A Masking tape or painter’s tape is a pressure-sensitive tape made of easy-to-tear paper and with pressure-sensitive adhesive on one side. It is common in the painting industry, where painters use it to mask off places they do not want to paint.
The adhesive is the critical building factor in these tapes as it allows them to stick and unstick without damaging or leaving residue on the surface.
Masking tapes come in various widths and strengths. Most of these adhesive strengths range on a scale between 1 and 100. Most tapes used in painting projects have an adhesive strength of 50. The ones you buy for household purposes feature weaker paper and adhesives of lower strengths.
Types of Masking Tapes
There are several types of masking tapes that you can use for various applications and environments. Each one has its unique characteristics, as discussed below,
- Rubber-Based Masking Tape
These are the most common and most reliable types of masking tapes. They have a better sticking property but experience lower levels of temperature resistance.
- Acrylic-Based Masking Tape
These tapes have a higher tolerance to temperature and are suitable for extreme temperatures and more hostile conditions. They withstand highly fluctuating temperatures and can withstand anything between sub-freezing points to about 150 degrees Celsius.
- Silicon-Based Masking Tape
The silicon-based masking tape offers the highest temperature resistance-hey can withstand temperatures up to 260 degrees Celsius.
Other Categories of Masking Tapes
The most common areas of application for masking tapes are where painters use them to mask off places they do not need the paint to touch. Here a particular grade masking tape is essential as it helps in producing elegant lines. Any other type of tape would see the paint bleed under it, leading to fuzzy or varied lines.
Drafting tapes resembles an ordinary household masking tape but with a lower track. It is suitable for holding blueprints to a light table or drawing board as it pulls off quickly without causing any damages to the drawing or the board.
The rating in a house painter’s tape depends on the number of days it can stay on the surface without leaving any residues. The available ratings are 1-, 3-, 14-, 30- and 60- day- 7 and 7 rated tapes are the most common. These tapes are suitable for smooth and delicate surfaces like vinyl wallpaper or freshly painted walls.
Choosing The Best Masking Tape
There are many factors that you should consider before buying masking tape. Some tapes are ideal for specific environments and applications, so you must know each tape with its properties.
Some are also suitable when you want straight lines in your painting project.
The key factors to look for when choosing a painters tape are size and adhesion. When looking for the best size, always consider the length, width and thickness. Narrower tapes are suitable for masking smaller areas and vice versa.
When it comes to adhesion, go for less sticky tapes when dealing with delicate surfaces. But go for higher levels of adhesion when working with textured surfaces and extreme temperatures.