The best painters tape

Table of Contents

I do not depend of rolled tape loops. Too often the work falls down in a day or two.
To support heavy flat works on paper
I make simple two-piece vertical masking tape hangers. Masking tape adhesive should not be used for a long term display because the adhesive remains chemically active. Over time it will discolor the wall and the artwork that it comes in contact with.
1. For an 18 x 24 mat – I decide where I want the top edge to be on the wall.

2. Near the right and left side near the top, but where it will be hidden by the mat, I burnish a 7 inch vertical strip of tape to the wall, glass, or whatever surface can tolerate masking tape. Be sure to have clean dry surface. If there is condensation, I do a good pre wiping with a dry paper towel and attach the tape immediately before new moisture condenses. 3. I do not attach the bottom inch of tape, but stick a second strip of tape behind it with the sticky side facing me. This one inch of face to face adhesive is very strong. I make the adhesive that faces me about 4 inches long. This give me a 11 inch hanger with 6 inches burnished to the wall or glass and 4 inches of adhesive facing me.

4. I add a few typical rolls (small loops with adhesive facing out) of tape to the back of my mat along the top, bottom, and sides. These are not to hold weight, but they help keep the work flat to wall.
5. I position the work against the wall and I burnish it against the adhesive of the sticky hangers previously attached to the wall. The vertical hangers support the weight while the tape rolls keep it flat. I tug town on it a bit to check that I burnished (rubbed) it sufficiently at the right places to really hold the weight.
6. While two hangers hold on most surfaces, I often make the system stronger by using wider or longer tape and by using more than two hangers per work. For long term displays I use at least four hangers plus the standard tape roles to keep it flat. Displays longer than two months should be mounted with better materials. Masking tape adhesives dry out and/or stain the wall and the artwork if left on too long.
7. For a particularly difficult or heavy object, duct tape can be used the same way, but the adhesive may not come off of some painted walls. See note below for removing adhesive from glass and from enameled surfaces that can withstand the solvent treatment.
Removing tape without peeling paint off the wall.

Paint is least apt to be damaged when I roll it flat back along the surface of the wall while removing. Fold it flat back against the wall before starting to pull it off. Paint is most likely to come off when I remove tape by pulling it straight away from the wall. When removing art work from the wall, do not pull it away from the wall, but slide the work straight up the wall to peel the tape tape off with less damage to the wall and the back of the artwork.
How to remove the sticky stuff from glass, enamel painted, or well coated varnished, surfaces (not for flat latex wall paint unless you can touch up with paint).
I use WD40 spray lubricant as an adhesive solvent. Spray it on and let is set to soak a few minutes. I use Windex and paper toweling to remove the smeary stuff after the adhesive is removed.
Long term displays
For archival (long lasting) mounting and hanging use only archival acid free papers, tapes, adhesives. If you need something ready at hand, strips of quality typing paper or cotton cloth can be used with white glue (Elmer’s). It is strong and does not deteriorate, get brittle, and leave a chemical stain like masking tape. Archival tape is best. It is made from white paper or cloth and uses adhesives that get sticky when moistened. It is available in some framing shops and in photo supply catalogs.

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© Marvin Bartel 2004.
An art teacher since 1960.
updated: © 6-27-2008

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The best way to hang your posters is to know what not to do first

Posters aren’t the toughest thing around, and you’re probably wondering how to make them last. We’re going to share with you today the best way to hang posters, so they don’t mess up your poster or the walls. If you want to hang 3 in a row, you can learn about triptych art too.

See Poster Printing Pricing

You could use duct tape. But that’s a super bad idea because duct tape can get too stuck to your poster and damage your wall! Nobody wants ripped posters and paint being peeled off either. Or you could use staples, nails or tacks. Again, that’s another bad idea unless you love the idea of holes in your walls and your posters.

Posters are fun! And they’re great for art, and also advertising. There is a plethora of poster printing for anything you can imagine as well!

