Is Vaseline Good to Keep Paint from Sticking? When to Use?

If you are a painter or have an interest in painting, then you may have heard of applying Vaseline to keep paint from sticking to certain areas. But is Vaseline the perfect product for this purpose? When and how should you use it? In this article, we’ll explore the answers to these questions and provide valuable tips for using Vaseline in your painting projects.

But what is vaseline? Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, is made from mineral oils and waxes. It is commonly used in the cosmetic industry as a skin moisturizer. Importantly, vaseline has a variety of other uses. For instance, the different uses of vaseline include being used as a lubricant and a barrier to protect various materials against penetration by moisture.

Is Vaseline Good to Keep Paint From Sticking?

Yes, Vaseline can be an excellent material for keeping paint from sticking to certain areas. When applied to a surface before painting, Vaseline creates a barrier between the paint and the surface. This prevents the paint from adhering to it.

Some of the common areas you should not paint and you should prevent from painting during a painting exercise include window glass surfaces and door hinges knobs, among others.

When Do You Use Vaseline in Painting to Prevent Paint from Sticking?

There are several situations where using Vaseline can be particularly useful in painting. Some of the cases you can use paint to prevent paint from sticking include the following.

1) To Protect Areas You Don’t Want to Paint

During painting, you will likely be painting a surface, and there are specific areas you want to keep paint-free. Usually, even when painting a large surface, there are some surfaces you should keep paint free. Therefore, before applying the paint, you can apply Vaseline to these areas. This will prevent the paint from sticking to those areas.

Some of these areas you should protect include:

  • Areas around windows. When painting around windows, you will likely require vaseline or alternative material to protect and prevent the paint from sticking to the glass panes. Applying paint makes it easier to achieve a clean, crisp line when painting the trim around the windows.
  • The area around door handles or knobs. If you’re painting a door, you may require to use Vaseline to prevent the paint from sticking to the door handle or knob. It makes it easier to paint around the handle and avoid drips or streaks.
  • Areas separating two different adjacent surfaces. When painting adjacent surfaces, such as two walls that meet at a corner or the ceiling and the walls, you can apply vaseline to the surface where you don’t want the paint to adhere. This can help you achieve a clean, straight line between the surfaces without the paint bleeding.

2) To create Decorative Painting Details

You can use Vaseline to create an exciting paint effect on surfaces. To create a beautiful paint effect, you can apply vaseline. The vaseline will prevent paint from sticking to some spots to produce stunning paint results.

For instance, if you apply Vaseline in a random pattern and then paint over it, it will only stick to the areas without Vaseline, creating a unique design. Notably, to achieve a beautiful effect, sometimes you should apply a coat of vaseline on the paintbrush you are using. In that case, you don’t have to apply vaseline on the surface before painting.

3) Stenciling

Using a stencil is a great way to create detailed beautiful designs on your painting surface. But, sometimes, it can be challenging to achieve a perfect design. But, by applying Vaseline to the edges of your stencil before painting, you can prevent paint from bleeding through hence creating excellent designs.

Therefore, if you’re using stencils in your painting project, you can use Vaseline to keep the paint from bleeding under the stencil. Simply apply a thin layer of Vaseline around the edges of the stencil before painting, then wipe away any excess Vaseline after painting to reveal the crisp design.

Ways to Apply Vaseline to Keep Paint From Sticking

Since now you know vaseline can be applied to prevent paint from sticking to specific areas during the painting exercise, how do you apply it? The following are steps for applying and using vaseline as a barrier to prevent paint from sticking.

  • Choose and use a small paintbrush.Use a small paintbrush when applying the vaseline, especially over a small area such as a lock section.
  • Apply the vaseline carefully.Since you don’t want the paint to stick on these areas, apply a layer of vaseline carefully. Do not smear it in undesired areas.
  • Paint normally.The method of painting will not affect the effectiveness of vaseline in preventing paint from sticking to specific areas. Therefore, you can choose the painting method convenient for you.
  • Be careful not to paint over the vaseline layer.Moving a paintbrush over the spot with vaseline will spread the vaseline to areas you want to paint. Therefore, avoid painting over the spots with a layer of vaseline.
  • Wait for the paint to dry. Don’t wipe off the vaseline while the paint is still wet. Instead, wait for the paint to dry. This can take a few hours or a day.
  • Wipe off the vaseline. Once the paint has dried, you can use a paper towel to wipe off the vaselineThe paint will easily wipe off and leave an unpainted spot as desired.
  • Buff the area. For precision, use a suitable buffing tool to buff the area. Notably, buffing is only applicable in specific circumstances and not others. Therefore, only do it when it’s applicable.

Tips for Using Vaseline in Painting Work?

Using Vaseline in painting is relatively straightforward. Here are some tips for using it effectively and for the best results

  • Clean the surface you want to paint thoroughly. Before applying Vaseline, ensure the surface is clean and free of dust and debris. This will help ensure the Vaseline adheres appropriately and doesn’t come off during painting.
  • Apply Vaseline to the desired areas only. Using a clean brush or bare fingers, apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the places you want to keep paint-free. Be sure to apply it evenly.
  • Paint as usual. Once you have applied the Vaseline, you can paint as desired. The paint will only stick to the areas without Vaseline, creating the desired effect.
  • Clean up afterward. After painting, clean up any excess Vaseline from the surface. You can use a clean cloth or paper towel to remove the vaseline.

Other Way to Keep Paint from Sticking

Not everyone would be interested in using vaseline to prevent paint from sticking, and that’s okay. Usually, applying vaseline is not the only way of preventing paint from sticking. There are several other ways to keep paint from sticking to surfaces during a painting project. Be sure to choose the best method for your specific project, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application to achieve the best results. Aside from using Vaseline, the following are alternative ways to easily prevent paint from sticking in specific areas.

  • Adjust doors and windows. After painting, you expect the doors and windows to open and close without issues. Therefore, you can ensure the paint does not stick or affect the hinges by moving and adjusting the openings during painting and after.
  • Sand to remove the paint. Sometimes, you may have painted areas you did not need to paint. You can easily prevent the paint from sticking to those areas by sanding to remove the stain.
  • Use painter’s tape. Painter’s tape can mask off areas you don’t want the paint to stick to. Carefully adhere the tape to the desired surfaces, ensure it’s firmly attached, then paint as usual. When you are through with painting, carefully remove the tape to reveal crisp unpainted spots.
  • Apply a primer. Applying a primer before painting can help the paint adhere better to the surface and prevent it from bleeding to other areas. Make sure to choose a primer appropriate for the surface you’re painting and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.
  • Use high-quality paint. Usually, it can be challenging to use low-quality paint without messing. The paint will likely bleed to undesired areas. Therefore, you can prevent paint from sticking to undesired areas by simply ensuring you use high-quality paint.


Overall, vaseline is a valuable and convenient material you can use during a painting exercise to prevent paint from sticking to specific areas. You can use Vaseline to keep paint from sticking on the selected areas and ensure a clean, professional-looking paint finish. Whether you’re trying to protect specific areas from paint or you want to create exciting paint effects, Vaseline can be an effective solution. Therefore, instead of using painter’s tape or other alternative methods, you can use vaseline instead.

Lastly, to ensure you achieve the desired results, always clean your surface thoroughly before applying vaseline. Then carefully apply vaseline evenly, paint and wipe off the vaseline after you complete painting. With those simple tips, you can use Vaseline to achieve beautiful and unique paint effects.