Over a century ago Emmert Wolf wrote 'A man is only as good as his tools'. In the modern day, this sentiment rings truer than ever. With so many Brits opting to take on DIY projects, you'll need to use the right tools for success! In particular, masking tape is a simple, relatively cheap 'tool' that shouldn't be overlooked in order to avoid your hard work being squandered.
Peeling back the masking tape to reveal a bleed free, straight line of paint evokes a sense of personal pride among professionals and novices alike. In this guide we discuss professional painters tape, safe masking tapes for use on delicate surfaces, clean removal times and much more to make your DIY dreams a little easier. We've even ranked the top 10 best in the UK from Amazon, eBay and Argos.
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Finding the right masking tape for the job can certainly be sticky business. In this buying guide, we'll run you through the defining factors that make for a good roll of tape. From masking tape for delicate surfaces, to professional-grade painters tape and all-purpose household varieties, knowing what will be the best fit for your intended purpose is always important!
There's a wide range of masking tapes out there. To make it easier to identify the right one for your needs, we've split them into three categories; all-purpose, delicate surface and multi-purpose painters tape. Understanding the properties of each type will help you to pick the perfect one.
Professional painters need to rely on their masking tape as an extension of themselves. That's why brands like FrogTape, Tesa and Scotch specialise in multi-purpose painters tape. These tapes have a medium-high tack, referring to the adhesive nature of the tape, and can be applied to all types of surfaces including glass, metal, PVC and wood.
Multi-purpose tape is usually strong and thick, enabling effective no-nonsense application for many metres without it tearing - every painters pet peeve indeed! However, these professional grade masking tapes will generally need to be removed soon after use, as their medium-high tack shouldn't be left to stick around on a surface for too long.
Delicate surface masking tape is used by professional painters and DIY enthusiasts alike. It is, as the name suggests, for those more delicate surfaces that you're perhaps a bit nervous about taping. These can include freshly painted walls, furniture and wallpaper.
The low tack adhesion means it can be delicately stuck down and peeled off just about any known surface, without a trace. It generally has very high clean removal times, with the best in the business boasting up to 60 days. It is important to buy from a reputable brand as a quality tape will ensure a bleed free line, while remaining low in tack.
All-purpose masking tapes are the perfect inexpensive option for crafting and art projects. They won't have the quality of professional-grade masking tape and are prone to the odd rip or split during the application process. But if time is on your side, and you're not looking for a straight, bleed-free line, then these tapes will suit you just fine.
They have a medium-high tack so their clean-removal times will be minimal, normally 5 days tops. They also benefit from their ability to stick to just about any imaginable surface. Therefore, their potential is limitless as to what you can use them for.
The clean removal time refers to the period of time within which it can be safely assumed no residue will be left on any surface from the tape. Clean removal times vary tremendously depending on the quality and tack of each masking tape.
When painting, it's generally recommended to remove the masking tape while the paint is still wet. This is to prevent the possibility of the paint and tape bonding together creating an imperfect line after removal. Therefore the clean removal time refers to how long the tape can remain on a surface for prior to painting, not after.
Being savvy on clean removal times will help to keep your surfaces intact. High-tack tapes have no more than 3 day clean removal times, so you definitely don't want to get ahead of yourself and start taping the whole house too early. On the other hand, delicate surface tapes with low-tack benefit from prolonged clean removal times of up to 60 days.
Painting can be a stressful endeavour, especially if you're DIY-ing under the watchful eyes of the entire household. Having trust in your ability and tools is a must, that's why buying masking tape that's wide enough is paramount for a successful job.
Wide 50mm tapes are good for use on open, unobstructed walls that you intend to use a roller on. These give ample surface area to alleviate potential paint splatters.Or maybe you're painting a tight space and need a thin masking tape to stick to an otherwise impossible section or corner. 25mm tapes are cheaper and are handy for art and crafts, along with tight painting jobs.
A good midway point is 36mm. It's the industry standard, so you can bank on it being an adequate width for most jobs.
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3M Masking Tape
The Ultimate Multi-Purpose Professional Painters Masking Tape
Razor-Sharp Edge Masking Tape
A Staggering 6 Months of Clean Removal Time Compatible With Multiple Surfaces
Precision Edge Masking Tape
A High Tack Painters Masking Tape With Precision Edging
Delicate Surface Advanced Masking Tape
An Advanced Masking Tape for Delicate Surfaces
Multi-Surface Painters Masking Tape
A Painters Masking Tape for Multiple Surfaces
Classic Premium Masking Tape
A Premium All-Purpose Masking Tape Suitable for Most Surfaces
Delicate Surface Painters Masking Tape
High-Grade Masking Tape for Freshly Painted Walls
Masking Tape - All Purpose
An Everyday High-Quality All-Purpose Masking Tape
General Purpose Masking Tape｜Pack of 6
A Serious Amount of Tape for the DIY Lovers
Essential Masking Tape｜Pack of 6
A Pack of 6 All-Purpose Masking Tapes for a Bargain Price
Scotch's gift to the world is this marvel of a masking tape that boasts super-sticky adhesion, while remaining residue free for up to 14 days. With this extra-wide 50m roll, expect protected paint-free walls, floors and ceilings.
