Keep Your Paint in Line

The thought of painting crisp lines between the ceiling and a textured wall can leave the best DIY painters on edge. Even with painter’s tape, unwanted color can still seep underneath, causing encroachments and wrecking your straight lines. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry. We’ve got a few tried-and-true tips from the professionals for a successful project!

empty room with ladder and painting supplies

Prep Work

Clear any furniture out of the room or cover everything with drop cloths. Remove the cover plates from electric switches and apply painter’s tape to the base molding and trim around windows and doors. Cover light fixtures and ceiling fans with garbage bags and spread drop cloths over the floor, securing them with painter’s tape.

From Top to Bottom

Start with the ceiling and extend a coat of paint down the walls about three inches. Once dry, line the perimeter of the ceiling with painter’s tape, making sure the edge is firmly pressed against the wall. Then, using a small brush, apply ceiling paint along the three inches of the wall up to the edge of the tape on the ceiling. This additional paint will seep underneath the tape, filling any cavities created by texture and forming a barrier that will prevent any wall paint applied later from seeping under the tape.

Flawless Finish

While your ceiling paint dries, begin painting the walls, stopping just short of the few inches of ceiling paint still drying at the top. Once the ceiling is dry, continue painting to the top of the walls, being mindful to overlap the edge of the tape. For the final, crucial step, gently peel away the ceiling tape while the wall paint is still damp. Now you can sit back, relax and enjoy your freshly painted space featuring crisp, straight lines!