How to Paint a Straight Line on a Wall without Tape?

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Painters, especially DIY enthusiasts, heavily depend on temporary paint tapes in their work. Painting tapes come cheap and work fine to help you do flawless paint jobs. But using tapes to keep your brush or roller strokes straight might be time-consuming. That is why knowing how to paint a straight line on a wall without tape might come handy for you. You can make your brush strokes straight in a couple of ways in the absence of paint tapes that we are going to show you now.


What to Do when Tape is not Available

There are not too many doors open for you when you intend to avoid using paint tapes. Still, we have tried to figure out two effective ways that can never let you feel the absence of paint tapes. We are showing you both so that you can decide which one to follow.

Stroking while Holding a Ruler

I recommend this method when I don’t want to use any tape for straight paint strokes. It doesn’t need any special tool or instrument anyway.

Things You Need

  • Eligible brush or roller
  • Metal scale

The Method

First, you need to collect a metal ruler, which should be wide but thin. You can get one from any stationary nearby. This ruler here works just like painting tape for you. 

Now, hold the ruler right under the boundary you have set for the paint you are using. Remember to hold the scale straight. 

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After that, start pulling your brush on the surfaces beside the scale. Here, the biggest advantage is if suddenly the brush crosses the boundary, it can only put paint on the scale, and the rest of the surface stays clean. You can also use an airless paint sprayer in this method because sudden spray-function failure can’t also make the paint cross the boundary.

When a part of the surface gets a straight paint stroke, move the scale to another side. You should keep the scale straight with the previous lining. And, try to hold the scale precisely so that it doesn’t move a bit. 

Repeat the whole process until you create a long enough straight line with your brush or roller.


  • Needs to hold both the scale and brush properly for a good result. You can lose focus and balance while doing both. 
  • Your hands can become painful if you follow the method for covering a wider surface.

Using Angular Brush

Most of the professionals suggest using an angular brush when paint tape is negotiated. I have also tried to follow this method at my home. It has also turned out to be good in many ways.

Things You Need

  • A small angular brush
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil

The Method

Picking up the right type of brush is the first task. But it is quite complex here. You need to find a brush with enough angled. On the brush, the smallest fibers need to be two-third of the longest fibers for better angle and ease of use. Moreover, the handle should be a bit smaller.

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After picking up a good angular brush, you need to draw a straight and sharp line on the surface to make a boundary. You can use a measuring tape and a pencil or any sharp object to create a straight line. 

If you are done with making the line, start using the brush for painting. The long fibers of the brush should be at the top when you hold the brush. Pull the brush horizontally following the line you have created earlier. The line should become invisible after you create a straight paint boundary with the brush.


  • You can’t use HVLP paint sprayers in the method. 
  • You have to move the brush slowly for not making any mistakes.

Final Thoughts

Using paint tapes or masking tapes can ensure you a fine paint job. But it also has some negative issues. One is you can use masking tapes on uneven places as they can’t stay straight on such surfaces. Another common negative side of using tapes is it adds two more steps in your paint job which consumes at least 15 to 20 minutes. That is why it is better not to stay dependent on tapes even if tapes ease your work. You should practice any of the following methods above to improve your painting skills.