Home Improvement Paint

My Favorite Tape for Painting Tight Spaces and Delicate Surfaces

My Favorite Tape for Painting Tight Spaces and Delicate Surfaces | www.thechelseaproject.com

Hello Friends,

There are so many awesome DIY things coming your way in the next few days, I hardly know where to begin.   What I can say is that it’s April…and this means painting.  All kinds of painting…..including furniture.  And group linkups….all kinds of group linkups….. so that you get a whole lot of great choices in one convenient newsletter.

Handy and uncluttered.

It’s how we roll.  🙂

But for tonight, let’s talk tape.  
Yes, I admit that I’ve tried them all.  Tape, that is.  Some leaked, some stripped off the host paint, and some left glue residue.  Ugh.

So naturally, I was more than a little anxious when I needed to paint the wall around my newly refinished kitchen cabinets.  Yea, can you believe it?   I truly felt this way, despite over 20 years of interior painting experience.

Oh, I knew how to paint crisp, straight lines, especially where the wall and trim paints meet.


And overall, I’ve probably had better than decent results from a variety of masking tape products on the market.

But, this time …..things were different.


This time, I was faced with two very tight and curvy spaces and a cabinet finish that I did not want to aggravate, especially by using a masking tape that could damage the finish.

You see, a while ago, I had my builder’s grade white melamine cabinets gutted and refinished.


The guys took the doors to the shop, pulled off the melamine, sealed the pressed board that was underneath, and then painted them several times before bringing them back for the final glazing.

While that was going on in the shop, another crew removed the microwave from over the cook top, built-in a hood, rebuilt the cabinet to house the new microwave/oven combo, and attached a virtual boatload of molding to the frames.

IMG_1227Why on earth I didn’t have the wall painted at the same time is a mystery, but I didn’t.  One of the biggest crazies ever.  And, now, I’m paying for it.  Big time.   **Super Sigh**

Anyway, so now that I have finally figured out the colors for the rest of the house, I need to finish the kitchen.  This means I also need to paint around two walls of these oh-so-special, but oh-so-curvy cabinets all by my lonesome.


I’m not sure what took the most time….coming up with a plan of action….or the courage to stand on top of a 10-foot ladder and hang on to the molding with one hand while painting with the other. Which ever, just know that I avoided this bug-a-boo for as long as I could.  But now that the rest of the kitchen is complete, it was the moment of truth for the walls around those cabinets.

And time for me to bravely face this, not one, but 


(1) Burgundy paint – yikes – can’t miss a spot or it will show and needs at least two coats to cover.  (2) Tight spaces between the cabinets and the hood to access with boo-koos of curvy lines on that molding. Eccck. (3) Protecting the cabinet finish is an absolute must.


Turns out, all I needed to make this work was the simplest of items:

Artist brushes and a one-inch painter’s brush…..



FrogTape for Delicate Surfaces, and latex paint thinned with a few drops of warm water per cup of paint. #frogtape


And, here’s how to make it come together:


(1)  Start with a total wipe down of the surfaces.  Make sure there is no dust, grit, or grime.  I was able to use a damp cloth without any detergent.  If detergent is needed, a few drops of Dawn (or other degreasing detergent) will cut the grime, but be careful to wipe away all of the residue.

(2)  When dry, apply the tape using small pieces – 6 to 8 inches in length – because it is so much easier to manage.  And, really use the sensitivity of the fingertips to press the tape into the crevices of the molding. Take plenty of time and double-check that there is a perfect seal.  Trust me, if the tape is adequately pressed into the crevices, the FrogTape Delicate Surfaces will seal it off.

(3)  Then, the old-school painter in me used the one-inch painter’s brush – almost as a damp/dry brush – to create the first paint layer over the tape-to-wall connection. IMG_2515

Begin by placing the brush on the tape and brush towards the wall.  Let this dry before painting over it again.  It will only take a few minutes.  **Sorry for the grainy photo..it was like shooting in a cave without a tripod. **

It’s possible that because of the FrogTape, there’s no need for the initial dry/damp brush from tape-to-wall, but it’s an old-school habit that helped prevent leaks in the past, so why stop now?  Especially since I was so hyped about not getting paint on the cabinets.  Let’s just call it insurance….or peace of mind….or a product of being crazed with worry.

