Choose the Right Painters Tape

Choose the Right Painters Tape

Painters tape is a type of tape used to protect surfaces when painting. But it isn't limited to painting projects and can be used for many applications thanks to its:

  • Low tack
  • Easy tear
  • Easy application
  • Writable surface
  • Residue-free removal

Painters tape is sold in varying widths, colors, and adhesive strength. Using the right type of painters tape is essential for a clean, professional finish, and Tape Jungle has several options for different painting projects, types of paint, and surfaces.

Understanding Painter's Tape

Painter's tape is notable for its ability to mask off areas being painted while leaving no residue once removed. It has a very low tack, so it is easy to apply straight from the roll, tear, and remove after painting. It allows for a clean, straight line when painting.

It's often called masking tape, although  painters tape is different because it does not use a natural rubber adhesive that would allow seepage. Painters tape uses a solvent-based rubber or acrylic adhesive.

Using other kinds of tape to mask areas off for painting can result in poor performance. While inexpensive masking tape may work just fine to cover up the areas you don't want to paint, it generally has stronger adhesive. It will be more difficult to remove and has a higher probability of residue.

However, strong adhesion is preferable in some situations, such as painting exteriors. Luckily painters tape is available in different adhesive strengths. It also has options with weaker adhesives that are a good choice when painting delicate surfaces.

How To Use Painters Tape

Painters tape is not difficult to use but may require patience and precision for the best results. Here's how to  select and use painters tape:

  1. Decide if you need tape — you can get a straight line with a paintbrush, but this requires a skilled hand.
  2. Select painters tape with low adhesion for shorter indoor projects and delicate surfaces like wallpaper. Masking tape or high-adhesion painters tape will work well for outdoor projects, while medium-adhesion tape is a good fit for longer-duration interior projects.
  3. To apply the tape, use long sections (over 18 inches). Carefully line up the tape so it is straight and fully covers the area you want to mask.
  4. Press firmly on the edges to ensure no paint will seep through when you paint over it.
  5. Allow the paint to dry, then carefully remove the tape, starting at a corner and holding the tape at a 45-degree angle to prevent damage.

Let Tape Jungle help you choose the right painters tape.

Types of Painters and Masking Tape

Tape Jungle carries several types of painter's tape and masking tape.

Blue Painters Tape (24900)

Blue painters tape is the standard blue tape made of saturated crepe paper. It has a specially formulated solvent-based natural rubber adhesive that allows for clean, residue-free removal on a variety of surfaces without surface damage. It is UV-resistant for up to 14 days of outdoor exposure.

It is 5.2 mils thick and comes in widths of ½ in (12 mm) to 3 in (72 mm).

Super Blue USA Painters Tape (SB621)

Professionals use  Super Blue professional painters tape when painting various surfaces, including hardwood flooring, wood trim, glass, and drywall. It is a high-performance tape that doesn't lose its holding power or dry out but can be cleanly removed for up to 21 days. It can also be used for holding polyethylene film and for floor markings that won't leave residue on the floor after removal.

The widths available are 1 in (24 mm) to 3 in (72 mm).

AquaMask™ Medium-Grade Painters Masking Tape (MTAMI)

AquaMask™ painters masking tape is named for its distinctive aqua (blue-green) color. It is a medium-grade saturated crepe paper painters tape with a pressure-sensitive natural rubber adhesive. It has good adhesive capabilities on many surfaces and masks both water-based paint and solvent-based paint. This tape resists paint flaking and is UV-resistant for up to three days. It can withstand temperatures up to 225 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 30 minutes.

There are two sizes sold in 60-yard lengths: 1 in (24 mm) and 3 in (48 mm).

Glass Cloth Thermal Spray Masking Tape (80907)

Glass cloth thermal spray masking tape is 7.6 mils thick and is a versatile woven fiberglass cloth tape with a high-performance silicone adhesive. It is highly conformable and resistant to chemicals and solvents, making it an excellent masking tape for thermal and plasma spray operations. It can withstand exposure to over 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

The widths available for this tape range from ½ in (12 mm) to 3 in (72 mm).

General-Purpose Masking Tape (MTGPI)

General-purpose masking tape (MTGPI) is general-purpose beige crepe paper masking tape with an aggressive pressure-sensitive adhesive.

It can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Interior paint masking
  • Silk screening
  • Carpet seaming
  • Light-duty bundling
  • Packaging
  • Splicing
  • Tabbing
  • Mailroom applications
  • Manufacturing applications
  • Wrapping golf club handles

The widths available range from 1 in (12 mm) to 3 in (72 mm).

General Purpose Masking (22263)

General purpose masking tape (22263) is a utility-grade beige crepe paper masking tape with a solvent-based natural rubber adhesive. This tape conforms to a wide range of surfaces, has good holding power, and resists peeling and curling.

This masking tape can be used for general-purpose masking applications, including:

  • Air-dry paint masking
  • Light-duty packaging
  • Labeling
  • Holding
  • Splicing
  • Bundling

The widths available range from ¼ in (6 mm) to 12 in (304.8 mm).

Color Masking Tape (25963)

Color masking tape is similar to other saturated crepe paper masking tapes with rubber adhesives but has several color options. The easy-release adhesive adheres and conforms to even and irregular surfaces. Color masking tape has the unique benefit of being suitable for color coding.

The widths available range from ¼ mm (6 mm) to 12 in (304.8 mm).

The colors available are:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • White

Find the best painters tape at Tape Jungle, the tape superstore.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Painters Tape

There are several factors to consider when selecting your painters tape:

  • Surface area: Is the surface irregular or flat? If the surface is irregular, you may consider purchasing heavy-duty tape.
  • Indoors vs. outdoors: If the project is outdoors, purchase tape with good UV and moisture resistance and higher adhesion, such as masking tape.
  • Paint type: Most painters tapes and masking tapes should be able to mask solvent-based paints such as oil paint, but double check which types of paint the tape is rated for.
  • Project duration: If the project will last a long time, consider a tape that will last long term, such as Super Blue Tape. If the project is quick, a basic painters tape will suffice.
  • Temperature and weather: If a high-temperature resistance is required, choose a tape such as AquaMask for up to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and Cloth Masking Tape for temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Adhesion strength: For most painting applications, use painters tape with a low-tack, easily-removed adhesive that leaves no residue.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

In addition to the best practices above, be sure you don't remove the tape too quickly or leave it on too long.  The correct time to leave the tape in place depends on the surface and the type of paint. In most situations, you should let the final coat dry before removing the tape. Leaving the paint on for too long after the paint dries can cause paint cracking and flaking.

It's best if your surface is completely smooth, so sand the surface lightly with high-grit sandpaper. Ensure the tape is perfectly straight and press firmly so no paint can seep under the edges, especially the edge closest to the area being painted.

When painting on painters tape, paint as if you are painting without the tape. The tape should be there only to ensure that the line will be straight and that there will be no paint underneath it.

Although it is designed to leave no residue, low-quality tape or tape that is left on too long may leave bits of adhesive behind. If this happens, you can  spray WD-40 on the residue and easily scrape it off.

Additional Resources and References

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Choose Tape Jungle's  painters tape and masking tape for superior products, fast shipping, and friendly customer support. Tape Jungle offers hundreds of products, including:

  • Painters tape
  • Masking tape
  • Custom-printed tape
  • Duct tape
  • Eco-friendly paper tape
  • Reflective tape
  • Safety tape
  • Floor-marking tape
  • Double-sided tape
  • Foam tape

Tape Jungle also carries taping supplies such as handheld or table tape dispensers. If you need help choosing the correct tape products and tools,  contact our support team, and we'll be happy to help you decide.