I'm building a dog house for my backyard and have put a water seal on the floor and porch, since those will be most exposed to the elements. Now I need to paint the walls and went to put painter's tape over the parts I don't want painted, but the tape doesn't stick to the sealed wood.

What are my options here?

  • 1
    Paint more carefully? I don't mean this to sound trite, but that's how things were done prior to painter's tape being a thing. Some painters still rely on this a surprising amount to save on tape, taping time and the possibility of paint lift-off when you eventually peel off the masking tape. Sure it'll slow you down but it's just one dog house, it won't be a big deal. If you do get some overpaint or spatters A) I'm sure your dog won't mind ^_^ but more importantly B) there's a darned good chance they won't stick well given tape doesn't!
    – Graphus
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 22:33
  • I painted my turned porch posts a couple of years ago. Put down some drop cloths to protect the floor, but simply used a 1" cut angle brush, care, and patience.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 18:32

2 Answers 2


Back before quality painter's/masking tape was available to the masses, my dad always used a painter's straight edge for cutting into corners and wall/ceiling junctions:

painter's straight edge from Amazon

Source: amazon.com

They're available in different lengths (this particular one comes in 12" and 24" sizes) and are much faster and easier to use than painter's tape... especially when it doesn't stick :)


You can test to see if the paint will stick to the water seal. If it does, you can try wax, which is what I use where panels connect to stiles/rails in panel and frame construction. You can use painters tape on the unsealed wood before laying down the wax and then take it off to get a sharp edge.

  • 1
    Well, it seems the OP has already tested and the tape does not stick to the water seal. Since it's already been sealed, it seems that it's also a bit late for wax, too, doesn't it?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 18:34

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