How to hang up posters the safe way is especially important if you change posters often

In retail, you may have seasonal sales or different product offerings and you want to keep your posters looking great until the next time you need them. You don’t want to have a sale every day in a store. Or if you have a coffee shop you might want to feature candy cane lattes in the winter and watermelon slushies in the summer.

I’m finally going to share how to hang up posters — the right way!

But first, I have some quick tips to keep your posters looking better when you do hang them. The first tip is to wash your hands first before you take your poster out of the protective shipping tube.
This will ensure your poster is free of cheese puff crumbs, grease or any kinds of lotion or body butter that could be on your hands. If you want to be really bougie, you can get white cotton photography gloves to handle your posters. These are also great for handling fine art too.

Tip number two for how to hang posters without frames is to flatten if first

Don’t have a bulky frame? Lay down your poster down with the printing side up on a clean flat surface (like a freshly cleaned table top). When you unroll your rolled posters they will need a little time to get flat. When you lay it down on a table, gently make any curls flat and put a weight on each corner. Coffee table books work great for this.
When you order prints on gatorboard or gallery wrapped canvas, you won’t have to flatten them out. However, it’s always a good idea to flatten out paper posters. It makes it much easier to hang and will look more professional.

How to Flatten Posters: They Need Some Time to Uncurl

When you order prints on signboards, you won’t have to flatten them out. However, it’s always a good idea to flatten out paper posters. It makes it much easier to hang and will look more professional without waiting. This is best if you are hanging your poster without a frame.

Another tip to properly how to hang posters without frames is to clean the walls first

If there’s dust or debris on your walls, it will make it harder to gentle adhesives to stick. Make sure your walls are squeaky clean first. This will make it easier for you to put your poster up your posters and will also make it easier to take them off, allowing them to be reused more.
Professional painters always clean the walls thoroughly before applying a fresh coat of paint. However, please note that if you have super fresh paint, make sure it’s totally dry. If it’s not, adhesives can leave marks on the paint.

When you use the following ideas of the best way to hang posters you won’t be sorry

There are products out there especially for helping you learn how to hang posters so there’s no damage. A mounting putty is an excellent option in comparison to tacks or nails. Putty allows you to pinch off the size you need and it great for lightweight posters that need to be removed easily.

Another one of the best ways of how to hang posters without frames is to use double-sided poster tape

You might not know there is a tape or two made precisely for hanging posters. This kind of tape has the right type of gentle adhesive that doesn’t hurt walls or posters if used correctly. With this kind of tape, there won’t be any gunk left on your poster or your walls.
Quick tip: When you do remove your poster, do it slowly and peel from the edges. If you need to have a little extra umph if you concerned about an old or fragile poster you can use a hair dryer or heat gun to release any old adhesive. You might need to do this with posters where you used the wrong kind of tape.

When you know the best way to hang posters, you’ll never need to bust out the heat gun

But if your poster has been on the wall for too long, this can happen. So make sure to use the previous technique if you didn’t know how to hang up posters before.

If you’re in a pinch, you can still use this how to hang poster insider tip

Magic tape will do! If you need to hang up a poster fast before you have the right poster tape, Scotch magic tape isn’t as thick as regular clear tape. This is the kind of tape people often use when they’re using wrapping paper. Just make a look and connect both ends to have it sticky on both sides.
You can find this kind of tape just about anywhere. And as an added bonus it’s mostly clear. So you could put it on the front side of the poster if you need to. It’s perfect for indoor business signs that are made of glass. It’s barely noticeable. But if you don’t want to use an adhesive, check out the next suggestion on how to hang posters without tape.

I’d rather you have one of the best options!

Command strips are great for posters. They’re easy to stick and remove. They’re an easy way to hang posters without damaging any paint.

If you have something less light-weight than a regular paper poster, you’ll need something different

Mounting tape is for more substantial pieces. If you don’t want to use nails or tacks, this is a good option. It’s good for objects weighing several pounds. It’s a bit much for a regular poster but will work in a pinch. However, don’t expect it to release easily if you want to remove it. Now let’s talk about dorm living.

