Stay Sharp- Masking Tape Tips
Updated: Apr 18
I wouldn't call myself an expert on the matter but I thought I'd share what I've learnt so far. If I can help you avoid crying onto wonky lines and bled paint then I'll be happy.
1. Tape choices
All masking tape is created equal, but some tape is more equal than others.
Use a high quality low tack tape such as the delicate frogtape (the yellow kind) or low tack Deltec (the purple un). There are definitely uses for the normal green frog tape (around corners etc.) but I find the delicate tape is the best of taping over previously painted surfaces. Also when you’re painting older furniture it can help to just treat it with some love and not bate it around the place with super sticky tape. Be nice to your furniture. Bring them out to dinner, tell them they’re pretty.
2. Follow tape instructions
Again different tape meets different needs, so it makes sense that different brands may have different instructions.
Frogtape needs to be removed while the paint is wet and may bleed if left on overnight. You do not want to experience the heartbreak of paint that’s bled through Frogtape, trust me. It happened to my dad and he’s not been the same since. He still cries thinking about it.
Deltec on the other hand can be left overnight without bleeding. The website says 4 months residue safe, but I think if it’s taking you 4 months to paint a locker you should probably just get someone else to do it (yes, I’m available and this is a subtle plug to hire me for the job).
3. Rub down tape
Don’t make any dirty jokes. I am SICK of it. This is serious business.
Ensure the tape is completely adhered to the surface you’re painting by rubbing it down. The tape becomes more transparent when it’s stuck down properly. This is of vital importance. Without this your paint will bleed, you’ll cry, throw the furniture at the wall get kicked out of your house and become homeless. No craic.
4. Drying time
Ensure you follow drying times if you are applying tape to painted surfaces. If the paint underneath is wet when you put tape over it, it will peel off when removing the tape. Then you’ll cry yadda yadda you get the idea by now. Just follow my tips.
5. Seal it BanyanBridges style
For any surface that is a bit rougher the tape should be sealed. By this I mean you should apply the background colour to the edges of the tape. if any bleeding results from the surface being too rough for the tape to adhere to, then the background colour will just seep through.
If you’re painting furniture and keeping the wood on show then you should seal the tape edges with varnish. This tip is from DoneUpNorth and she is the Queen of furniture.
Both DoneUpNorth and BanyanBridges explain this in more in depth detail on their Instagram.
When the tapes done its job make sure to remove it gently, staying close to the piece. Treat it with the respect a lady deserves.
I hope this was helpful! Remember that everything can be fixed and all the effort will be worth it.