masking tape vs painters tape

The Difference Between Blue Painter’s Tape and Masking Tape

masking tape

Thinking about sprucing up your home or business with a quick paint job? Whether this is your first big project or you’re a seasoned pro, one of the first decisions to make is what kind of tape to use when painting.

The tape you use can make or break your paint job. You don’t want to cut corners as far as getting crisp, clean lines and protecting your walls from residue due to cheap tape. TapeManBlue is here to set the record straight when it comes to choosing quality painter’s tape vs. masking tape.

Painters tape is designed not to bleed with water-based lucite house paints. Masking Tape is a crepe paper tape with a natural rubber adhesive that might bleed and leave a residue.

Painters tape stays adhered to surfaces leaving a clean paint line. Masking tape can also leave clean lines like painter tape but usually isn’t as reliable. Our painter tape can be left on the surface for up to 14 days and still get a clean removal.


Is There a Difference Between Painter’s Tape and Masking Tape?

masking tape

Yes. The difference between painter’s tape and masking tape lies primarily in the adhesive. Masking tape is designed to be extra sticky and not come off, while painter’s tape is designed to have a low tack that makes it easier to remove after painting and less likely to leave a residue. Painter’s tape is a specialized type of masking tape. Essentially, all painter’s tapes are masking tape, but not all masking tapes are painter’s tape.

Is Painter’s Tape Better Than Masking Tape?

masking tape

The answer may vary depending on the specifics of your project. But the easy answer is yes. When it comes to protecting walls, blue painter’s tape is the industry standard.

Masking tape and painter’s tape look and feel similar, but you’ll notice a difference in how they perform. Using a tape that is designed specifically with painting in mind makes all the difference between getting a job done right the first time vs. spending hours removing masking tape residue, repairing walls, and doing touch-ups.


Using Masking Tape

If you decide to use masking tape for wall painting, the biggest thing you’ll need to watch for is residue. The adhesive used in a lot of masking tape is reasonably strong and will hold up for the duration of many projects. As a result, you may be unable to peel the masking tape off the wall cleanly.

Some masking tapes will give you the opposite problem. If the tape is not sticky enough, it all comes undone after you’ve taped the surface or while you’re working, allowing the paint to seep through.

Masking tape may be fine if you’re doing a quick project in your home and have the time to address any residue or touch-ups. But if you’re working on a project for business, using masking tape for wall painting or other tasks can set you back days or weeks — costing valuable time and money.


Does Masking Tape Work the Same as Painter’s Tape?

Painters tape can be a little pricey, so “do it yourself (DIY) homeowners” have opted for traditional masking tape to save money. While you can use masking tape, there are some disadvantages to the lower price masking tape vs painters tape.

Common Features:

  • Both are made with a crepe paper backing
  • Easy to tear by hand or
  • Easy to write on for label purposes.
  • Both types can be used to achieve a straight, crisp line.


What is the difference between Masking and Painters Tape?

Pros and Cons of Masking Tape

Masking Tape Pros:

  • Price is cheaper than painter’s tape
  • Clean lines
  • Easy to find
  • Great for painting windows – can be removed from glass cleanly
  • Good for painting on canvas


Masking Tape Cons:

  • Can leave a sticky residue behind that is hard to clean
  • Must be removed within hours of applying so it comes off cleanly
  • If paint sticks to the surface, it may peel up when the tape is removed
  • Water-based paint may cause the tape to buckle allowing the paint to seep onto the surface below the tape


Pros and Cons of Painters Tape

Painters Tape Pros:

  • Designed for painting so it won’t pucker or buckle regardless of the type of paint used
  • Leaves clean lines
  • Easy to find
  • Can be left on the surface for several days after painting and come off cleanly


Painters Tape Cons:

  • More expensive

Obviously, at first glance, there are more disadvantages to using masking tape instead of painter’s tape. But for a large project, if saving money takes priority it just takes a few extra steps to make sure a masking tape is an effective tool for use in painting.


How To Remove Masking Tape Residue

Generally, it is best to remove the tape as soon as you have finished taping. You can also leave it for a longer time, but this may not ensure the best quality. Leaving the tape for a longer time increases the possibility of leaving a residue once it is peeled off.

Most tapes come with some kind of label that indicates how long they could stay on the surface and still remove cleanly. The amount of clean removal time can range from several days to weeks, depending on the quality and construction of the tape. It is essential to consider this especially if you know how long your project will take. If your project could last for weeks or more, it is best to use a tape that is designed to remove cleanly for the duration of your job.

Because of the medium adhesion level offered by painter’s tape, it also removes cleanly as compared to the masking tape. The adhesive used in masking tapes is formulated in such a way that it maintains an adequate hold. However, one downside of this, as mentioned earlier is that it may not necessarily remove cleanly when left adhered to for a prolonged period.


What Does Amazing sister tape Recommend?

Given the comparison above, we suggest that in terms of painting, it is always better to make use of painter’s tape as opposed to masking tape. One note to remember is that all painter’s tapes are masking tapes, but not all masking tapes are painter’s tapes.

Painter’s tapes are specifically designed to be used for painting preparations. Their adhesion is medium and just enough to be able to administer clean removal after use. More importantly, it prevents the paint from bleeding which may not be achieved by merely using a masking or general-purpose tape.

Contact us if you have any other concerns and browse our selection of masking tape or painters tape!

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