It’s important to know how to hang posters in dorm living

Especially if you’ll lose your deposit or get charged for any damage to the walls in your room. College is already as expensive enough without any extra cost. Even though you’ll only be here for a short time, you’ll still want to have the best-decorated dorm room, so you’ll actually like staying there.

When you’re on a budget, the best tape for posters is whatever is in your budget and not too sticky

Make sure to read the dorm rules before you hang anything up. Then once you’ve got the green light, arm yourself with mounting putty, double sided tape or 3M strips. You should be good to go with these cheap tools you can get just about anywhere! Whatever you do, don’t use duct tape on your dorm walls! It can get too sticky and leave gunk when you take your posters down at the end of the year.

What about poster adhesive?

If you want to take a stab at poster adhesive, do so at your own risk! We don’t know if your dorm has matte paint (it’s straightforward to be pulled off with the wrong kind of tape or adhesive). If it’s a semi-gloss or gloss paint on the walls, you might be able to get away with it . . . But we suggest using the things that are the safest, so you don’t get penalized!

When you get high-quality posters for your home, office or art opening, you’ll want to be gentle with them and know how to hang up posters the right way. And make sure you save your cardboard roll for easy storage if you ever want to remove it. You’ll keep your walls pristine with these easy tips!

Best Painter’s Tape 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Last Updated on January 14, 2020

“Cutting-in” with a brush is detailed work that requires a fine brush and a steady hand. For years, the finishing work of cutting-in had to be done by a master painter. Painter’s tape eliminates that painstaking process, speeding up your work and eliminating tiresome detail work that most of you would rather not be bothered with.

When painter’s tape first came out, only one company offered it. You either used theirs or did without. But that’s changed in recent years. Now there are a growing number of manufacturers producing painter’s tape and making conflicting claims about their products. Who should you believe about what?

We’re going to make it easy for you. We’ve already examined the different tape manufacturers’ competing claims, doing all the hard work of comparing them to discern which ones live up to their press and which ones don’t. Then we put together these reviews so you can see the evidence for yourself. The information we’ve found will help you decide which one to get, which one might be best in different applications, and which one will give you the most bang for the buck.

A Quick Glance at our Favorites (updated in 2020):

Model Price Size Editor Rating
ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape
(Best Overall)
Check Price 1.88in 4.9/5
XFasten Professional Blue Painters Tape Check Price 0.5in 4.7/5
FrogTape 1358463
(Best Value)
Check Price 0.94in 4.5/5
AmazonBasics Painter’s Tape Check Price 1.88in 4.3/5
Duck Blue Painter’s Tape Check Price 0.94in 4.20/5

The 8 Best Painters Tapes:

1. ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape – Best Overall

This is the “original” blue painter’s tape from Scotch, as seen on so many HGTV home improvement shows. It comes in a variety of widths, from 3/4″ to 2.82″, and in rolls that are either 45 or 60 yards long. Millions of people have used this tape over the years and absolutely loved it.

This tape will stick to just about every surface imaginable, such as ordinary walls, wood trim, metal window frames, and even carpet. There is very little bleed of paint under it, although, depending on the surface, you may have to spend a little extra time pressing the edges down. Of course, this is true of any tape in this list.

Once the paint is dry—whether it’s the same day you applied it, or up to fourteen days later—it comes off easily and cleanly without damaging the surface underneath, leaving a crisp, straight line. Occasionally it will come off in pieces, but other than that, this tape is nearly flawless.

Even when this tape has been exposed to direct sunlight for up to fourteen days, it still comes off quickly and cleanly. You can’t beat the original.


  • Sticks well
  • Doesn’t leave a residue
  • Comes off in straight lines


  • Occasionally comes off in pieces

2. XFasten Blue Painters Tape

Another “blue,” this painter’s tape is a fierce competitor for the top pick. It sticks to a wide variety of surfaces, and then comes up without leaving a sticky residue behind. Exposure to direct sunlight doesn’t seem to affect it in this regard. However, it doesn’t stick quite as well as the manufacturer says it does. It occasionally curls up along the edges, which then requires you to spend some extra time pressing it down again so it will hold.