Due to its market leading adhesion, it can be applied to every surface imaginable. This masterful masking tape will also peel off in one clean pull, with no ripping or tearing, leaving behind a perfectly straight, bleed-free line on all of those impossible to tape surfaces.
This professional painters multi-surface masking tape from Tesa boasts a unique selling point indeed. It consists of an extra-thin and strong Japanese rice paper (washi) backing. This gives it a practically unfathomable clean removal time of 6 months, while continuing to remain strong and secure.
It can be applied to all types of surfaces, including aluminium, PVC, glass and wood. We particularly like this unique masking tape's ability to give a clean, bleed free line every time. A high-quality product indeed!
This precision edge masking tape from ProDec has an extremely high tack, meaning its clean removal time is only 1 day. This does however, give it excellent adhesion, meaning it can be applied to all surfaces and all paints.
It has a standard width of 36mm, and at 50m per roll the price is very reasonable for a professional painters masking tape. ProDec are very adamant on their ability to produce perfectly straight, bleed free edges every time, and from all reports it's clear they aren't fibbing.
Scotch have certainly stamped their mark on the adhesion industry with almost 100 years of high quality, market-leading products. Thankfully, their professional painters delicate surface tape is no exception!
This high-grade masking tape has a huge 60 day clean removal time, while enhanced adhesive properties ensure it'll stick securely wherever you need it to. From freshly painted walls, to antique furniture and wallpaper, there's no surface that this delicate tape will leave its incriminating residue.
This painters masking tape is ideal for use with cured painted surfaces, wood trim, glass and metal. Its tack is classed as medium, and therefore has a subsequent clean removal time of 21 days.
Again Frogtape have included paint block technology to ensure no bleeding and a very straight, clean line. At 36mm in width, it will provide a safe barrier between your painting and surfaces, and is very strong. With this tape, tearing it as you pull will be a thing of the past!
This premium all-purpose masking tape is compatible with just about every surface under the sun - plaster, vinyl, glass, metal, plastic and wood just to name a few. It's high tack so it's sure to stick and stay put as well.
This is the highest rated all-purpose tape on our list because it's so versatile! Just remember to not leave it sticking around for too long as it may leave residue if left on a surface for over 5 days.
This delicate surface painters tape from FrogTape benefits from a 60 day clean removal time on most interior surfaces. Its low tack adhesion means it can be used on fresh paint without peeling any away.
With a 36mm width, you should have no problems with accidental paint contamination. Especially true as FrogTape pride themselves on their 'paint block technology' which is designed to eliminate bleeding and give the straightest line possible.
Duck's is a higher quality all-purpose masking tape that's ideal for use with emulsion, gloss, brush and spray painting, as well as crafting. Its high tack will give it a good amount of adhesion to most interior surfaces.
Although its quality is very good for an all-purpose offering, it's still going to have its limitations when looking for a professional, bleed-free line when painting. Something else to keep in mind is that at 25m a roll, you may need to consider buying a few extra to get the job done.
Here is another 6 pack of all-purpose masking tape from the Swedish brand Sanojtape. This is great high-tack option for those who don't need a professional painters tape for their DIY and painting projects.
An impressive deal if you're after a cheap and cheerful masking tape. At 50 metres a roll, you'll get a staggering 300m of tape from one single purchase! This would certainly suit any artist wanting to stock up for the whole year.
This 6 pack of all-purpose masking tape from Coral is just about as cheap a deal you're going to find on a product that actually works! This tape comes well recommended for both your arts and crafts projects, and painting jobs alike.
It is a high-tack masking tape with a 3 day clean removal time, so it's not one to leave on your surfaces for too long. Also, as it's not of a professional painters standard, you may find encounter bleeding, resulting in a less than desirable line.
While you're at it, why not equip yourself with more of the good stuff? From tool kits, to sandpaper for wood and the best step ladders that money can buy, we've got you covered! Check out the articles below to become the DIY King or Queen you've always dreamed of being.
Now that you've become a master of masking tape, you should know full well what to look for when selecting the ultimate adhesion for your art idea, DIY project or professional painting endeavours. We hope that you've found the perfect masking tape that will put an end to bleeding, ripping, tearing and tears!
Author: Connor Macanally
No. 1: Scotch｜3M Masking Tape
No. 2: Tesa｜Razor-Sharp Edge Masking Tape
No. 3: ProDec｜Precision Edge Masking Tape
No. 4: Scotch｜Delicate Surface Advanced Masking Tape
No. 5: Frog Tape｜Multi-Surface Painters Masking Tape
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