  • 3
    Totally accurate, just wanted to add that you could use spray paint. It would require more masking off but gives a great finish.
    – Joe Fala
    Mar 10, 2019 at 13:43

Yeah, the paint crept under the masking tape because it wasn't well pressed onto the surface. From the look of it, you properly sealed one edge but not the other, just because of whatever finger motion you used there.

I don't agree that a different brand of tape is the curative, because I am looking at other edges you laid, which worked just fine. Presumably you worked with the same tape. It appears the technique is the issue, not the tape.

It will be hard to correct since it is hard to cover a bright color with white. It may take several coats and that may have an observable texture.

I would try to physically remove either attack it immediately with water and try to dissolve the errant paint to the point most of the color is gone, which will also badly mar the colored stripe under it... And then repaint both. Or alternately, wait a few weeks until it is fully cured and try to physically scrape off the layer very delicately with a razor knife. Then you can put masking tape on the colored layer and repaint the white without so many coats.

A potentially better strategy for this sort of thing is some sort of adhesive tape as the final marking.

  • The background color is beige and not white, so I think that it would be possible to cover the blue with 2-3 coats. Do you think that it is possible to do so with an small brush and a calm hand? Because obviously this would be the cheapest and "fastest" option... I don't really want to paint the wall again... :/
    – lahuf
    Mar 10, 2019 at 20:09

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