The Secret to Painting Perfect Lines With No Bleeding Paint

If you’ve painted anything before, chances are you wanted to paint perfect, crisp lines somewhere. I bet you carefully taped everything off – probably the baseboards when you painted the walls. You peeled away the tape after painting, and your excitement turned to disappointment when you saw the bleeding paint underneath the tape’s edges. Am I right?

We’ve all been there!

Have you heard of the super easy way to avoid this nasty surprise altogether? No?

Get ready, my friend, because this tip will blow your mind and change your painting life forever!

What Are We Painting?

Blue painted corner table

This little corner table is nothing special, but it is one of those pieces that follows me from home to home. It always manages to find an odd corner to fill.

When I recently went on a purging spree, I decided it was time for the corner table to go. It has been in a corner in front of the bonus room for the last few years – without any hardware! Initially, it had a wooden pull which I later replaced with a cup handle (which Stephen later needed for his hobby room.)

I don’t have any of the teal paint left that it was painted with, so I can’t just patch the holes on the drawer and add new hardware. Just one more (quick) makeover, and then I can get rid of it…

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The paint needed only to be scuffed and deglossed, but I was in a hurry and grabbed the orbital sander, which took off most of the paint.

Painting a sanded down corner table with chalk paint in a sand color

I began by painting the whole piece in a neutral color. (I will provide the product list and color names at the end of the post.)

To add a bit of interest, I decided to paint stripes on the sides and front, which finally brings us to the title of this post!

How to Paint Perfect Lines and Avoid Them from Bleeding

The side of a wooden table taped off with painter's tape to paint stripes

First, tape the areas where you want crisp, clean lines. And THEN, the step that changes everything!

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Before painting the second color, paint that area with the base color you taped off. Be careful not to create thick ridges, but seal those edges well! If any bleeding is going to happen, you want it to be with the color underneath the tape. This is one of the most awesome tips I have ever learned.

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Once the base coat is dry, you can go ahead and paint the second color. This time, without the anxiety! I wanted black for my complementary color on the sandy beige, but it looked awful!

Instead, I used a deep, dark navy. I used it on a previous project, and it was too dark when I wanted navy blue, but in this case, it worked perfectly as a substitute for black.

The moment of truth!

Did it work?

Pulling off painter's tape to reveal a crisp,clean painted line

Like a charm! How gorgeously crisp is that line?!

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A second useful tip is to pull the tape off at an angle, away from your painted line.

The Finished Product – with Perfectly Painted Lines

Stripes with perfectly painted lines on the sides of a corner table

Ok, is it just me, or is the back of this table SO PRETTY that it feels like such a shame to put it in a corner? Sigh. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’ve never met a stripe I didn’t like!

Product List

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  • Sand Bar
  • In The Navy
  • Clear Coat – Flat (all Dixie Belle products)
Perfect paint lines on a striped table

These rich autumn colors complement the sand and navy of the table beautifully.

The only neutral/blank corner I could find to show off the corner table was on the stair landing.

Funny enough, this was its place when we moved in here!

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In this close-up shot, the navy definitely looks blue and not black.

For the new hardware, I chose a simple but elegant brass pull that won’t steal attention away from the stripes.

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With all the imperfections fixed and a brand-new look, the corner table is now ready for a new home.

On second thought, I love the stripes so much that I might keep it here on the stair landing for a little while…

Is it a keeper? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time, happy painting!