The Best Painter’s Tape For Your Project

An essential tool in a painter’s arsenal is tape. Choosing the best painter’s tape is critical to achieving professional results. But how do you know which is best for your project? Choosing tape is not as simple as selecting a color, like blue tape vs. green tape.

Even some home painting contractors are misguided in categorizing tape by color alone. The fact is that assessing the color alone won’t guarantee the results you are looking for. 

Whether homeowner or a contractor, our guide will save time and money and help you choose the best painter’s tape. We compare brands, including Frog Tape, 3m Scotch tape, and Painters Mate!

Why Use Painter’s Tape

Experienced painting professionals know that paint preparations are essential, and tape plays a considerable role. The secret is not all painters’ tape is the same. So, you have to determine your priorities to choose the best option. 

The need for painter’s tape is widely accepted, especially for those who require help painting straighter lines. Homeowners commonly use tape to assist in painting rooms and interior doors, windows, and trim. 


Tape is used to attach plastic and paper during the covering and masking process and so much more. Various tape sizes and levels of adhesion make choosing the perfect tape hard to determine. 

The versatility of painter’s tape allows it to be applied for multiple purposes. Let’s differentiate options by explaining properties and features to prevent disappointment and frustration. 

Characteristics of The Best Painter’s Tape

Scotch tape options provided by the leading brand, 3M, provide colors and descriptions to make choices less overwhelming. Verbiage ranging from interior and exterior, sharp lines, rough surfaces, and delicate surfaces helps simplify an otherwise wide range of options.

As painting professionals, we find 3M descriptions self-explanatory and very beneficial. Most exterior painters’ tape is reinforced, typically utilizing a plastic outside casing. Plastics will help resist reactions to moisture, heat and moderate UV exposure.

Other products, such as Frog tape, distinguish themselves by utilizing a unique and proprietary technology called “Paint Block Technology.” This system provides polymers that absorb paint, preventing it from getting underneath the edges of the tape. Frog Tape offers outstanding protection against paint leak-through but is imperfect in preventing bleed-through on textured surfaces. 

Blue Painter’s Tape Wrong Use

There are several tape colors available by brands such as Scotch. The color options indicate how easily the tape sticks and releases on specific surfaces. If the wrong tape is used, it could result in surface damage and could leave excessive residual glue behind.  

Manufacture tape standards vary and provide no definitive measures for adhesion, and not all Blue Tape is the same. Therefore, reading tape labels is critical in choosing the best painter’s tape.


Blue painters’ tape ranges from cost-effective paper options to plastic. Blue painter’s tape also has different surface contact options. If left for longer than the recommended timeframe, the tape could tear upon removal, leave adhesive residue behind, or, even worse, damage surfaces by not releasing. 

Nothing is worse than damaging paint, caulk, or polyurethane on finished surfaces when removing tape stuck for too long or when the wrong tape has been applied. 

Advantages of The Best Painter’s Tape

Choosing the right tape will make sure your hard work is not ruined. Here is a list of factors to consider when purchasing painter’s tape.

1) Bleed Through: This is important to consider when painting detailed interior surfaces. Choosing the best tape for bleed-through resistance is especially important when painting final coats. 

2) Surface Damage: We would be seriously remiss if we didn’t mention cabinets or hardwood floors for this category. If the wrong tape is applied to these areas, costly damages could occur by pealing polyurethane undercoats.

3) Clean Release: Clean-release tapes offer little to no residual adhesive. 

4) Heat/ UV Resistance: Painters tape that resists heat and UV is best for exterior applications—hot interior areas for homes under construction and metal substrates. 

5) Moisture Resistance: Plastic-style tape is the best moisture-resistant for interior or exterior use. 

Taping Techniques

If you wonder why your tape is not performing as it should, our shortlist will provide tips that may help improve your results and limit bleed-through! 

1) Applying the Tape: Tape is pressure sensitive. After thoroughly cleaning the surface with a wet rag, run your finger over the tape several times with moderate pressure. Friction is essential to assuring the ultimate seal and limiting bleed-through. 

2) Applying the Paint: Always apply paint coatings in the direction of the tape, regardless of the applicator being used. Painting against the direction of the tape will increase the chances of bleed-through. 

3) How Much Paint: Excessive amounts of paint will cause the tape to oversaturate, resulting in unwanted expansion and contract, causing bleed-through. 

4) Removing the Tape:  Removing the tape midway through the drying process will help to prevent damaging the paint finish. 

Note:  Paint brands and types all stick and cure at different rates. Always pull down and away from the painted edge to prevent paint removal from surfaces.

Top-Rated Painter’s Tape

Here is another short list of Painter tapes that work best under specific circumstances and conditions. 

Best Overall Tape: Mate Green Tape

Best Adhesion/ Price: Scotch 3m Contractor Masking Tape

Best For Interior Lines: Scotch UltraSharp Line Blue Tape

Best For Bleed Through: Frog Tape Multi-Surface

Best Exterior Painters Tape: Scotch 2060 Rough Surface

Best For Cabinets: Scotch 2080 Delicate Surface

The Takeaway

We picked Painters Mate as our best overall choice because of its price and performance. While it may not excel, nor is it class-leading in either category, its price and overall performance make it our favorite everyday tape. We love the 2-inch green tape option provided by Painters Mate – and guess what? It’s not blue! 

Of course, depending on the situation, we use other styles of painter’s tape for optimal results. 


Regardless of your painting demands, purchasing tape aimlessly without knowing what to look for and how to apply it will lead to subpar results and needless frustrations. 

Now that you are a wiz on painter’s tape, get inspired and paint the interior or exterior of your home with confidence, whether it’s yourself or a professional house painter. 

If you like this article, follow our social media or contact us directly for professional service if you live in Raleigh, NC, or the surrounding areas!

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