The manufacturer claims it will hold for up to sixty days without leaving a sticky residue. But this is hyperbole more than anything. Extravagant claims set a bad precedent.

One thing that is disturbing is the physical width of this “half-inch” tape. It isn’t half-an-inch wide. It’s 7/16″. In a six-pack of tape, that missing 1/16″ adds up to 3/8″, almost enough for another full roll of tape. So you’re paying for a roll of tape you’re not really getting. This is deceptive advertising.

Overall, this is a good tape. But the manufacturer needs to straighten out a couple of issues in order for it to take the top spot.


  • Sticks to many surfaces
  • Doesn’t damage surfaces


  • Missing 1/16″ on each roll
  • Doesn’t stick as well as it claims

3. FrogTape Painters Tape – Best Value

This multi-surface painter’s tape is .94″ wide on a sixty-yard roll. This tape has the interesting quality of being moisture activated. If you’re having trouble sealing the edge to a surface, run a damp rag over it and it seals quickly.

This “multi-surface” tape has problems sticking to surfaces such as painted walls and tile floors. In fact, it doesn’t stick to them at all. You’ll need to use another tape for those types of surfaces.

When it does stick though, there aren’t any bleeds as long as you press it down correctly, and it comes off cleanly when you’re done.

Quality control at the factory seems to be lacking though. Some of the edges of the rolls are wavy instead of even. This makes it impossible to create straight lines, which is the whole point of using painter’s tape.

The results on this tape are somewhat mixed. It doesn’t have the qualities of the first two tapes, but for the price, it’s a decent painter’s tape and will get the job done. You just have to work with it a little.


  • Doesn’t bleed
  • Moisture activated


  • Won’t stick to some surfaces
  • Quality control lacking

4. AmazonBasics Painters Tape, 1.88″ x 180′, 6 Rolls

AmazonBasics makes affordable products that deliver a surprising level of quality. Such is certainly the case with this option here.

You get six rolls, all equally well equipped to protect the sensitive spots on your home during your next paint job.

The tape has been made specially to be effortlessly torn by hand for ease of use. It is also resistant to UV rays so that you can use it even outside on hot summer days without worrying that the adhesive element will melt.

Perhaps best of all, the tape also leaves behind only a small amount of residue, making cleanup very easy.

The only real issue is that the tape doesn’t work very well on concrete surfaces. For drywall, it will work beautifully, but otherwise you may need to look for something else.


  • Affordable
  • Six pack
  • Easily torn by hand
  • Can be used in the hot sun


  • Doesn’t work very well with concrete

5. Duck Blue Painter’s Tape 1-Inch (0.94-Inch x 60-Yard) ‘Clean Release’

The Duck Blue Painter’s Tape is a versatile option that works well on wood, steel, concrete, and drywall. Like the AmazonBasics it can be easily torn by hand and it is resistant to UV rays which makes it a good option for outdoor projects.

You also get sixty yards worth of tape which makes it an excellent value offering. There is one issue that you’ll want to be a little wary of: the tape tends to leave behind a substantial residue. This is particularly true when it has been lingering on the wall for a long time.


  • UV resistant
  • Versatile in terms of where it can be applied
  • Sixty yards to a roll


  • Tends to leave behind substantial tape residue

6. 3M 2090 ScotchBlue Painters Tape

The ScotchBlue is an affordable tape that can be readily applied to virtually any surface. The moderate price and the ease of application make it a really great choice for do it yourself projects.

Like most of the other great tapes on our list, it can be used outside, and it will leave behind only minimal residue if removed within two weeks of use.

But while the tape is made to impress it isn’t without issues. Many users report that it is very difficult to tear. In the process of trying, it is possible to damage the entire roll which can lead to excessive amounts of waste.


