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Picking the Right Painters Tape

Spring is the season of home improvement. And now that it's almost here, many people are considering ways to freshen up their homes and offices. One of the best ways to do this is to paint your walls.

Not only will this brighten your mood, but it's also a good investment – especially if you're planning to sell during the spring housing market. A freshly painted interior will help the house show better to prospective buyers.

Whether you plan to do-it-yourself or you're a longtime pro, you'll need to make some decisions about the type of painters tape to use. Your choice will depend upon the type of surface being painted, whether it's indoor or out, and any creative or artistic requirements.

Here's a quick primer to help you choose the right painters tape for your project. And don't forget to check for removal tips at the end of this post.

Why use painters tape and not other types of tape?

Unlike other types of masking tape, painters tape is specially designed for painting applications where clean removal is a requirement including in cases when the tape is exposed to direct UV light. It can be used on glass, vinyl, metal, wood, painted walls and trim.

There are several types of painters tape, and which one you choose depends upon the job you need it for.

Protect floors and furniture

As you prep your room for painting, you'll want to keep floors and furniture from getting hit by paint drops. You can drape your furniture with old bed sheets and cover floors with plastic sheets, but as you paint, these can shift, inadvertently exposing the edges of furniture or leaving spots on floors.

Duck Pre-Taped Painter's Drop ClothDuck Brand Pre-Taped Painter's Drop Cloth is ideal for protecting floors and counters while painting. This is a 2-mil thick plastic drop film that is pre-applied to a removable painters tape. The plastic film resists tears and punctures, and the removable cloth tape holds the film securely in place, so there's no slipping and sliding. It's designed to remove cleanly for up to 4 weeks.

Nashua CleanDrapeIf you already have drop film or cloth and just need a double-sided tape to apply it, Nashua's CleanDrape is a great choice. The adhesive cloth side of the tape holds up the film or dropcloth while the adhesive painters tape side goes up against your drywall. CleanDrape's blue painters tape side offers clean removal for up to 14 days from a variety of surfaces.

Create Crisp Lines

Once you've got floors and furniture protected, it's time to prep the baseboards, walls and ceilings. Painters tape can be used as a guide to keep lines straight and protect surfaces from getting spotted with the wrong color.

Shurtape CP 60Shurtape CP-60 Razor Edge tape is an ultra thin painters tape used to create razor sharp lines. Perfect for painting stripes, diamonds, and other patterns on walls. Its special paper backing reduces bleed-through and its low adhesion allows it to be easily removed after longer periods of time (for up to 60 days).

JVCC PGM-UVIf you're painting a newly constructed house or an addition, you will probably be painting drywall. JVCC PGM-UV Painter's Grade Masking Tape is a good choice because its peel adhesion does not increase with time, allowing for removal from a wide variety of surfaces without damage.

3M 20903M Scotch-Blue 2090 Painters Tape for multi-surfaces is a medium adhesion tape ideal for paint masking on multiple surfaces including painted walls and trim, woodwork, glass and metal. It can be removed cleanly without adhesive transfer or surface damage for up to 14 days, even in direct sunlight. The backing saturant is solvent and moisture resistant so it resists paint bleed-through, and the adhesive doesn't transfer when the tape is wet. However, this tape is not designed for use on wallpapers, unpainted wallboard, wood floors or poorly bonded surfaces.

Tips for Delicate Surfaces

Shurtape CP 28Delicate surfaces, such as wallpaper, freshly painted or unpainted wallboard and drywall, ceiling tiles, or masking for faux finishing, will require a lower adhesion tape. Shurtape CP-28 30-Day Purple Painters Tape, also known as 30 Day ShurRELEASE, can be applied to delicate surfaces for up to 30 days and then removed cleanly without causing surface damage.

Working with Other Special Surfaces

Frog Multi-SurfaceIf you're painting special surfaces, such as cured painted walls, unfinished wood and wood trim, glass, metal, and stone, choose a medium-adhesion tape like FrogTape's Multi-Surface Painters Tape. This tape removes cleanly from most surfaces for up to 21 days (7 days in direct sunlight). Its patented PaintBlock® Technology prevents latex paint from bleeding by forming a micro-barrier along the edges (it reacts with the water in latex paint). You get a fully sealed tape edge resulting in the sharpest paint lines possible.

