In order to paint perfect stripes on a wall (or whatever pattern you desire), certain steps must be taken to make sure the paint does not bleed behind the painter's tape.
For painted stripes that do not bleed, follow the tips and tricks below.
Make sure that the surface you are painting is clean and dust free.
Dirt may make the paint apply unevenly and dust won't allow the painter's tape to adhere properly.
Use painter's tape, whatever type you prefer, to tape off the wall where you want your stripes or wherever you wish to change paint colors.
Work in strips of tape no longer than 2' long.
Do not stretch the tape as it may bubble or break.
Make sure to press down the tape very well.
You might wish to use a tool, such as a bone folder, to help press down the tape.
Existing Wall Color
Paint over the tape the existing wall color.
For example, if you are painting a white stripe on a red wall, you will need to paint over the tape with red paint.
This step will ensure that all tiny gaps under the tape are filled with the existing wall color and will not allow the white paint to bleed underneath.
If you are painting against white painted molding, such as baseboards, chair rail, crown molding, window frames, door frames, or white painted cabinets, cover the line where the tape meets the wall with paintable caulk to fill in all the tiny gaps.
You can also use paintable caulk on the seem of painters tape against a white painted ceiling that is heavily textured.
After the wall paint or caulk is dry, paint your stripe color.
Once the first coat of stripe paint is dry, add a second coat of paint if necessary.
Carefully Remove Tape
After the paint has fully dried, but before the clean removal date on the tape you selected, remove the tape from your wall.
If the paint sticks to the tape, use a utility knife to cut the edge between the wall and tape to ensure clean removal of the tape without the paint being removed as well.