How Long should Paint Dry before Taping Over It?

A paint or a painted surface should be kept to dry for at least 24 hours or a whole day before taping over it. Different types of colors take different times to dry itself. If you know how long should paint dry before taping over it, you will not make any mistake of taping at the wrong time.

Taping is needed over painting to protect the base coat so the wall’s painting refrains from dripping off soon. Throughout this article, I will let you know how much time you should wait to put on taping after the coloring is done and also I will guide you about the perfect size, quality, and application procedure of taping according to different colors.

How Long should Paint Dry before Taping Over It


It is very important to wait with patience for a long time before taping over the paint. Taping is also an essential task for a painter so that the paint stays flawless for a long time. If you do not wait before taping, it will bring about a few negative results.

If the paint does not dry enough, the paint will smudge when you put tape on it because of the watery thick texture. Then, it will take a lot of time for you to correct the messy colors as half-dried colors are quite hard to remove. There will also be a wastage of colors as most of the half-dried colors will be stuck with the tape when you remove the tape later. Sometimes, it will cost you to buy more colors to re-apply on the surface for perfect finishing.

Why do You Need Painter’s Tape?

A painter’s tape is an unavoidable and productive tool that helps to create unmistaken paintings with perfect finishing. The reasons why do you need a painter’s tape are-

  • It will reduce the possibility of overlapping color coats.
  • It will help in maintaining straight lines where it is needed.
  • Taping reduces the chance of uneven painting.
  • It helps to protect the areas where the paint is not done.
  • Taping is the easiest way of applying over and removing from color paint.
  • It reduces both time and energy for its quick service as you do not need any heavy or costly tools for this purpose.

This is why a painter’s tape is important in painting.

How Long do You Wait for Paint to Dry Before Taping Over It?

The time waiting for the paint to dry depends on 2 things the type of color and the amount of color put. Generally, the lighter colors like white and others take less time to dry out. On the other hand, the darker ones take much time comparatively.

We tape over the painting when we fill that the paint is dry. The chart below shows the time of waiting for different types of paints to dry so that you can tape over them-

Type of ColorTime needed to dry
Latex paint2-4 hours
Acrylic paint2-4 hours
Oil-based paint4-6 hours
Different Paint Color Waiting Time

This time schedule is only applicable for a small amount of color. If you are painting on a large wall, then it will take 1 or 2 days minimum to dry for taping or re-coating. Moreover, this schedule can vary over the components present in the used colors and the environment where the painting is done.

Tips for Using Painter Tape

There are a few tips and tricks for using painter tape. These are-

Tips for Using Painter Tape

Choosing the Right Tape

If you are not painting all the walls of a single room, then you will definitely need painter tape to secure the parts where you have not put colors. Now, you need to choose the perfect tape for your color. Do not use tape with high adhesion as it may remove a few parts of the paint.

Too high adhesive tapes are used for external projects at outdoors and the lesser adhesive ones are used in internal standard taping.

Choosing Painter’s Tape

You must choose a painter’s tape as a similar look-alike masking tape is fragile type. A painter’s tape is easy to use. Though using it is a bit time consuming as you need to cut it steadily, it does not tear apart while working.

Apply the Tape

At first, you need to cut the tape according to the size of your need. Try to keep a few length edges so that you can remove them easily when your work is done. You have to apply the tape straight. Press the middle point of the cut tape at first. Then, slowly press and go forward and backward.

Make Sure the Tape Gets Pressed into

The thinner the tape, the easier to apply. Because, if you do not press the whole taped area fully, the air may go inside and there will be a chance of color going under the tape where you will not want the color to go. You can use your hard or any sharp element to press down the tape effectively.

Use a Damp Rag

You have to make sure there is no dust around the taped area and that is why you should rub the edges of the tape with a damp rag or cloth to remove dust. This procedure also seals the tape more perfectly.

Using Painter’s Tape Over Wallpaper

Painter’s tape can be used over wallpaper.  Putting on the accurate type of painter’s tape is very important. You can try to put a small amount at first to check whether it gets removed easily or not. If the results are positive, then apply painter’s tape over the wallpaper.

Remove Painter’s Tape

Removing the painter’s tape perfectly ensures the professional finishing of the task. When you see that the painted surface is not runny anymore and is in a half-dried condition, then you can pull the tape off backwards.

Try to pull back the tape at a 45 degree angle. But, if you find the edges are still sticky too much, then pull the tape back at 90 degree angle.

