How to Prevent Paint Bleed Through Painters Tape

Painting can be an exciting and rewarding project, but when you’re painting stripes or fun designs, one of the most common issues is how to prevent paint bleed through painter’s tape. The paint bleed not only looks unappealing, but it can also ruin the overall look of your piece.

Fortunately, if you learn the correct painting techniques for furniture, you prevent mistakes like this from happening. In this post, we will explore how to use painter’s tape and other techniques for preventing paint bleed through so that you get a beautiful finished product every time!

paint bleeding under painters tape with text overlay

Paint bleed through painter’s tape can be a frustrating and discouraging issue when painting furniture. Not only does it detract from the overall look of the unique painted look, but if not addressed, it can make your design look sloppy and unprofessional.

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But there are steps you can take to stop this from happening. In this post we’ll share exactly what to do to prevent paint bleed from happening when you’re painting with painters tape.

Let’s dive in! First up, the type of tape you use is actually pretty important.

supplies used on How to Prevent Paint Bleed Through Painters Tape

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Using Frog Tape

Yep, the type of tape you use can make a difference in how much bleed through you have!

The primary benefit of using Frog Tape is its paint block technology. This advanced adhesive formula helps to create a seal between the tape and surface, preventing any paint from seeping underneath it.

green and yellow Frog tape to prevent bleed

First, clean the surface with a damp cloth before applying Frog Tape in order to remove any dirt or dust particles that could interfere with adhesion.

Then make sure the edge of the tape is firmly pressed down against the surface, especially around corners and curves in order to create an effective seal and prevent paint from bleeding through.

You can go over the edge of the tape with a plastic putty knife or gift card to make sure it is firmly in place.

You can test a small area first before committing fully to ensure that there are no issues with adhesion or paint bleed-through once you begin your project.

Check out this difference between using Frog Tape and Regular Painters Tape on a rough surface. We didn’t use anything other than the different tapes in this photo.

Wondering what’s the best painters tape that doesn’t bleed? Head on over this post to learn more.

frog tape vs blue tape on rough surfaces

Pushing Down the Edge of the Tape

If you can’t use Frog Tape, and you just have regular painters tape on hand, then you can still do some things to prevent bleed-through.

After you put the tape on, use a plastic tool like a plastic putty knife or gift card to make sure the edge of the tape is securely in place and pushed completely against the surface you’re painting.

Pushing down the edge of the tape is a super important step to prevent paint bleed through when painting with any type of painters tape. This helps create a tight seal between the tape and the surface you’re painting, which helps keep any paint from seeping underneath.

If there are any gaps or spaces between the tape and surface, then the paint can easily seep through and create unwanted splotchy lines.

Painting a Coat of Clear Glaze or Undercoat Paint Color

Another great way to prevent paint bleed through when painting furniture is to apply a coat of clear glaze or undercoat paint color before you paint your new color over the top.

painting white base coat after taping to prevent paint bleed

This helps to seal any gaps that could otherwise be filled with your new paint color.

For example, let’s say that you have white paint as the base coat or the 1st color, and then you want a new blue color to come up against it. First, apply your painters tape where you want to start painting the blue color.

Then, apply a coat of the white paint over the edge where you want to paint the new color. Let the white paint dry.

This first coat of white paint will fill in the gaps where the blue paint would have seeped through the tape, but it will fill those gaps in with the white paint that is already there. When the white paint is dry, then you can paint over it with the blue paint.

When you pull back the tape, the blue and white paints will meet at a crisp line!

Here’s a visual of the steps. This will help regular painter’s tape, and even Frog Tape create crisp lines on very rough surfaces.

steps to prevent paint bleed with paint base coat

If you don’t have the base paint color on hand, or if you’re working with stained wood, you can use a clear glaze to paint over the painters tape first before painting your new color. Note: the clear glaze doesn’t work as well in my experience, but it’s better than nothing.

clear glaze vs no clear glaze when preventing paint bleed through tape

Be sure to use high quality tools and products when painting your furniture to get the best looking and most durable finish. Here is our list of the best brushes for painting furniture, and here is our list of the best paints for furniture.

You can find more information about all of the specific supplies and tools to make your project the best in our furniture painting tools and supplies post.

Peeling Back Tape When Paint is Wet

Last but not least, after you have painted the last coat of paint, let it start to dry, but don’t let it dry completely before peeling the painters tape off.

When you do peel off the painters tape, pull it at a 45 degree angle to help it peel off in a cleaner line as well.

peeling painters tape off when paint is wet

These tricks will help the tape not pull off any paint from your surface, and it will make it easier for the tape to peel off in longer pieces.

If you implement these tricks when painting with painters tape, you’re sure to not have any paint bleed seep under your tape! Happy painting!!

Preventing Paint Bleed Through Tape Results

Here are the final results of my test that shows the different variations mentioned in this post.

First up, we have a rough wall that was sectioned off. In this photo we used Frog Tape. From left to right we have the results of: no base coat, glaze base coat, then the paint base coat.

results of using green frog tape when painting

All of the results look decent, but the paint base coat had the best results.

In this photo, we used regular blue painter’s tape. From left to right we have the results of: no base coat, glaze base coat, then paint base coat.

results of using blue painters tape when painting rough surface

It’s crazy to see the difference the Frog tape makes, or the combination of the painters tape and the paint base coat to prevent the bleed through!

On a very smooth wood surface, here are the results of the same test. The differences weren’t very noticeable, but the Frog Tape had no bleed through spots, while the regular painters tape had a few bleed through spots here and there.

results of using blue painters tape and frog tape when painting smooth surfaces

How to Prevent Paint Bleed Through Painters Tape

paint bleed from painters tape with text overlay

Do you want to paint stripes or fun designs on your furniture surface, but there's always a paint bleed that ruins your project? Here's our guide on how to prevent paint bleed through painter's tape.

Instructions

  1. Clean the surface with a damp cloth before applying Frog Tape or regular painter's tape to remove any dirt or dust.
  2. For best results use Frog Tape.
  3. Firmly press the edge of the tape against the surface to create an effective seal. Then, go over the edge of the tape with a plastic putty knife or gift card.
  4. Test a small area first to check that there is no adhesion or bleed through problem.
  5. Apply a clear glaze or undercoat paint color to the edge of the tape before applying a new paint color over the top.
  6. Pull off the tape before it dries. Pull at a 45-degree angle to create a cleaner line.

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