Types of Masking Tape

Home Painting Projects and Masking Tape Types

By Mark J. Donovan

Until recently, types of masking tape choices comprised of just a simple role of tan masking tape. The only real choices were the width and length of the role. Today, that’s all changed. Today you can find types of masking tape in tan, gold, blue, purple and even green colors. All of these different masking tape types represent more than just an assortment of pretty colors.

Instead, they represent different levels of adhesive strength and thus can serve different masking type applications, such as masking over fresh coats of paint, or over wallpaper coverings.

In general the stronger the adhesive strength of the masking tape, the better the performance in achieving crisp cutting lines.

However, on the downside, the stronger the adhesive strength the more difficulty in removing the masking tape and the higher probability of damaging the masked surface.

The traditional tan masking tape type still serves its purpose for simple paint jobs, where only one tone of paint is being applied to a surface, and you’re only masking around stained trim and woodwork. It is also ideal for ensuring really clean cut lines due to its high pressure adhesive strength.

Unfortunately this high adhesive strength does not work so well with more contemporary home painting applications where walls may be two-toned or the trim work painted. Frequently the tan masking tape type pulls off the paint on painted wall or trim surfaces. It can also pull the print off of wallpaper.

This is particularly apt to happen if the tape has been left on for too long or has been exposed to sunlight. 

Sunlight can influence the masking tape’s adhesives reaction time and create a stronger bond to the masked surface more quickly.

The newer types of masking tape on the market today are meant to address the problems of traditional tan masking tape and to enable more contemporary and complicated painting applications.

They are designed to have less adhesive strength and are easier to remove. Also, there are different types of masking tapes for different types of surfaces that need to be masked.

It is important to read the information on the masking tape packaging to make sure you use the right type of masking tape for your home painting project. Masking tapes are rated by how many days the tape can be left on a surface. The less the adhesive strength of the masking tape the longer it can be left on a surface or used on more sensitive surfaces.

Paint Masking Tape

However in most cases the tape should be removed very soon after the area has been painted.

So the next time you start a home painting project, and need to purchase some masking tape, take a little extra time and make sure you buy the right masking tape type for your home painting project.

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