  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • Minimal residue left behind


  • Difficult to tear which can lead to waste

7. Gaffer Power Painters Tape, 3-Pack

The Gaffer Power Painters 3-pack is especially known for sticking on tightly to surfaces and then subsequently being removed with ease. In the world of painter’s tape, you can’t ask for much more than that, can you?
And of course, it can also be used indoors or outdoors regardless of the weather, making it versatile enough for almost any do it yourself project.

The only issue is that the tape is excessively thin. This makes it somewhat fragile. If you aren’t careful with how you tear, it is very likely that you will damage the roll.

The thinness factor also can lead to paint bleeding through if you somehow wind up with an unexpectedly large mess on your hands.


  • Easy to remove
  • Sticks well
  • Great for indoor/outdoor use


  • Tape is fairly fragile
  • May not hold off paint perfectly

8. IPG PMD24 ProMask Blue Designer 14-Day Painter’s Tape

The biggest selling point about the IPG is that it is very affordable. If you are looking for something that won’t put an aching on your wallet, this will probably be the tape for you.

However, the quality of the performance does seem to suffer somewhat. The IPG leaves behind lots of sticky residue which can corrupt the quality of your work surface.

It’s also hard to tear, and not as good at holding back runny paint as some people might prefer. It may be a suitable option for smaller projects. However, if you have an important job on your hands, you’ll want to invest in something a little bit better.


  • Affordable


  • Hard to tear
  • Doesn’t hold paint off very well
  • Leaves lots of residue behind

Buyer’s Guide

When you’re buying painter’s tape, pay close attention to the total cost since that’s usually how online retailers decide if your order qualifies for free shipping. Otherwise, it might be cheaper to run down to the hardware store to get your tape.

Available Options

One way to get free shipping is to get some add-ons you’ll need anyway.

Paint trays and liners are an obvious addition. You’ll also need brushes, paint thinner for cleaning them, drop cloths, and spare rollers. Get them all at the same time and you’ll be able to push your total high enough to save money on the shipping. This is where your best savings will come from as opposed to buying from a local hardware or paint store.


The ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape is (no surprise) the clear winner on the list. Scotch has a long history of producing a quality product that delivers a reliable result. The “original” walks away with it, hands down.

The FrogTape 1358463 came out as the “best for the money” in these reviews. It doesn’t have quite the quality you’d expect or desire, but for the price, it’s a quick and easy choice for smaller projects.

Unless you’re a master painter who can cut-in by hand, painter’s tape is an essential ingredient in your toolkit. Hopefully, we’ve given you the information to choose the tools you’ll need. With these reviews in hand, you’ll be able to decide, quickly and easily, which tape is best for your project.

Painters Tape 101 – How to use painters tape like a pro

How to use painters tape for interior painting

Finish your paint job faster and with fewer mistakes using painters tape and these step-by-step directions for taping off a room before painting.

Clean Moldings and Walls Before Applying Painters Tape

  • Dust trim or molding
  • Use a damp rag to clean surface
  • If greasy, use soap and water
  • Let dry fully
  • Start taping

The biggest mistake that can be made when taping walls or trim for painting is to skip the cleaning process. Even the stickiest painters tape won’t stick to dusty, dirty, or greasy surfaces. Simply use a damp cloth to remove dust or dirt, and let your surface dry fully before starting your taping process. If you find grease, you’ll have to use soap and water to successfully remove all of the residue before beginning.

How to apply painters tape to ceilings or inside corner walls

  • Paint around the corner with the first color
  • Let dry fully (usually 24 hours)
  • Tape your line 1/8″ from the corner
  • Apply pressure to tape to make sure it’s sealed
  • Start painting

You’ll find it’s very hard to get a straight line, even with painters tape. The trick to paint corners or around ceilings is to paint around the corner with the first color. Once the paint dries, tape off the painted side using tape that is safe on 24 hour fresh paint. Instead of trying to tape perfectly down the center of the corner, move the tape about 1/8″ from the corner where it’ll be easier to get a straight line. No one will ever notice that your line isn’t perfectly centered in the corner! The last step is to press down the edge of the tape to make sure it’s sealed.

