08 October 2021

Painter’s tape 101 and how to use it like a pro

Although painter’s tape and masking tape might look the same at a first glance or to a non-expert eye, they are far from interchangeable and – most of all – do not serve the same purpose. Let’s see what is painter’s tape, how to use it, and – last but not least – let’s take a look at PPM’s painter’s tape selection.

Masking tape is a universal adhesive that can be used in a variety of different applications around the house and that everyone should always keep inside their toolbox. On the other hand, painter’s tape is specifically designed and engineered to achieve crisp lines and professional looking results while painting.

Things to consider before using painter’s tape
However, not all painter’s tapes are the same! Whether you’re a professional or a utility painter, in order to be able to use painter’s tape like a pro, there are a few things that need to be taken under consideration, before approaching application:

  • The level of adhesion required, depending on the kind of surface you’re going to paint;
  • The tape’s width, according to how much space you have to mask;
  • The temperature the tape needs to sustain, and whether your painting job is indoor or outdoor;
  • How long it needs to stay attached, in accordance with your painting timeline.

According to all these variables, you will need a different kind of tape.

PPM’s selection of painter’s tape
PPM has an extremely wide range of tapes, able to answer the needs of all painting jobs:

  • 2030 High Performance Masking Tape: this professional high performance masking tape is designed for any type of common paints and is able to adapt to a broad range of demanding applications – such as multiple and irregular surfaces. Thanks to its composition, it’s highly resistant to temperatures;
  • 5010 Painter’s Universal Fine Line Masking Tape: this high performance painter’s tape is ideal for both indoor and outdoor applications and it’s designed to resist even harsh weather conditions up to three months from the application. Also, its narrow width makes it the perfect fit for small and curved surfaces;
  • 5025 Painter’s Ultra Delicate Masking Tape: this delicate surface painter’s tape is made with a Japanese washi paper backing and an ultra delicate adhesive that make it specifically ideal to mask the most sensitive surfaces, such as wallpaper, frescos, freshly painted walls, and delicate finishes;
  • 5210 Painter’s Blue Outdoor Masking Tape: if your painting job is outdoor, this painter’s tape is exactly what you need. It’s designed to withstand moisture, UV rays, and high and low temperatures for up to 30 days. It easily adapts to different and irregular surfaces, it’s compatible with both solvent and water-based paints, and it guarantees a clean removal without leaving any sticky residue.

How to apply painter’s tape
Once you’ve chosen the right tape for your paint job, you need to be able to apply it correctly.

Know that painter’s tape won’t stick to a dirty surface. So first, you need to run a damp rag around the area you’re masking in order to remove dust and debris that could prevent the tape from adhering.

Once the tape is applied, run your fingers on the tape and apply a little pressure to make sure there are no air bubbles. Or, even better, run a small, flexible putty knife along the tape’s length to press the adhesive into the surface.

How to remove painter’s tape
Once you’re done painting, you have to be able to remove painter’s tape correctly if you want to end up with a sharp looking result.

Just like applying painter’s tape, removing the tape requires some patience and practice. The first thing you need to know is: don’t leave painter’s tape on longer than specified by the manufacturer. If left attached for too long, the adhesive can harden and remain stuck on the surface, chipping off your paint.

In order to achieve the best results, you should remove painter’s tape while the paint is still wet. And for a razor sharp line, tear off the tape at a 45 degree angle, slowly but firmly.

If you’re interested in PPM’s selection of painter’s tape and would like to know which one applies best to your painting needs, please contact us! We will gladly offer you a personalized consultation.

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