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How to Fix Paint That Has Bled Through Your Tape

How to Fix Paint That Has Bled Through Your Tape

So you spent the whole weekend taping, drop-clothing, and carefully painting your brand new walls. You watched all of the tutorials, followed the directions and were meticulous with the corners. Excited about your great new walls, you remove the blue painters tape to reveal your new look and…..bleeding. EVERYWHERE.

Maybe it even looked a little something like one of my projects recently:

Before - WallSo first things first, yes you are allowed to yell or cry if you need to. Maybe go for a jog. Maybe punch a few things. It is super frustrating! Especially if you live in a place with walls like this one pictured, where they have become highly textured from layers and layers of paint over the the years. Walls like these can be difficult, and even if you follow all of the traditional advice, you might still find yourself with bleeding walls.

So, once you’ve calmed down, come back from your jog (or got yourself a nice big scoop of ice cream), here are some step by step tips to fix this monstrosity of a wall.

For this project you are going to need the following:

How to Fix Paint Bleed - Box of Design


Begin by laying the drop cloths all around the carpets and furnitures, making sure that your things are protected from paint splatters or spills (because no matter how careful you are, these are bound to happen).

Next, grab the Frog Tape. I recommend this brand specifically, just because after lots of frustrating paint jobs, this seems to be one of the only tapes that can get me really clean lines – even with textured walls. It does tend to be more expensive, but after re-painting walls more than once, I’m more than happy to spring for the more expensive tape if it means that it comes out right the first time.

Place the Frog Tape in the cornerĀ of the wall you want to protect. If you are trying to fix bled paint, that means you want to place it against the wall that you’ve just painted (first making sure the paint is dry of course).

How to Fix Bleeding Paint - Box of Design


The paint bleeds should show on the opposite wall. In this case, my grey paint bled onto my white walls, so I placed the Frog Tape on the grey walls, and you can see where the grey is showing on the white wall. This is the part I want to fix, and replace with a nice crisp line!

Next, you’re going to use the secret step – CAULK. I got this tip from a painter that had worked with hundreds of textured and difficult walls, and he swore that this would create perfect lines. By placing a thin film of caulk along the tape, it seeps under the tape and fills any holes that may have caused paint leakage. So when the paint does go on, it will stay on the side of tape you want it to!

How to Fix Bleeding Paint - Box of Design


Place a thin line of caulk along the tape, and use your finger to smooth it along the edge. You don’t want huge amounts, but you do want there to be enough to seal off the edge, so don’t be shy.

Next you’re going to take your paint, and paint right into the corner, over the caulk. I usually caulk the entire wall, so by the time I am done, I can start painting where I’d started, since it’s given the caulk enough time to dry.

How to fix bleeding paint  - Box of Design


Place enough coats of paint here to ensure that you can no longer make out the paint bleeds from the opposite color. For example, I had to use two coats of white paint here to cover the dark grey bleed marks. Continue painting along all of your edges. By the time you are done with a whole wall, the paint at the beginning of the wall might be ready to remove the tape. I usually remove the tape when things are still wet, but had have a little time to set.

How to fix bleeding paint - Box of Design


And there you have it – you should have a beautiful, clean, sharp line!

Painting can be frustrating, especially when things don’t turn out the way you wanted them to. But with a little patience (ok, a lot of patience) and some practice, you can have beautiful walls!

Happy Decorating!


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