The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.

NPI Marketing Team
NPI Marketing Team


Find the Best Painter's Tape for Your Projects

 February 19, 2019 |  DIY |  painting, home exterior

Painter’s tape. It’s such a small, insignificant item, especially when you’re caught up in choosing primers, paint colors and rollers. But when you stop and think about it, painter’s tape could mean the difference between a sloppy DIY job and a professional-quality look. Maybe it’s finally about time we paid it more attention. Here’s all you need to know about choosing the best variety of tape for your next project.

What is Painter's Tape Anyway?

While painter’s tape looks similar to regular masking tape, it’s really quite different. For one, it’s a bit thicker than your run-of-the-mill masking tape. That means it tears less easily and won’t leave pesky remnants on surfaces. High-quality painter’s tape also absorbs moisture to prevent any color bleeding onto surfaces you don’t want to paint.

How to Choose the Best Painter's Tape for the Job

There are a few key things to consider when choosing the best painter’s tape:

Job Duration
This may be the single most important thing to take into account when choosing the right painter’s tape for your project. No matter which type of tape you use, the adhesion won’t last forever. In fact, adhesion usually lasts between seven and sixty days. You’ll also need to take into account how delicate your surfaces are and the exposure they might have to heat, sunlight and humidity. For delicate surfaces and highly detailed jobs, you’ll want a longer-lasting tape, and for more basic jobs, tape that lasts somewhere in the seven-day to fourteen-day range should work just fine.

NOTE: Never procrastinate when it comes to peeling off your painter’s tape! You risk it getting stuck there and potentially damaging surfaces.

You’ll want to choose a painter’s tape with a level of adhesion that suits your job and the surfaces you’re working with. Here’s how the different levels of stickiness stack up:

Low: If you’re working with fragile surfaces, like wallpaper, faux finishes or patterned paint jobs, you’ll want the stickiness to be at a minimum to avoid damage. Low adhesive tape can last up to two months.

Medium: A medium adhesive tape works perfectly for drywall and plaster. It’s also great for glass, stone, unpainted wood and metal surfaces. A medium adhesive tape will stay in place for around two weeks.

Heavy: You might see heavy-duty tape labeled for exteriors, as they work best for outdoor use. Heavy-duty tapes can hold drop cloths in place and adhere to surfaces like stucco, brick, concrete and lacquer. These tapes should be removed within seven days.

The ideal width for painter’s tape is anywhere from one and a half inches and about two inches. These widths create the best edge without giving you too much trimming to do. If you’re painting a corner or area with a lot of detail, try an even smaller one-inch width. For taping floors and ceilings, try an extra wide two- to three-inch tape.

Color doesn’t have too much of an impact on overall quality or type of painter’s tape. Blue painter’s tape, however, is UV resistant, making it a good option for outdoor use or rooms that get a lot of sunlight. Excessive sunlight can cause tape adhesion to melt and stick too much, so be sure to follow instructions closely.


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