Best Painter’s Tape: Buyer’s Guide
If you’ve taken up a painting project, it’s important that the results are as perfect as possible, especially if you’re getting paid for your services. The only way you can paint walls, furniture, and trims without worrying about overspray is by having a reliable roll of painter’s tape on hand.
Painter’s tape is specifically designed to be used during painting projects. It peels away cleanly from the surface, leaving nothing but a clean surface without any residual adhesive matter. If you’re thinking of painting a room with trims or even furniture, getting a roll or two of painter’s tape is something to consider.
Difference between Painter’s Tape and Masking Tape
You might be asking yourself why not use masking tape, something that most people may already have in their desk drawers? There are two key differences between the two that we will address in this section.
One of the most prominent differences between using masking and painter’s tape is the amount of cleanup after peeling the tape away. Masking tape, when used on walls or wooden surfaces, oftentimes leaves a thin layer of sticky adhesive in its wake.
Painter’s tape peels away much more cleanly than masking tape. This means you won’t need to go spend precious time scraping away a sticky film of glue while risking chipping or damaging a newly painted surface.
Masking tape is usually made up of a thinner material than painter’s tape, making it slightly transparent. This is especially useful if you’re doing super-precise trim work and need to see what portion of a surface you’re covering. Painter’s tape isn’t transparent at all due to being made of a thicker material. The risk of paints leaking through painter’s tape and ruining the covered surface is much smaller when using this type of paint.
So Can I Use Masking Tape Instead?
If you’re in a pinch, masking tape could be a feasible replacement for painter’s tape. You need to be extra careful when peeling the tape away since there are three possible negative outcomes that could occur: the paint will stick to the tape and chip off, the paint will penetrate the tape and leave specks where you don’t want them, or the tape will leave a sticky film. In either case, you’ll have to spend more time on touch-ups.
Tips on How to Apply Painter’s Tape
This section will provide you with a brief guide on how to apply painter’s tape on any surface you don’t want to be painted.
First of all, the thing you need to realize is that moisture and dust can cause the tape to peel away. Before measuring how much tape you need, be sure to go over the entire surface with a damp rag and wipe any excess moisture with a dry towel. If the surface is greasy, use a soapy rag first before wiping it away with a moist rag.
Next, measure the entire surface that you want to be covered. This will help reduce the amount of wasted tape after trimming the excess away. However, it’s better to use more tape and clip the excess of than to layer the tape because it’s too short since layering the tape can create uneven paint lines on your surface.
Optionally, you can use a painter’s tape applicator to lay your tape on any parts you don’t want to be painted. It makes quick and easy work out of laying long strips of tape without dealing with stuck edges.
Finally, go over the entire surface of the laid tape with a straightedge, being careful not to scrape the tape or the surface of your work. This will remove any air bubbles trapped in the tape and prevent uneven paint lines on the finished product.
Painter’s Tape Buying Guide
If you’re thinking of painting a room or furniture, then you’ll need to make sure that you have all of the right equipment, including painter’s tape. In this section, we’ll describe the various specs of painter’s tape and what you should look for.
Length per Roll
When it comes to painter’s tape, more is always better. Most of the rolls you find will be about 60 yards in length, but there are some that are slightly longer. Longer rolls will be much handier for painting large rooms where you’d like to cover any decorative trims.
Take a look at the width of the painter’s tape. The most common widths are in the range of 0.94 and 1.88 inches. A wider roll means using up less tape to cover up wide trims. A thinner roll would be better for covering up ornate designs on furniture or to prevent paint from marking the edges of power outlets.
Rolls per Pack
Once again, more is always better. Luckily, very rarely will you find painter’s tape sold in individual rolls, but you may need only a single roll for light-duty painting jobs. Just remember rolls of painter’s tape tend to cost more in individual packs than in jumbo packs. Value-packs tend to include 3, 6, or 9 rolls.
Take a close look at the edges of the painter’s tape. Some packages may include rolls with bent or warped edges. Any damage that occurs to the tape while still in its packaging is usually due to transportation problems and not the manufacturer. If you’re painting walls where straight paint lines are vital to the outcome of your project, be sure that the painter’s tape is in no way damaged.
Types of Surfaces
Not every painter’s tape is designed to adhere to every surface. If you’re painting stucco walls, wooden furniture, or bricks, be sure that your roll of painter’s tape is made specifically to adhere to your work surface. Having a painter’s tape for the wrong work surface can cause the tape to lose its sticking properties, leaving your project exposed to curved paint lines.
Even though painter’s tape is much more rigid than masker’s tape, you’ll want something that has a little bend and flexibility to it. This is especially true if you plan on covering up decorative trims with curves and edges. The tape should adhere to the decorations’ entire surface as to reduce the risk of overspray and needing to repaint the trim.
Painter’s tape is the only thing that can ensure that your project doesn’t have uneven paint lines or splotches of paint due to overspray. Other types of tape can be used, but there’s really no guarantee that they’ll work as flawlessly as painter’s tape in certain projects. In this article, we’ve provided you with a few things to consider when picking up a roll (or three, six, or nine) of painter’s tape.
The most important thing to watch out for is that the tape is meant to be used on whatever surface you’re painting. Most painter’s tape will adhere to stucco without any issues, but if you’re painting wood, concrete, or bricks, find out whether the tape will stick to it without any risk of peeling off prematurely.