I always use painter’s tape especially when painting with dark colors. I gently removed the tape and it tore off a bunch of the paint.
I have been told to leave it until the paint is bone dry and I’ve also been told to remove it immediately after applying the paint. Which is it? Also, how do you prevent bleeding? I have chosen to paint feature walls black and the paint bled.
My practice is to remove the masking tape as soon as the paint doesn't look wet anymore. This means the paint has "set" so it won't bleed as the tape is removed, but it is not yet "dry" so the tape won't pull the paint off when it is removed. I have also found that pulling the tape up at a shallow angle as if you are trying to stretch it, and away from the wall at a slight angle, almost as if you are trying to pull the tape sideways tends to get it to separate cleanly. Pulling straight up or pulling the tape back on itself can pull the paint up with the tape.
As to bleeding, I don't know when the original question was posted, but there is now a specialty masking tape on the market called "Frog Tape" that prevents bleeding past the tape line when used with water based paints (Latex). As soon as water hits the edge of the tape, the adhesive forms a gel that fills all the nooks and crannies in the surface and paint can't get past it. It's a bit more expensive than blue painter's tape, but if you really need a clean tape line, the stuff works.
I have been professionally painting for a number of years and have to say that when it comes to using tape or tape and plastic to protect a molding or floor board the best method it to forget the tape and instead carry a damp rag or cloth with you to clean any over brush spots as you go. Also choosing a good brush will help when cutting. I prefer using Wooster Silver Tip or Gold Series brushes and to properly use a brush. Dip it in the paint then gently slap the brush on the inside of the can to remove excess paint. Pick your starting spot and above your cut line gently push on your brush till the bristles are spread a little and pull towards your body. This should create a good straight cut line. Practice is the key here. If you choose to use tape you will almost always get tape bleed. I ONLY use tape when hanging plastic to ready a room for spraying.
Well, if you are like me and it to late for the prep and you need to get the tape off. I used the frog tape but it was on for 2 days a peeling. Until I start pulling the tape off flat (instead of down or out) and at a 45 degree angle. So if the tape was on the ceiling you are pulling the tape back over itself with the tape as close to the ceiling as possible. Worked for me.
I've read several reviews that say that frog tape takes the original paint off the wall when you remove it after painting. I'd almost rather have this problem than retouching the thirteen eight foot tall vertical stripes my husband and I just painted with out using any preventative measures for bleeding. What a PIA.