Remove Tape from the Wall

Tapping on a cloth soaked in warm water over the tape softens it and helps you to remove it easily. Otherwise, you can use a dryer tool to provide hot air so that the tape gets removed smoothly.

If you want to clean the sticky adhesive residuals after removing the tape, you can use a rag soaked in hot water and rub it on the surface where it is needed.

Make Sure You Move Tape Away

After removing the tape, you have to throw it away because you have removed the tape in a condition where the paint is not fully dried for better removal. So, if you keep the removed tape aside, there is a chance of it getting onto the paint again because of airflow or any reason. Then, it may remove some colors and make the painting uneven.

Read Also: Fix a Bad Mud Job on Painted Drywall

Top 4 Painters Tape

The top 4 painter’s tapes are-

Best Multi-Surface Tape/Scotch

This type of tape is waterproof and consists of a medium level of stickiness. It is mainly famous for using shaped-edged painted lines. The application and removal of this kind of tape are smooth.

Best Combo Pack/FrogTape

This combo tape is quite similar to the multi-surface tapes. It can be removed easily for up to 14 days of painted space. It can be used both in interior and exterior painting surfaces.

Best Thick Tape/Duck

The name itself denotes that the stickiness of this tape is too high. It clenches the surface firmly. It will stay resistant to any weather or temperature. You may need a rag with hot water to pull it off. It needs quite an effort to remove this tape. So, be careful while putting on this tape anywhere.

Best for Outdoor Surfaces/Scotch

This type of tape does not tear easily so it is wind-resistant. It can hold a painted space for up to 10 to 12 days in challenging weather conditions. It never leaves any sticky stains on the surface. The paint needs to be fully dry before removing it at a 45 degree angle. If you are painting outside, then go for this type of tape.

Don’t Do It

You have to wait a certain amount of time for the paint to dry. But, if you do not wait enough time and apply another paint coat, then it will bring a few consequences. These are-

  • The painted surface will become uneven,
  • Colors from a few areas may move while re-coating,
  • Your painting may be ruined drastically,
  • Your color will be wasted and you may have to spend some additional money to buy more paint to fix it.

So, to avoid this kind of hassle, wait until the paint dries perfectly.

Alternative Options

If you do not have the right tape around you, you should not worry because there are 3 effective alternatives that will fulfill the empty task of a painter’s tape. These are-

Lip Balm

On a glass type surface, you can use a lip balm instead of a tape. It is chosen as a good alternative because you can remove it effortlessly with one single rub with a rag. Moreover, lip balm is a budget-friendly item so it will not cost you more.

Periodic Defensive Coating

Apply a liquid layer on the edges of the glass or surface that will be a gel when it gets dry. When your paint is dried, simply remove the gel with a cloth or your own hand.

Paper Strips

Paper strips are no less than a painter’s tape. First, cut down the paper straightly, soak it in water for 2 to 3 seconds, and put the strips on the glass according to the shape you want to make. You can easily remove it by pulling it back when your paint is dry.


Can you paint over painter’s tape?

Yes, you can paint over painter’s tape. In this case, you need to wait until the tape’s adhesive firmly grasps the surface. Once it is done, you can re-apply paint on it.

Will painters tape remove paint?

On the conditions, painter’s tape may remove paint. Generally, a painter’s tape is made in such a way that it will be removed easily. But, if you start pulling it when the paint is not dry enough, or if the tape is set in the wrong way, then it may remove some colors too.

Why is my painter’s tape not sticking?

Sometimes humidity reduces the adhesiveness of any product. As a result, you can’t stick down the painter’s tape.

Moreover, lower adhesive tapes do not stick firmly in a hot temperature or windy weather.


I hope, now you have come to know how long should paint dry before taping over it. A paint’s finishing look depends on the tape you have used and the process you have applied while using the tape on the paint.

In art, patience is really necessary. You must wait for a moment short or quite longer for the paint to dry and apply tape or remove or re-coat colors. This is how you can complete a painting task with perfection.

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    Manuel Elmad

    Manuel Elmad has always been interested in technical things. When he was just a kid, he worked in a mechanical shop and learned all about the inner workings of electronics and machines. This sparked his thirst for knowledge and led him to pursue a career in this field. For the past 8 years, He has been working as a technician and loves to learn new things and also helps others to learn. In his spare time, Elmand likes to strike on the keyboard for spreading his knowledge and go hiking with his friends.

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