What Painters Tape Is Best For Your Project?

Is the type of painters tape you use that important?

What is the best painters tape? When to remove painters tape

Growing up, my (Blogger Sam!) family did a lot of moving around and a countless number of home improvement projects when we got into a new-old house. Cuban mom supervision meant no dust bunny left behind! So after a very thorough cleaning, the next step would be painting the walls. I have memories of mom assigning us four sisters the task of painting the bedrooms, while she tackled the rest of the house.

Plastic would be laid down and doors, windows, and baseboards taped off, only to find at the end of the day that paint was seeping through the sealed areas. In other instances, we were sooo sure we’d finally done it correctly, that we’d excitedly start pulling tape off the walls far too soon, anticipating nice clean lines and, instead leaving behind a goopy splatter.


This led to us girls pointing fingers at each other, shuffling responsibility from one sibling to another – as one does – even though not one of us had any clue what caused the problem. Don’t worry, we didn’t let this tiff drive us apart, but would that I had known back then what I know now!

One way to avoid disappointment and arguments in family painting projects

So what is the best painter’s tape? Is it okay to go for the most budget-friendly option? Or must you find the thickest, sturdiest tape known to wo/man in order to to ensure success? Well, we’re here to answer all these questions on what painter’s tape is best, whether more expensive really means better, and when to remove painter’s tape.

In this episode of Paint Talk, founder Steven Montgomery and General Manager Alan Alarcon talk all things tape and share their secret method for getting straight lines without having to rely on tape! This post outlines the basics, but I recommend watching the video for a “haha” or two in the midst of the education.

What’s the difference between yellow, white, and blue painters tape?

What is the best painters tape? When to remove painters tape

Here at That 1 Painter, we most commonly reach for the Sherwin Williams white tape (Sherwin-Williams Professional Grade Masking Tape ) and the yellow tape (also known as Scotch Contractor Grade Masking Tape).

These two tapes are used to mask off floors or windows, especially when we’re using a sprayer. You don’t always need the thicker, more expensive tapes because paint falls in a lighter flow with a sprayer, creating far less bleed-through.

The answer to why paint is bleeding through your painters tape

The pressure applied from a brush or roller tends to push paint through the white and yellow tapes, leaving marks behind, where you didn’t want it.

So when we’re painting with a roller or a brush, we use the sturdier Scotch Blue tape. Though it feels lightweight, this tape was designed to resist bleed-through better than the white or yellow.

Wait one sec while I travel to the past, to tell my 14-year-old self to stop scolding my little sisters and that this was the solution all along!

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The big to-do about FrogTape

professionals-view-of-frog-tape

This is a tape I think a lot of painters have been curious about because it boasts cleaner lines, claiming to be the best at preventing bleed-through. It’s pretty expensive, but comes with a few small perks, like its own container and stand to keep it from rolling away from you. Scotch has a couple of versions of the blue tape that are similar in their ability to seal up and protect from bleeding.

These types of tape work great on perfectly smooth walls, but we have yet to find a tape that will keep bleed-through from occurring on textured walls. Since textured walls are basically all we deal with in Texas, we’ve grown accustomed to using a secret method to obtain perfect lines. Stay tuned and we’ll walk you through that great painter’s hack, in the near future.

All in all, we don’t feel the need to use these more expensive tapes on a typical day, but we will use Frog Tape or similar tapes from other brands on specific projects, like cabinetry or really smooth trim with two starkly different colors.

Tape for rough exterior surfaces

What is the best painters tape? When to remove painters tape

Scotch Rough Surfaces is a go-to for us when it comes to exteriors. If you try to use any other tape while painting outside and a strong gust of wind comes through, you’re going to see your mask go flying. Rough Surfaces and Scotch Exterior will stick to chalky surfaces, like stucco, limestone, or other masonries.

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The final word on tape

More than anything, if you’re a painter (or a group of teenage girls working under a no-nonsense Cuban-mother-project-manager), you’re going to want to get a feel for which tape works for you.

A big part of finding the best painter’s tape simply has to do with your own personal preference and technique, and a little bit to do with a general knowledge of your project. When our founder Steven first started That 1 Painter, he used plain old masking tape and made it work with his style of painting. So experiment and see what works for you, you’ll discover some painting tricks along the way.

~ Sam Miller

Have any more paint questions?

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