Get Crisp Paint Lines For Color Blocking on Walls

5 Materials
2 Hours

It can be really frustrating to spend an hour taping off a level line on your wall just to have the paint bleed under the painter's tape. Luckily, there's a really easy solution that requires only one additional (and simple) step to achieve a clean paint line with painter's tape.

No photo editing was used in this graphic. You're looking at the true crisp line I was able to achieve on my bonus room walls. The process is simple and it's such a no-brainer, you'll wonder "Why didn't I think of that?!"


The process for getting a good result with painters tape is always going to be a little time-consuming. But just one extra step on the front end can give you far better results.

STEP ONE: Mark a straight line across your entire wall.

STEP TWO: Follow that line to apply your painter’s tape.

STEP THREE: Using upward strokes, (towards the seam of the painter’s tape), paint the edge of the painter’s tape in the wall color you used prior.

Painter’s tape will always bleed but when you apply the existing wall color BEFORE your accent color, you’re insuring the bleed will blend.

Allow paint to dry.

STEP FOUR: Now, apply your accent color. Use a brush near the paint line so you don’t get overzealous with a roller.

Now is a good time to stand back and make sure your lines present evenly across the room.

Once you’ve verified your line appears straight, move forward with rolling on your accent wall paint.

Then remove the painter’s tape by slowly peeling it back once everything has dried.


Creating a straight line in a corner is easy because you can just flip the level to the next side. But getting a straight line when you’ve had obstacles, like windows, keeping you from accessing the full line is trickier.

Here’s how I handle it -

Measure the exact height of your existing line from baseboard to line.

Now mark that line on the next area of wall.

Follow the same process for creating a level line as before.

You can apply the same tips to door frames.

If you need to paint around a light switch, just remove the switch plate and continue your line and tape over the naked switch (turn off power if necessary)

With this blue color block, I’ve managed to break up the massive beige walls in this space.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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  • Short Short on Aug 28, 2019

    What is the textured wall by the steps

  • Tam Tam on Jul 24, 2020

    Sorry...but where is the link to the blog post?

  • Jw Jw on Aug 29, 2020

    Still can’t find any information on the wall with the squares! Did you do that?


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