Masking Tape vs Painters Tape

Posted by Tape Jungle on 04/21/2020

Masking Tape vs Painters Tape

Does Masking Tape Work the Same as Painter’s Tape?

Painters tape can be a little pricey, so “do it yourself (DIY) homeowners” have opted for traditional masking tape to save money. While you can use masking tape, there are some disadvantages to the lower price masking tape vs painters tape.

Common Features:

  • Both are made with a crepe paper backing
  • Easy to tear by hand or
  • Easy to write on for label purposes.
  • Both types can be used to achieve a straight, crisp line.

What is the difference between Masking and Painters Tape?

Painters tape is designed not to bleed with water-based lucite house paints. Masking Tape is a crepe paper tape with a natural rubber adhesive that might bleed and leave a residue.

Painters tape stays adhered to surfaces leaving a clean paint line. Masking tape can also leave clean lines like painters tape but usually isn’t as reliable. Our painters tape can be left on the surface for up to 14 days and still get a clean removal.

Pros and Cons of Masking Tape

Masking Tape Pros:

  • Price is cheaper than painter’s tape
  • Clean lines
  • Easy to find
  • Great for painting windows – can be removed from glass cleanly
  • Good for painting on canvas

Masking Tape Cons:

  • Can leave a sticky residue behind that is hard to clean
  • Must be removed within hours of applying so it comes off cleanly
  • If paint sticks to the surface, it may peel up when the tape is removed
  • Water-based paint may cause the tape to buckle allowing the paint to seep onto the surface below the tape

Pros and Cons of Painters Tape

Painters Tape Pros:

  • Designed for painting so it won’t pucker or buckle regardless of the type of paint used
  • Leaves clean lines
  • Easy to find
  • Can be left on the surface for several days after painting and come off cleanly

Painters Tape Cons:

  • More expensive

Obviously, at first glance, there are more disadvantages to using masking tape instead of painter’s tape. But for a large project, if saving money takes priority it just takes a few extra steps to make sure a masking tape is an effective tool for use in painting.

How To Remove Masking Tape Residue

Generally, it is best to remove the tape as soon as you have finished taping. You can also leave it for a longer time, but this may not ensure the best quality. Leaving the tape for a longer time increases the possibility of leaving a residue once it is peeled off.

Most tapes come with some kind of label that indicates how long it could stay on the surface and still remove cleanly. The amount of clean removal time can range from several days to weeks, depending on the quality and construction of the tape. It is essential to consider this especially if you know how long your project will take. If your project could last for weeks or more, it is best to use a tape that is designed to remove cleanly for the duration of your job.

Because of the medium adhesion level offered by painters tape, it also removes cleanly as compared to the masking tape. The adhesive used in masking tapes is formulated in such a way that it maintains an adequate hold. However, one downside of this, as mentioned earlier is that it may not necessarily remove cleanly when left adhered to for a prolonged period.

What Does Tape Jungle Recommend?

Given the comparison above, we suggest that in terms of painting, it is always better to make use of painter’s tape as opposed to masking tape. One note to remember is that all painter’s tapes are masking tapes, but not all masking tapes are painter’s tapes.

Painter’s tapes are specifically designed to be used for painting preparations. Their adhesion is medium and just enough to be able to administer clean removal after use. More importantly, it prevents the paint from bleeding which may not be achieved by merely using a masking or a general-purpose tape.

Contact us if you have any other concerns and browse our selection of masking tape or painters tape!