Ahh, the lowly roll of masking tape. It has such infinite uses, yet this simple tool is used incorrectly by so many. It’s simplicity is deceptive however, for this misunderstood roll of paper and glue can unlock the secret power of paint.
Today we will talk about the care and feeding of your masking tape, why not all masking tape is created equally and techniques for getting quality results when using masking tape. We here at OCmodshop are not responsible for any paper cuts you incur from following any of the instructions written here. You take full responsibility for your actions, missteps, injuries, and dead kittens when applying any information contained here. Always wear eye and breathing protection when spraying paint!
You are in your favorite hardware store. You stop by the masking tape isle and low there is the 99 cent masking tape. You have purchased it so many times. It has become an old friend. Yet you feel something is missing. This old friend has cheated and lied to you. Cheap tape is good for sticking paper together and not much else. A good roll of masking tape is going to cost $4-10 depending on width of roll. Cheap tape is made of very thin paper that has little flexibility.
The adhesive is sprayed on the paper very thin and is grainy. This causes poor adhesion at its edges and will allow paint to bleed under, ruining your work. The cheap, grainy adhesive used on poor quality masking tape may also cause paint lifting. Cheap tape can also leave behind some of its adhesive in the form of residue, this is by far the worst thing.
Good tape uses paper that is made of more than just wood pulp. There are synthetic additives that give the tape an almost vinyl like flexibility. This is important for following curves or masking around corners. The same holds true for the adhesive.
Good tape uses a heavy even coat of adhesive that is designed to release from the surface without taking your paint with it. Masking tape is rated by its adhesive strength from 1- 100. Use something in the 50- range for most paint work. Too much adhesive strength will lift your painted edges and make them jagged.