These simple devices come in all different shapes and sizes — who knew there could be so many types of paint shields? — and most sit around the same price point. An inexpensive tool, a paint shield is a handy addition to your DIY arsenal, but only if you use it correctly.
With that in mind, here we look at how to use a spray paint shield and look at why you might choose a shield over painter’s tape. But first, what exactly is a paint shield?
What Is a Paint Shield?
Sometimes known in the industry as a paint trim guard, these metal or plastic tools typically include a straight edge that allows you to cut in with ease. Some high-tech versions can connect directly to an extension pole and are great at reducing bounce back.
Paint Shield vs Tape?
It’s also easy to forget to tape a critical place and not realize until you are just about to spray there. If that happens, you’d need to put down the tools, clean your hands, and remember where you left the tape. Not the end of the world, of course, but it does interrupt your workflow and productivity.
Additionally, painter’s tape can’t be reused and some low-quality tapes allow the coating to bleed through, which destroys the neat finish you were aiming for.
A painting shield, on the other hand, is with you every step of the way. These tools are designed to be held during use and once you get into the swing of things, you’ll hardly even notice you’re using a spray paint shield.
What To Look For in a Paint Shield
You could make your own paint shield system, but to be honest, by the time you’ve researched designs and located the materials in your workshop, it’s smarter and faster to invest in a ready-made shield.
Plus, manufacturers are constantly innovating gadgets that make using a paint-guide tool an effortless affair.
For example, the Titan Guide Accessory Tool includes a wheeling disk that attaches to an extension pole or a spray gun extension. This is great as it rotates as you go and keeps one of your hands free for other tasks.
Speaking of extension rods, if you don’t own one already then the FUNTECK Universal Spray Guide Kit includes a lengthy pole to prevent you from shooting your hands off when working with a powerful airless sprayer.
If you’re more old school, then a regular rectangular painting shield may be more your style. In which case, make sure it’s lightweight enough that you won’t tire while holding it up but not so light that it moves easily. Also, a reinforced rubber grip will stop it from slipping out of paint-covered hands.
Last but not least, consider the size of your project as this dictates the size of your painting trim guard.
What You Need to Follow This Tutorial
- Paint sprayer.
- Paint shield.
- A buddy (not mandatory but very helpful).
- Extension pole.
- Coveralls and protective gear such as goggles and a face mask.
How To Use a Paint Shield to Create a Straight Line
For example, when coating a baseboard, place the spray paint edger against the floor. Then when you are ready to coat the top part, position the device against the wall.
For water-based paints, soapy water will do the trick. Oil-based coatings will require a mineral solution or dedicated paint thinner.
Remember to go at your own pace, press down firmly and clean thoroughly when you are done. This attention to detail will help you achieve those clean lines that make all the difference to your finish.
Now you know how to use a paint shield, there’s no limit to the surfaces you can coat, so crack on and get painting!
How To Use a Paint Shield FAQs
Q: How Do Painters Get Perfect Edges?
Professional painters swear by paint guards to achieve those perfect sharp edges. In my opinion, if it is good enough for the pros, then it is also great for us weekend warriors.
Q: What Can I Use As a Paint Shield?
What you can use as a paint shield is only limited by your imagination! There are numerous items around your home that will work — a putty knife or even a dustpan can double as a homemade paint shield!
However, if you want the best result, a purpose-built device will provide a keener edge.
Q: Do I Need To Cut in Twice When Painting?
You shouldn’t need to cut in twice when paint spraying. Complete cutting in with the initial coat, then apply a second coat so that the two dry at the same pace.
Q: What Is the Best Paint Edging Tool?
The best paint shield for you depends on the size of the project you’re completing and the type of spray gun you’ll use. If you plan to use an airless machine, for example, then an airless paint sprayer shield with an extension pole is probably your best solution.
Alternatively, for small intricate tasks completed with an HVLP, a cardboard holder for painting could suffice.
Q: Should I Use a Paint Edger?
If you are happy with bleeding edges and a finish that is just adequate, or, you’re a crack painter who cuts in like a pro every single time, you don’t need to use a shield.
For the rest of us, a paint shield can make the difference between a good finish and a great finish. It might seem a little fussy and perfectionist, but when it comes to our homes, we think that’s a good thing.
Q: How Do You Use a Paint Cutting Tool?
If you are not sure where to get started with how to use a paint shield or cutting tool, check out my handy step-by-step guide above.