This clever tool is good for way more than painting.

By Lauren Phillips
June 06, 2018
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You’re getting ready to paint one of the rooms in your home, and of course you’re all stocked up with tarps, painter’s tape, rollers, paintbrushes, and everything else you need for a clean paint job. Once you’re finished, though, what do you do with the leftover supplies?

The tarps and paint tools are best kept tucked away for your next project, but there’s no need to put the painter’s tape away any time soon: That little blue roll of tape can be used all over your home throughout the year, regardless of whether you’re tackling a big project. It can be easily removed without damaging the surface underneath, making it a great pick for minor home updates that require a little planning, organization, and more. Here, seven clever ways to use that roll of painter’s tape that don’t involve a drop of paint.

1. Map out furniture placement

If you’re thinking about getting a new piece of furniture or rearranging the pieces already in a room, use painter’s tape to simulate the dimensions of each, so you can avoid doors that don’t open and too-tight walkways. This works especially well for pieces that will be against a wall, such as headboards, dressers, and media stands. Once you tape out the height, width, and depth on the floors and wall, you can imagine how the addition will fit into your current room—and pick another one if it’s too big or too small. Once you’re finished (or if you need to make adjustments), pulling the tape off—without leaving a spot of damage—is a minute’s work.

2. Test rug sizes

Ordering a new rug—especially one for a large space—is no small decision. Large area rugs can cost a small fortune, and picking one that’s disproportionate to the space can either make your room look far too small or far too large. That doesn’t mean there’s a “right” rug size for each space, though. To test standard rug sizes, tape out the dimensions you’re considering: Does it cover the space you need covered? Do you wish it was larger, to cover more hardwood, or smaller, so it doesn’t bump against a different furniture setting in the same room? Adjust as needed until you find the right size—the painter’s tape won’t damage your floors, even after multiple applications.

3. Plan your gallery wall

Picking artwork to make up a gallery wall is tricky, but hanging all those frames and canvases can be even trickier. It takes a lot of thought to get the spacing between each border right, and even more to establish a neat grid. Enter painter’s tape: You can use strips to map out a neat grid, if you want to hang things in an orderly manner, or use smaller pieces cut to match your artwork to plan out your precise arrangement ahead of time. A little planning can go a long way, and taking steps to map out your photo wall can mean the difference between a sloppy assortment and a well-ordered display, especially if you’re careful to apply the tape in straight lines and align your frames with them. Once you’re happy with the spacing, you can strip off pieces of tape as you hang.

4. Get wires and cords out of the way

Keep stray wires and cords grouped together and fastened safely, either to a wall or the floor, with a bit of tape. If you have a jumble of cords, you can bundle them together neatly; if you have one stretching up high, like to a lamp at the top of a bookshelf, you can tape the cord neatly against the wall to keep it from getting caught on other pieces of furniture (or by little hands or paws).

5. Leave gentle reminders

Sometimes, when you need to leave a loving (or not so loving, depending on the offense) note for a family member or roommate, an easily lost sticky note isn’t going to cut it. Stick your note somewhere it won’t be missed, or tape reminders, house rules, or even Wi-Fi passwords on the backs of cabinets or against the sides of furniture for important info that is easily moved or removed all together, damage-free

6. Label odd objects

Write your name on a piece of painter’s tape to slap a label on anything and everything—Tupperware lids, brooms, serving utensils, sporting equipment—that may go astray, and then remove it later without leaving any damage. Sure, you could use masking tape, but if you have painter’s tape sitting around, why not put it to good use?

7. Have some fun

Painter’s tape can be a creative kid’s tool of choice. Children can use it to map out bridges or landmarks in a game of “The Floor Is Lava” or tape up drawings for a temporary art gallery. The tape can also be used to make bright lines on the floor or outdoors on sidewalks or driveways for races and more. Whatever they do with it, the tape won’t leave damage behind on walls or floors, so everyone can focus on having fun and not preventing damage.