The Best Painter’s Tape For Your Project
One of the essential tools in a painter’s arsenal is painter’s tape. Choosing the best painter’s tape is critical to achieving professional results. But how do you know which is best for your painting project?
Choosing tape is not as simple as selecting a color, like blue tape vs. green tape. Even some home painting contractors are misguided in categorizing tape by color alone. The fact is merely assessing the color won’t reveal the entire story.
Painters’ tape can be costly, and it’s difficult to discern the best tape for the job. Before you waste both time and money, this guide will thoroughly explain how to choose the best painter’s tape according to your needs.
Whether you are a homeowner or contractor that seeks to understand what the numbers and colors represent, you are in for an informative treat. We explore the best tape for the job, ranging from Frog tape, 3m Scotch tape, and Painters Mate!
Why Use Painters Tape
If you have any experience in painting, you know that thorough preparations are essential, and tape plays a considerable role during this process. The secret is not all painters’ tape is the same. So, you have to necessitate what is required of the tape that is being applied.
The need for painter’s tape is a widely known and accepted concept, especially for those that require help painting straighter lines. Homeowners commonly use painter’s tape to assist in painting around interior doors, windows, and trim.
Tape is used to attach plastic and paper during the covering and masking process and so much more. Variating tape sizes and characteristics serve many additional purposes, even for painting professionals.
The versatility alone is why so many people choose painter’s tape. Although, the idea and hassle of taping often supersede the final results for inexperienced painters. Let’s differentiate options by explaining properties and features to prevent disappointment and misdirected frustrations.
Characteristics of The Best Painter’s Tape
Scotch tape options provided by the dominant leader, 3M, provide colors and descriptions to make choices less overwhelming. Verbiage ranging from interior and exterior, sharp lines, rough surface, and delicate surfaces help simplify an otherwise wide range of options.
As painting professionals, we find 3M descriptions self-explanatory and very beneficial.
Most exterior painters’ tape is fortified, typically utilizing a plastic outside casing. Plastics will help resist adverse reactions to moisture, heat, and moderate UV exposure. Other products, such as Frog tape, distinguish themselves by utilizing a unique and proprietary technology called “Paint Block Technology.” This system provides polymers that absorb potential paint that leaches underneath the tape.
We find Frog Tape products outstanding but not perfect in preventing bleed through for all interior surfaces.
The Misconception of Blue Painter’s Tape
There are several tape colors provided by brands such as Scotch. The color options indicate how easily the tape sticks and releases on specific surfaces. If the wrong tape is used, it could result in surface damage and could leave excessive residual glue behind.
Manufacture tape standards vary and provide no unilateral or definitive measures. So, not all Blue Tape is the same. Therefore, reading tape labels is critical.
Blue painters’ tape ranges from cost-effective paper options to plastic. Blue painter’s tape also has different surface contact options. If left for longer than the recommended timeframe, the tape could tear upon removal, leave adhesive residue behind, or, even worse, damage surfaces by not releasing.
Nothing is worse than damaging paint, caulk, or polyurethane on finished surfaces when removing tape that has been stuck for too long or when the wrong tape has been applied.
Properties of The Best Painter’s Tape
Here is a list of factors that should be considered when purchasing painter’s tape.
1) Bleed Through: This is important to consider when painting detailed interior surfaces. Choosing the best tape for bleed through resistance is especially important when painting final coats.
2) Surface Damage: We would be seriously remiss if we didn’t mention cabinets or hardwood floors for this category. If the wrong tape is applied to these areas, costly damages could occur by pealing polyurethane undercoats.
3) Clean Release: Clean release tapes offer little to no remaining adhesive behind.
4) Heat/ UV Resistance: Painters tape that resists heat and UV is best for exterior applications—hot interior areas for homes under construction and metal substrates.
5) Moisture Resistance: The best moisture-resistant tape for interior or exterior use is plastic-style tape.
If you wonder why your tape is not performing as it should, our shortlist will provide a few tips that may help improve your results and limit bleed through!
1) Applying the Tape: Tape is pressure sensitive. After thoroughly cleaning the surface with a wet rag, make sure you run your finger over the tape several times with a moderate amount of pressure. Friction is essential to assuring the ultimate seal and limiting bleed through.
2) Applying the Paint: Always apply paint coatings in the direction of the tape, regardless of the applicator being used. Painting against the direction of the tape will increase the chances of bleed through.
3) How Much Paint: Excessive amounts of paint will cause the tape to oversaturate, resulting in unwanted expansion and contract, causing bleed through.
4) Removing the Tape: Removing the tape midway through the drying process will help to prevent damaging the paint finish.
Note: Paint brands and types all stick and cure at different rates. Always pull down and away from the painted edge to prevent paint removal from surfaces.
Top-Rated Painter’s Tape
Here is another short list of Painter tapes that work best under specific circumstances and conditions.
Best Overall Tape: Mate Green Tape
Best Adhesion/ Price: Scotch 3m Contractor Masking Tape
Best For Interior Lines: Scotch UltraSharp Line Blue Tape
Best For Bleed Through Frog Tape Multi-Surface
Best Exterior Painters Tape: Scotch 2060 Rough Surface
Best For Cabinets: Scotch 2080 Delicate Surface
We picked Painters Mate as our best overall choice because of its price and performance. While it may not excel, nor is it class-leading in either category, its price and overall performance make it our favorite everyday tape of choice. We love the 2-inch green tape option provided by Painters Mate – and guess what? It’s not blue!
Of course, depending on the situation, we use other styles of painter’s tape for optimal results.
Regardless of your painting demands, purchasing tape aimlessly without knowing what to look for and how to apply it will lead to subpar results and needless frustrations.
Now that you are a wiz on painter’s tape, get inspired and paint the interior or exterior of your home with confidence, whether it’s yourself or a professional house painter.