Painter's tape

Preparation is a key piece in a successful paint project. Preparation looks different for each project but can include cleaning and sanding the surface you will be painting, priming the surface and researching the correct type of paint product and applicator to use.

We also recommend using painter’s tape to ensure straight lines and protect surfaces you don’t want painted. When applied properly, painter’s tape can save time and result in a professional quality paint finish.

Sometimes referred to as masking tape, painter’s tape acts as a safety net during any painting project, although it’s still important to take your time and paint carefully to avoid paint splatters. Once your paint has dried, you will want to promptly remove the painter’s tape.

Peel off one corner and pull the tape away from the wall at roughly a 45-degree angle to prevent damage to the surface and ensure a clean removal.

With several options and colors of tape to choose from, we can help you pick the right one for your project. Continue reading for our expertise on which painter’s tape to use and our go-to painter’s tape products, all available for purchase on

The Best Painters Tape Shortlist

For no-fail options when it comes to painter’s tape, look no further. Below you can find the products we keep in our supply closet, for those moments we feel inspired to paint and need a quick solution with reliable protection.

3M ScotchBlue ™ Painter's Tape Original Multi-Surface 2090

There is a reason 3M ScotchBlue TM Painter’s Tape Multi-Surface 2090 is our top choice, this reliable product delivers sharp paint lines and removes cleanly without surface damage, no wonder its #1 in the country. When in doubt, reach for a 1-1/2” wide painter’s tape. This will provide a safe amount of coverage for most painting projects.

FrogTape, Multi-Surface Painting Tape

FrogTape Multi-Surface Painting tape is a premium, medium-adhesion is designed to adhere to a variety of surfaces and will help you achieve a clean finish. FrogTape® is made with exclusive PaintBlock® Technology, which creates a seal when the water in latex paint reacts with this polymer.

Painter’s Mate Green

With its unique UV-resistant formula and premium paper, Painter’s Mate Green brand painter’s tape can be used on a variety of surfaces, including painted walls, woodwork, glass, metal and vinyl. This professional painter’s tape can easily be removed from your walls without leaving a residue for up to eight days – even in direct sunlight – and delivers professional paint results at an exceptional value.

Considerations When Choosing the Right Painter’s Tape


As more brands develop collections of painter’s tapes, they have used color as a brand identity. You’re probably familiar with blue painter's tape because it is a multi-surface painter's tape and widely applicable.

Historically, blue represents your traditional painter’s tape, yellow communicates use for delicate surfaces. Depending on the brand, green painter's tape indicates use for exterior surfaces but can also identify use for lacquered surfaces, making the number one rule in selecting a painter’s tape to read the label!


Painter’s tape comes in a variety of widths made to serve different purposes for different paint projects. For a typical paint project, we recommend a tape width of 1-1/2 inches which will protect the surface you don’t want to paint, but won’t cover too much of your project area.

If you are working in a tight space or corner, a slimmer tape will work better and still allow you to apply your paint carefully. You will also use this narrow width tape to create geometric patterns on a wall or if you are painting furniture and need to cover hardware. Wide painter’s tape can be used to cover surfaces but also to tape down drop cloths or other coverings for your project.


Different painter’s tapes will have different levels of adhesion. These different levels of stickiness will indicate what type of surface to use them and how long they can safely remain on the surface. For example, for a delicate surface it is best to use a low-adhesion tape. These will stay in place during your project, but are easily removed as to not damage the delicate surface.

For more textured surfaces like masonry or concrete, a heavy-duty adhesion works best. For your typical painting project, where you are taping unpainted wood, drywall or plaster a medium-adhesive painter’s tape is best.

Again, reading the information provided on the product’s packaging is important and will help you determine what painter’s tape is best for the surface you are protecting.

Best Painter’s Tape for Special Surfaces

At this point you probably have a good idea of the type of painter’s tape that will suit your paint project, but if you’re painting a special surface such as stucco or brick, you may need a specialty tape for better adhesion.

Best Painters Tape for Outdoors

When working outdoors, sunlight can wear on the effectiveness of the painter’s tape. It is important to find a product with lasting UV protection and a high-performing adhesion. Our paint experts recommend Blue Dolphin Hybrid Exterior Tape for your painting projects on smooth exterior surfaces such as lacquered wood, glass, plastic and vinyl.

This tape has the durability of high-performance plastic, still tears as easily as paper and leaves behind crisp paint lines with the capability of a residue-free removal. The medium adhesion is also great for hanging poly and other painting, plastering and stucco projects.

Best Painters Tape for Woodwork

When painting a space where you will need to tape finished woodwork, wallpaper or even fresh paint, look no further than FrogTape Delicate Surface Painter’s Tape. This high-quality painter’s tape provides a light adhesion to finished surfaces avoiding paint bleed, which could cost money to repair.

Best Painters Tape for Brickwork

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to paint a rough surface such as brick, stucco or concrete, you know they are resistant to adhesion. Blue Dolphin Rough Surface Orange Exterior Tape is specifically engineered for rough and uneven surfaces including wood and plaster. This exterior rough tape features SuperGrip™ high adhesion technology that removes cleanly for 7 days. Our flexible, strong backing is UV-resistant for 7 days and weather-resistant so the elements won't stop you from working on an outside project.

Best Painters Tape for Adhesion

Again, we would recommend FrogTape Delicate Surface Painter’s Tape for painting projects where you will need superior paintblock technology with a multi-use functionality. It’s gentle enough to use on a freshly painted wall, but also has the adhesion to use in other paint projects such as on baseboards or other painted surfaces.

We hope to have answered your questions about painter’s tape and helped guide you in your purchase decision. If you do need additional help, our experts are available to answer questions through live chat on every Monday through Saturday from 7am – 5pm EST.