Expert Advice: Removing Masking Tape

Painting expert Brian Santos discusses masking off a room. Read more in his new book, "Painting Secrets."
Author Brian Santos

Q. Should I let the paint dry before I remove the masking tape?

Brian Santos: Pull the masking tape while the paint is fresh! Remove the masking materials within 45 to 60 minutes after the paint is applied and set to prevent surface tear up. The idea of masking tape is to protect surfaces from the paint, however when you slop the wet paint over the sealed masking tape, then let the paint cure to hard, the paint film is now bonding to both the wall and the masking tape. As you remove the masking tape, the film acts as one piece, and will tear and rip up the wall or trim work. It's definitely easier to remask an area than to repair it.


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