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Nice Clean Lines

One of the most common issues we come across when decorating is sloppy caulking, or rough and cracked edges between woodwork, such as door frames, and walls. It is difficult to caulk the edges of door frames if only the frames and doors are being decorated, as applying the chalk to the edge of the woodwork results in the chalk being smudged onto the wall or surrounding surfaces when removing the excess. This obviously wouldn’t be a problem if the walls were being decorated, as you would cut in a nice line between the frame and the wall. So how do you get a tight line on the edges of your frame, when only the frames are being decorated? Well the simple answer is you use masking tape. It is best to use a low-tack good quality masking tape, as low adhesion will make sure you don’t mark or pull any paint off the wall. It is also a good idea to use a good quality caulk, as cheap caulk can be slow to set, have poor adhesion and a low viscosity. So with that in mind lets take a look how you can apply the technique step by step.

In order to get a good line you need to apply the masking tape to the wall, a few millimeters away from the edge of the frame. Figure 1 depicts the application of the masking tape to the wall.

Figure 1

As you can see in the above picture there is a small gap between the frame and the wall. The masking tape is then applied a few millimeters away from the edge of the frame, this leaves a small amount of the wall visible. The chalk is then applied to the small gap left between the masking and the frame, don’t worry too much about being too precise as you will run a wet finger down the edge to smooth and push the chalk into the gap. Figure 2 and 3 demonstrates this.

Figure 2

Go steady with caulking and use just enough to fill the gap between the frame and wall.

Figure 3

Once the caulk has been applied, run a wet finger down the edge to fill in the gap. It’s good to have a wet rag with you, as your finger will get a bit messy while removing the excess caulk

Once the gap has been filled and the caulk smoothed out, the tape can be removed steadily. Figure 4 shows the finished result.

Figure 4

You can see from Figure 4 the line is perfect and there is no smearing or residue on the wall. This little detail can give your frames a professional finish using a very simple but effective technique.


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