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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

How to save money and effort with a paint guard (shield) 

Updated: May 9

decorator's paint guard

Tired of endlessly applying masking tape? Grab a decorator's paint guard.

What is a paint guard?

A paint guard is a basic yet effective tool to help prevent paint bleed. A paint guard is usually made from plastic and has a long flat edge that you place against the wall or ceiling you are painting. You then paint along the edge and the paint guard prevents the paint from going over the line. 

How to use a paint guard

Paint guards are a handy tool for DIY painting projects because they mean you don’t need to spend ages painstakingly applying painter’s tape around the edges of your painting area. Painter’s tape (Frogtape is my favourite - read more on that here) is expensive, especially when you need to mask off a large area, so using a paint guard can save money and time. 

Paint guards often have additional features like cut-out sections for painting pipework and curved sections for round edges. 

How to use a paint guard

  • Mark a pencil line on the wall if the line you want to paint doesn’t correspond with the edge of the wall or ceiling. 

  • Line up the paint guard with the line or the edge of the wall or ceiling as appropriate.

Paint guard on skirting board
  • Load your paintbrush up with paint for the first coat and brush it against the edge of the paint tin or tray to remove any excess paint. When using a paint guard, it is essential not to overload the brush with paint, as it will leak under the edge and bleed onto the wall. 

  • Paint along the edge of the paint guard whilst pressing it firmly against the wall or ceiling to prevent paint bleed. 

paint guard

  • Move the paint guard along the wall to cover the next section (you can either slide it along or remove it and replace in the new position) and paint along the edge once again.  

  • I like to wipe the paint guard with a cloth or paper towel/kitchen roll every couple of times I move it to prevent any paint from getting onto the underside. 

  • Repeat the above steps until you have painted along the whole wall/ceiling/line.

You can watch a video of the above process in the Instagram reel I shared here...

Tips for success when using a paint guard

paint guard
  • Apply firm pressure against the wall to prevent paint bleed

  • Don’t overload the paintbrush;  less is more as you can always repeat the process with a second coat 

  • Wipe the paint guard clean every couple of times you move it along the wall. 

  • Store paint guards flat as they become ineffective if they start to bend, as paint can leak underneath the edge. 

Where to buy a paint guard

paint guard

I bought my paint guard from B&Q for under a fiver. You can also get them cheaply from Amazon. Here is the link…

Here are the additional information from the description of the multi-angle paint guard that I like to use;

  • Angled for all uses such as painting round shelves, work tops or wall units

  • For ensuring neat lines when painting

  • Incorporates useful guard for radiator pipes

Can I make a DIY paint guard?

Yes, it’s easy to make your own paint guard and in fact you could use a piece of strong card or even very thick paper. Top tip : Amazon packaging envelopes are great for this purpose, although you can’t put the cardboard in the recycling or compost once it has paint on it, so that’s something to bear in mind. 

The benefits of a reusable paint guard

  • More cost-effective than masking or painter’s tape

  • Much quicker than masking or painter’s tape

  • Additional features such as guard for painting round pipework and bends included

  • Quicker than painting freehand with a tiny brush

  • More effective than painting along lines free-hand

  • Small and easy to store (flat)

  • Can be fashioned from plastic or card

Where next?

If you enjoy painting projects or are looking for more DIY tips and tricks you might be interested in some of the following posts...

I hope you've found some of these ideas inspiring and useful, let me know in the comments if you try any of them. Be sure to scroll to the very bottom of the page & hit the subscribe button to receive my monthly newsletter which is packed full of tutorials, updates and offers.


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