(4)  Then, paint the wall area using the painter’s brush.  For the tiny areas, switch to one of the artist brushes.


(5)  As you can imagine, I was also out on a limb trying to cover burgundy paint without the traditional stain-blocking primer coat.  I did have to apply two coats, but as quickly as one was dry (within an hour), the next coat was applied. When the second coat was dry (again – within the hour), the tape was gently removed by pulling the pieces off of the cabinets towards the wall.

**Shout out to Behr Premium Ultra Paint & Primer In One for the awesome two-coat coverage.**

(6)  Any little spot (below) that was covered with tape (and trust me, it was difficult to see back in those dark crevices) was then touched up with one of the very smallest artist brushes and a bit of thinned paint.  The paint was thinned so that it spread easier using the teeny, tiny artist brush.


It’s possible that since I was using FrogTape, I could have been less careful. I will tell you that the feel of this tape is unlike any other tape I’ve ever used. To the touch, it felt less like a traditional painting tape and more like a “second skin” used in first-aid.  I was very surprised.  It is most definitely a new generation of tape.


All I know is that I’m so relieved to have these tight and tedious areas painted.  And, I am also thrilled to report that there was not one single leak or one bit of damage to the cabinet finish.  This tape sticks like a dream and then pops off without a trace.

So ahhhhmazing.

IMG_2532Now, all that is left to do in the kitchen is painting a bit of the wall that I simply could not reach by myself and adding a few accessories.  But, all of the delicate surfaces that had me so worried are…….DONE!  YAY!!!!  and YAY!!!!

Now, after reading this story…don’t you feel a thousand times better about painting around a delicate surface in your home?

Yep……I thought so.


Now, go…… have fun…..and just tackle the heck out of all those scary little projects. 🙂



Thanks so much for visiting….

Until next time,

Happy painting,



Disclosure:  No product was supplied for this review and there are no affiliate links.

The review is based solely on my personal experience with FrogTape.



  • Reply 1915house April 20, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Wow!!!! I’m SO impressed that you got 2 coat coverage over burgundy!!! Reds are so hard to cover! And I wholeheartedly agree with you – that yellow frog tape is my favorite now, too! Once again-job well done my friend!!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 20, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      Thanks Sarah. That burgundy has been the dickens to cover, but SW Bittersweet Stem covers it in two coats and Dover White covers in two if primed.

  • Reply Marie, The Interior Frugalista April 20, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    I was using some of that wonderful tape just this afternoon. it’s my go to tape because I know there will be no paint bleed every time. Looking forward to seeing your kitchen reveal – it looks to be a gorgeous makeover!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 21, 2016 at 7:22 am

      Thanks, Marie. I know just what you mean about the tape. This is why I wrote the post. When I opened the packege and the tape felt like something used in first aid…I knew there was a new tape sheriff in town. LOL.

  • Reply How A Serpentine Chest Found Its Neutral Bliss – The Chelsea Project April 21, 2016 at 7:37 am

    […] A link explaining which tape I use and why is here.   Click here. […]

  • Reply Maxine April 21, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I love frog tape!! When we remodeled our home 5 years ago I used it on every edge to get a perfect line. I love your kitchen remodel Susie…. Your vent hood cover is amazing!
    Have a great day!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 21, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Thanks, Maxine. I drew that vent hood cover with a pencil on old-time graph paper. It might have been a crude rendering, but the guys surely understood what I had in mind. Appreciate your kind words… Always love hearing from you. XO

  • Reply Vintage Frame Makeover You Won't Believe - The Chelsea Project November 9, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    […] Just FIY, here’s another time I used FrogTape for delicate surfaces (Click here). […]

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