Remember when I succumbed to laziness and stripped paint off door hinges without removing them? There, I discovered that regular cheapo masking tape didn’t fully protect the door finish from the effects of the stripper. We just took a door off the hinges to haul a cast iron radiator out of the basement (everyone survived!). While that was down, I tried some different techniques.
1. Good Masking Tape
I looooove ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape. It’s great for avoiding paint bleed and for making super-sharp lines between areas.
But as with the regular masking tape, the stripper eroded the adhesive bond. I don’t think there’s any getting around that chemical reality. In this case, it was exacerbated by the fact that I had to do two applications of paint stripper because of the nastiness on the hinges. My scraper technique certainly didn’t help the tape edges stay taut.
Nope. Just no. Next!
3. Duct Tape
I still had seepage and adhesive erosion at the edge, but the worst thing was that the duct tape pulled off some of the door finish. It just caused a whole different problem, and I don’t recommend it.
4. Petroleum Jelly
This is not an absurd non-sequitur: I have a white blaze on one temple.
Thing is, it wouldn’t be just a blaze if I didn’t cultivate it. I started to go grey in my early 20s, so I’m a long-time home colorist. When I decided to let the blaze part grow in, I started protecting it from the hair color with Vaseline. So I’m coloring my hair the other night, and it occurs to me…
…WHY NOT MASK PAINT WITH VASELINE TOO?
Why not, indeed — it works! I carefully spread petroleum jelly on the paint surrounding the hinge face, taking care not to get any on the area to be stripped. I went about an inch out from the hinge in all directions. Then, I carefully painted the stripper onto the hinge face.
Ideally, when I had to go to a second coat of stripper, I should have cleaned around the hinge and reapplied petroleum jelly. I also could have gone further out from the hinge with the protective coat. But the outcome was still head and shoulders above my other ideas.
Now, I still wouldn’t do this if you have a pristine surface, which this obviously isn’t. But if you are feeling rather lazy and don’t mind the possibility of a little touch-up down the line, give Vaseline a try.