Creating Wall Designs

Frog Shape TapePainters tape also can be used to create paint designs on walls, furniture and other surfaces. FrogTape Shape Tape Painters Tape comes in three pre-cut repeating patterns: Chevron, Scallop and Wave. Creative painters can use this tape to create horizontal, vertical, or diagonal designs.

Taping Textured Surfaces

Frog Textured SurfaceIt can be tricky to create sharp lines on textured surfaces such as heavy knockdown, light knockdown or orange peel, without bleeding. But FrogTape Textured Surface Painters Tape comes with a bottle of Liquid PaintBlock® Edge Sealer™, which forms a micro-barrier sealing the edges of the tape. As a result, paint doesn't bleed and you can create super sharp stripes, patterns, and designs on these types of textured surfaces.

Removal Tips

When all of the painting is done, it's time to remove the tape. Here are a few tricks to make sure it all comes off smoothly.

  1. Remove tape as soon as you are finished.bl
  2. Score the edge of the tape with a razor blade first.
  3. Pull the tape slowly and at a 90 degree angle.

If you're still uncertain about how to choose the right painters tape for your project, our Painters Tape Comparison Matrix will help you compare and choose based on a variety of criteria.

3-Inch Wide Black Duct Tape Test Pack Now Available

FindTape DUCT-TEST-PACK Duct Tape Test PackBecause of the popularity of the 2-inch wide gaffers tape test pack our converter has recently made available a new test pack that contains a variety of 3-inch wide nominal (actual cut 72mm) black duct tapes. FindTape DUCT-TEST-PACK Duct Tape Test Pack consists of 8 rolls of 3-inch (72mm) wide x 10-yard long tape. The tapes range in thickness from 9 to 13 mils; longitudinal tensile strength from 22 to 50 pounds per inch; and peel adhesion from 39 to 80 ounces per inch. The lower adhesion tapes are sometimes used as a less expensive alternative to gaffers tape in the hotel and meeting industries.

Currently the specific duct tapes offered in the pack include: Shurtape PC-600 General Purpose Grade Duct Tape, Polyken 223 Multi-Purpose Duct Tape, Polyken GP2280 PolyNash General-Purpose Duct Tape, Shurtape PC-618 Industrial Grade Duct Tape, JVCC DT-CG Contractor Grade Duct Tape, Shurtape PC-622 Contractor Grade Duct Tape, Nashua 357 Premium Grade Duct Tape and Polyken 231 Military Grade Duct Tape.

Also please note the GAFF-TEST-PACK was recently increased to 10 rolls of 2-inch wide x 10 yard long tape and the current lineup includes: Scapa 125 Economy Grade Gaffers Tape, Polyken 510 Premium Grade Gaffers Tape, Scapa 225 Premium Grade Gaffers Tape, Shurtape PC-628 Industrial Grade Gaffers Tape, Pocono GT-226 Clear Adhesive Gaffers Tape, Pro Tapes Pro-Gaff Gaffers Tape, Shurtape P-665 General Purpose Gaffers Tape, Scapa 425 Pro-Grade Gaffers Tape, Shurtape P-672 Professional Grade Gaffers Tape and JVCC J90 Low Gloss Gaffer-Style Duct Tape.

Polyken GP2280 and Nashua 395 Colored Duct Tapes

Polyken GP2280 Duct TapeNashua 395 Duct Tape Scapa has recently discontinued their 142 economy-grade duct tape which our converter had log roll stock in so they were able to offer it in wider widths. They've recently starting stocking log rolls of Polyken GP2280 (available in black, blue, green, olive drab, red, silver, white and yellow) and Nashua 395 (offered in brown and tan) as an alternative. Both tapes are 9 mils thick and are for general or multi-purpose use and they have similar specifications.

Nashua's New Outdoor Tarp Tapes Now In Stock

Nashua 680004 Heavy Duty Tarp TapeNashua 680006 Double-Sided Tarp Tape Nashua has recently released two new tarp tapes designed for extended outdoor exposure. Nashua 680004 Heavy Duty Tarp Tape is single-sided black polyethylene film tape which can be used to seal and seam heavy-weight poly tarps. It is designed for 6 to 8 months of outdoor exposure. Nashua 680006 Double-Sided Tarp Tape is a cloth tape with adhesive on both sides which comes on a blue film release liner. It is also used to seam heavy-weight tarps and is suitable for up to 12 months of outdoor exposure. The tapes are available in a 2 inch width and limited inventories of both are now in stock.