How you remove your painter’s tape can be just as crucial as applying it. Proper tape removal can mean the difference of between perfection and a re-paint. So follow these tips carefully.

1. Know when to remove

  • Some tapes can be left on the painting surface for more than a week; but this isn’t common.
  • Make sure you pay attention to how long the painter's tape should be left on the surface.
  • For best results, remove tape as soon as you’re done painting; this will keep it from hardening and peeling away parts of your paint job.

2. It's all about the angle

  • When you remove the tape, slowly pull it toward yourself at a 135 degree angle.

3. If the paint is dry ...

  • What if you’re busy on another part of your project and the paint dries before you can remove the tape? Don’t panic.
  • Be aware that the tape may not be easy to remove, so don’t just try to pull it off quickly – this could cause paint to come away with the tape and cause an uneven line.
  • Carefully use a razor blade to cut the bond between the dried paint and your tape.

4. Multiple coats mean multiple tape jobs

  • You may require several coats of paint to complete a job – this means you’ll need to re-tape.
  • For the best results, do not leave tape in place as the first coat dries; remove it and re-tape the job to prepare for the second coat.

5. Clean up

  • There may be tape residue left on the surface; this can be fixed.
  • Use a sponge and a mild detergent, soap and water, window cleaning fluid, or a citrus-based cleaner and gently remove the residue.
  • Be sure paint is completely dry before removing residue.