How to Achieve Perfectly Painted Dovetails Every Time!
Ever wonder how a professional furniture artist gets crisp painted dovetails? Now I can't speak for anyone else but this is how I do it for a beautiful finish. In the early days I used to paint them by hand but would struggle with consistency hence I came up with this process.
You will need:
Frogtape or another brand of painters tape. I always have a few in varying widths;
A cutting blade;
A ruler (I use a metal one);
Step 1: Before you start taping, make sure that you have sanded and cleaned the drawers ready for painting.
Step 2: Take a piece of tape and align it with the base of the triangular (dovetail) joint as shown below. Ensure you press it down with your fingers to ensure proper adhesion. I was using the yellow delicate Frogtape as I'd run out of my normal tape but when using on an unpainted surface I would definitely recommend the green.
Step 3: As per the image below start adding horizontal strips of tape in line with the edges of the dovetails. These dovetails were tiny so I used a medium sized tape but for some projects you may need a thinner one to prevent the tape overlapping and obscuring the joints.
Step 4: Repeat Step 3 until only the dovetails are visible (see image below). I sometimes add another vertical strip of tape to secure the tabs of tape I've added around the dovetails.
Step 5: Now take your ruler and line it up vertically with tip of the triangular dovetails and firmly run your (sharp) cutting blade along the edge.
Step 6: Now gently peel off the excess tape to reveal your beautiful dovetails ready for painting!
Step 7: This is what the side of your drawer should look like prior to painting. You know what the best bit is? Peeling all the tape off when you've finished painting; it is such a satisfying feeling!
I hope this helps and I'd love to hear how you do yours (or perhaps you don't)?!