How to apply painters tape to trim and baseboards

  • Pull tape about 6″ off roll
  • Place on trim board
  • Use a putty knife to apply pressure
  • Repeat the process

When applying painters tape to baseboard trim, it will seal best when a flexible putty knife is used to apply pressure as you lay your tape line. Start by laying about 6″ of tape against your surface, then unroll about 6″ more. Laying small sections of tape at a time will help to keep your tape as straight as possible.

How to remove painters tape without peeling paint

  • Remove tape while paint is still wet
  • If paint has dried, score the edge of the tape with a putty knife before you pull it off
  • Remove tape at a 45-degree angle

If you know you won’t be able to remove your tape while the paint is still wet, it’s very important to make sure you spend the extra money for a good quality tape that can be safely left on for several days. Depending on your type of painters tape, you should have at least 3 days before tape would need to be removed.

How to paint in a room with carpet

  • Cut 3″ strips of masking paper
  • Apply painters tape to trim leaving an overhang
  • Stick 3″ masking paper to painters tape creating a flap
  • Lay down a plastic or canvas drop cloth on entire carpet

Masking paper is a great tool to keep paint off of carpet or other flooring. First, you’ll apply painters tape using the tricks listed above. Then, you’ll add about 3″ of masking paper to the painters tape. This will create a flap that will catch most paint drips from brushes and rollers. Any flap wider than 3″ will most likely sag, which will not catch your paint or protect your floor.

Drop clothes can also be laid out to protect the entire room. For painting best practices, cover the entire floor with a plastic sheeting, and then top that with a canvas top. The canvas is more durable to withstand foot traffic while painting, and it will absorb paint splatter better.

Choose the right painters tape every time!

Not all painters tapes are created equal.

Painters Tape for Multi-Surfaces

3M Scotch Blue Multi-Surface Painter’s Masking Tape

The Original 3M Scotch Blue Painters Tape is great for multiple surfaces:

  • Painted walls
  • Trim
  • Woodwork
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Removes clean for up to 14 days

Painting around Textured Surfaces

3M Scotch Painter’s Hard-to-Stick Green Masking Tape

Regular painters tape will not stick well on textured surfaces like stucco and brick. For those hard-to-stick surfaces, you’ll need 3M Scotch Painter’s Green Masking Tape. Multiple sizes are available to fit your needs.

  • Sticks to textured surfaces, such as brick or stucco
  • Great for exterior use
  • Not made to be used on wet surfaces
  • Removes clean for up to 3 days

Create Designs with Painters Tape

Stripes and other designs should be made using FrogTape Delicate Surface Masking Tape or 3M Scotch Safe-release with Edge-lock Painters Tape.

FrogTape Delicate Surface is best for these surfaces:

  • Freshly painted surfaces (24 hours old)
  • Faux finishes
  • Primed wallboard
  • Primed wallpaper
  • Laminate flooring
  • Removes clean for up to 60 days

3M Scotch Safe-Release is best for these surfaces:

  • Freshly painted surfaces (24 hours old)
  • Glass
  • Primed walls
  • Trim
  • Cabinets
  • Removes clean for up to 60 days

What’s the difference between painters tape and masking tape?

  • Leaves no sticky residue
  • Most tapes can stay on for several days and come off cleanly
  • Clean lines once removed
  • Won’t pucker when painted over

Painters Tape Disadvantages

  • Costs more than masking tape

Masking Tape Advantages

  • Cheaper than painters tape
  • Great for masking windows
  • Great for masking canvas

Masking Tape Disadvantages

  • Leaves a sticky residue
  • Must be removed within hours to come off cleanly
  • Paint sticks to masking tape and may cause peeling paint when removed
  • Water-based paint causes masking tape to pucker
  • Oil-based paint causes damage to masking tape and paint will seep through

Paintbrush and Roller Buying Guide

Now, you’re ready to start painting! If you’re unsure what type of paintbrush or roller to use for your paint project, we’ve created a Paintbrush and Roller Buying Guide to help! This guide lays out the different types of painting materials, what size of brush or roller will work best for each type of painting project, and it even tells you what type of brush or roller works best for every surface! Happy painting!

