Home renovation projects can be tricky if you're trying to reduce waste. After all, many supplies are designed to be disposable and single-use. One prime example is painter's tape, which is necessary for paint jobs ... but wasteful AF.
Enter a handy tool called a trim guard. The item, which was shared by @emilyrayna on TikTok, is essentially a narrow rectangle made of thin metal or plastic. Some versions might also have a handle, depending on the manufacturer. It's designed to replace traditional painter's tape.
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Simply use one hand to hold the tool against the edge you're painting. Next, hold the brush in your other hand, and paint the trim as usual.
Now, it's worth noting that a trim guard isn't ideal for all types of jobs. One example is a painted geometric design on a blank wall. Basically, if there's no trim, it will be difficult to create a continuous straight edge with this tool.
It might also be uncomfortable to hold the tool in place for a long time. So, you might have to work slowly or in shorter increments, especially if you're painting a larger space.
Other ways to paint straight edges without tape:
If you're looking for other alternatives for painter's tape, consider using a paint edger. The tool consists of a small flat pad attached to a plastic handle. You soak the pad in paint, then swipe the tool along the edge.
Another option is to try a "seashell" painting technique. It involves rotating the brush to create a "seashell" shape, which allows the brush's bristles to coat tiny gaps along the trim. So smart!