Where can I buy painters tape and drop cloths?

You’ll find a wide selection of painters tapes and drop cloths in store or on our website.

When it comes to any painting job, looks and finish are everything. The best painters tape will provide you with protection and resilience for a neat and clean finish.

There are few contractor or home improvement jobs that require as much prep time as painting does and for a reason. There are many factors to consider, from surface materials to temperature and humidity to environment and lighting.

Missing a single step or failing to account for certain variables can quickly make for a messy or inferior job and a total pain to redo.

In most jobs, touch-ups are always best kept to a minimum. That goes for painting too. Unfortunately, looming deadlines can result in sloppy outcomes.

And the importance of speed grows along with the surface area to be covered. For this reason, painters tape is often a painter’s best friend. Here’s a comprehensive list of our favorite options to provide you with the best painter’s tape for your needs.

​Quick Overview: Our Best Painters Tape Choices

Image Product Price
TOP RATEDScotchBlue Painter’s Tape
  • $31.67
FrogTape Multi-Surface Painter’s Tape
  • from $4.89
BEST BUDGET PICKFrogTape Delicate Surface Painting Tape
  • $8.30
3M 2060-24A 1” Scotch® Painter’s Masking Tape For Hard-To-Stick Surfaces
  • $18.99

Last update on 2020-02-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape, Multi-Use, 1.88-Inch by 60-Yard, Contractor Pack, 6 Rolls

Last update on 2020-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This product has become the industry standard for a reason. It’s easy to manipulate, sticks well to most surfaces (may require some added pressure), and leaves no residue behind. When paired with 3Ms M3000 Hand Masker, it makes securing areas from spatter and over-spray a cinch. While not as strong a bond as some other products on our list (especially on glass), for most applications, consider this as your go-to.

Things We Like:

  • Great tape to protect from spatter or over-spray
  • An industry standard – you really can’t go wrong
  • Easy to use

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Not ideal tape for glass

FrogTape Multi-Surface Painter’s Tape, 1.41 Inches x 60 Yards, 4 Pack (240660)

Last update on 2020-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When you’re in need of protecting surfaces other than drywall or freshly-dried paint, FrogTape Multi-Surface is the way to go. Designed for use on windows, brick and stone, metal fixtures, etc., this is easily one of the best painters tape for extra difficult jobs. It’s also well suited for sectioning off baseboards and cabinets and the like.

Just be sure not to use it on paint less than 24 hours old. It has a strong bond that can pull off uncured coverage. And it’s best stored in the manufacturer’s container, as the adhesive may otherwise dry out.

  • Multi-Surface tape, works on a variety of materials
  • One of the most versatile tapes on the market

Things We Don’t Like

  • Not ideal for freshly dried paint
  • Has the potential to dry out

FrogTape Delicate Surface Painting Tape, 0.94 in. x 60 yds. Roll, Yellow (280220)

Last update on 2020-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

No matter how specific the material you need to protect, it seems as though FrogTape has a way to provide it. Their Delicate Surface painters tape is formulated to protect even the gentlest, least durable surfaces. While not the best choice for securing heavy plastics, it’s great for decorative painting, from detailing to the overpainting of newly dry coats.

  • Crepe Paper material
  • Great for delicate surfaces
  • Ideal for decorative painting
  • Not nearly as heavy duty as other types of tape
  • Less grip and smaller surface area

3M 2060-24A 1” Scotch® Painter’s Masking Tape For Hard-To-Stick Surfaces

Last update on 2020-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

FrogTape’s multi-surface tape is great for most things. But 3Ms Hard-to-Stick Surfaces tape has them beat when it comes to concrete and brick. Do you need to section off part of your garage floor for a water-tight coating? How about masking a brick chimney or fireplace? Or maybe the wooden columns on your porch need a fresh coat, but not their stonier bases. This is likely the best painters tape for these and similar jobs.

  • Ideal for concrete and brick
  • Heavy duty for large surface areas
  • Not to be used for fresh coats
  • Smaller cut means you may need to buy more tape

Features to Consider

Being able to paint in a reasonably straight line is a rare skill. And even the most experienced painters can’t necessarily do so quickly. This goes for painting walls and ceilings as well as furniture or other objects. But whether with brush, roller, or sprayer, proper use of painters tape can help the process along.

It’s also important to consider whether or not your going to be painting outdoors.

By securing neighboring surfaces from bleed, spatter, or over-painting, a certain degree of calm and confidence is achieved. This translates to a quicker turnaround on the job, and usually a better result all around.

Apply Here: The How, When, and What of Laying Paint

Painting is an involved process, to be sure. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Taking the planning in steps can alleviate most difficulties.

First, have a clear understanding of what you want to paint and how you will be painting it. Every surface takes paint differently. But there are a wealth of resources and advice available (including on this site) to answer most questions.

While painter’s tape may not be as fast as a paint edger tool, you get to do it manually without running the risk of the edger failing you. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that make painter’s tape great.


Of primary importance is how you will be applying the paint. Generally, if you are willing and able to go more slowly, you’ll want to use a combination of brushes, rollers, and sprayers.

(If you’re considering a paint sprayer, check out our article on the “Best Airless Paint Sprayer: Complete Buying Guide and Reviews” for some great options.)

Rollers will help you cover a large area relatively quickly, and they’ll do it without making too much of a mess. Also, they’re great for hard to reach spots, like ceilings. However, with a roller, it’s easy to splash, drip, or bump up against surfaces you would prefer to keep unpainted.

A bit of carefully applied painters tape (and maybe some plastic) comes in handy here. It can help retain the speed benefits of a roller without the worry of swiping neighboring areas.

Once the roller has done its job, a paintbrush can be used for touch-ups and details. But even here, painters tape is a good tool to have. Want really sharp lines? Masking off certain areas with firmly applied tape can make even the shakiest brush hand seem like a Davinci.


Of course, not all surfaces are equal. Neither are all tapes. Glass can be notoriously troublesome for the tape to adhere to. Metal, stone, and unfinished ​wood painting may also prove to be more challenging. And what works well on old paint might inadvertently strip off newer paint. But worry not. There are tapes designed for all these possibilities and more.

Some tapes will ruin the finishes of some surfaces. This is an especially important concern for commercial jobs. There, a bad decision can mean unhappy clients and lost profits. It can even mean liability for damages.

Be sure to keep in mind the surface you’re going to be painting and the effect that may have when choosing which painters tape you want to purchase.

Size of the Area

Another important consideration is the size of the surface area you hope to protect. Here is where paint sprayers can be a great benefit. Sprayers are fantastic for getting things done quickly and evenly over large areas. While they’re often used primarily for exterior jobs, they can be used indoors provided extra precaution is taken.

Tape alone is often insufficient to protect the surfaces you want to keep free from an unintended paint job. Tarps and plastic sheeting are great for the floor or furniture, but they won’t stay on a wall or ceiling without a bit of help. In these instances, your tape needs to have a little extra grip.

Factors like the weight of your plastic as well and the type of surface its covering come into play here. The last thing you want is for your coverings to come loose in the middle of a big, fast application of paint.

Tarps and/or plastic sheeting are a common solution to the dangers of overspray or bleed. Painters tapes with stronger adhesion are ideal for securing large areas when combined with some type of sheet-like protection.

Wrap Up

Unlike electrical or structural work, paint is there to be seen. One bad decision can turn your paint job from a source of pride to a continuing annoyance. But a little foresight and planning can prevent disaster. Improving the surface appeal of your home or business or that of your client should be a rewarding experience.

Getting the right painters tape could be the difference between a project worth being proud of or a costly, ugly disaster of a finish.

To avoid tragedy, we suggest the Scotch Blue Multi-Use Painters Tape, a foolproof option for most carpentry needs and painting jobs. If you’re looking to get painting soon, we suggest you ​take a look.​​​