Painting tips and tricks

Your Questions

Have a question about tape application, removal or ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape? Find answers to common questions on this page.

Your Questions

Have a question about tape application, removal or ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape? Find answers to common questions on this page.

Your Questions

Have a question about tape application, removal or ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape? Find answers to common questions on this page.

How do I choose the right tape for my project?

Our product selector makes it easy to find out what tape you should use. Just answer a few simple questions about your project, and it will direct you to the right tape.

How do I choose the right tape for my project?

Our product selector makes it easy to find out what tape you should use. Just answer a few simple questions about your project, and it will direct you to the right tape.

How do I choose the right tape for my project?

Our product selector makes it easy to find out what tape you should use. Just answer a few simple questions about your project, and it will direct you to the right tape.

Open Product Selector
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Buy The Right Tape for Your Project

  • How much tape do I need for my project?
    Most ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tapes and Scotch® Masking Tapes come in rolls that are 60 yards (180 ft. or 54.8m) long. One 60-yard roll can mask an average-sized (10 ft. x 10 ft. / 3 m x 3 m) room, such as an office or bedroom, including ceiling, baseboards, and door and window trim. Larger rooms, like a living room or basement, or rooms with many surfaces to mask, like a kitchen with a lot of cabinets, might require two or three rolls of tape.

    For a better estimate, make a list and measure all of the surfaces you are planning to mask. Include all baseboards, trim around windows and doors, ceilings, walls, and fixtures like door knobs and hinges. Remove electrical outlet covers, vent plates and other removable fixtures before you measure and paint, so you don’t have to mask around them. This will help save time and tape.

    Check out Prep & Tape Application for more taping tips.
  • What size tape should I buy, and does the width matter?
    ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tapes and Scotch® Masking Tapes come in a variety of widths, from ¾” (6 mm) up to 3” (7.6 cm). Our 1.5” (3.8 cm) tape is the most popular, and for good reason — painting can get messy, and this width offers a little more margin for painter error.

    Trim and doors often require wider tape in order to cover the whole surface or wrap around corners. 1” (2.5 cm) tape is great for narrow baseboards and glass.

    See Prep & Tape Application for more advice on paint prep.
  • What’s the difference between ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape and Scotch® Masking Tape?
    Masking tapes use a rubber-based adhesive that is not UV resistant and cannot be left on a surface for extended periods of time. Scotch® Masking Tape is ideal for use on non-damageable surfaces, such as unfinished wood, brick, concrete and carpet.

    Painter’s tapes use an acrylic adhesive that provides UV resistance and allows a longer masking time. That makes ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape ideal for use on glass in direct sunlight — the adhesive will not transfer to the glass.

    ScotchBlue™ TRIM + BASEBOARD Painter’s Tape is safe for use on multiple surfaces, and ScotchBlue™ WALLS + WOOD FLOORS Painter’s Tape is specifically designed for delicate surfaces such as wallpaper, wood floors and freshly painted surfaces (less than 30 days old). Painter’s tapes are generally recommended for use in most residential painting projects.

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Tape Application


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Tape Removal

  • How long should I wait to remove the tape after I've painted?
    Remove tape when the paint is dry to the touch — typically one hour after application, but this can vary according to paint conditions. If you are applying multiple coats of paint, don’t remove the tape until you have finished the last coat and it has had sufficient time to dry.
  • How do I remove adhesive residue?
    If the tape is still intact on the surface, use a hair dryer to loosen the adhesive, and remove all the backing from the adhesive.

    Remove as much adhesive as possible by either rubbing the adhesive off with your finger, or by applying a fresh piece of tape over the adhesive to pull it up from the surface.

    If residue remains, use a chemical-based cleaner, according to its instructions. For Scotch® Masking Tapes try one or more of the following:

    3M™ Industrial Cleaners and Adhesive Removers
    Citrus-based cleaners
    Hydrocarbon solvent such as turpentine or a toluene-based cleaner

    For ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tapes, try one or more of the following:

    Wallpaper and paste remover
    Citrus-based cleaners
    Ammonia-based cleaner

    NOTE: Different tapes have different types of adhesive, so choose the cleaner carefully and test in an inconspicuous place before use. Follow the cleaner instructions found on the individual packaging to ensure proper use.

    When using cleaners, wipe with a cheesecloth or loose-nap fabric rags to allow the adhesive residue to imbed into the fabric.

    After using cleaners, rinse surface with a generous amount of clean water.

    If the adhesive residue has been on the surface for a long time or is highly cured, scraping may be required to break up the adhesive in order to remove it.

    If ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape is used on or with a lacquer coating, the surface may react with the adhesive on the tape, making it difficult to remove. In this case, buffing or sanding may be required to remove the adhesive from the surface.

    NOTE: Removing adhesive residue can put the surface it is adhered to at risk. If mechanical means (like scraping or abrading) are required to remove adhesive residue, most painted surfaces are at risk and have the potential to be damaged, regardless of the type of finish or level of cure time.
  • What do I do when the paint pulls up or cracks when I remove the tape?
    If you notice that paint is pulling up with the tape, or that paint is cracking along the paint line as you remove the tape, score along the edge of the tape with a razor blade before removing. This breaks the seal between paint and tape, ensuring a cleaner line and easier removal.

    See Proper Tape Removal for a list of steps to follow when removing tape.
  • What do I do if the tape is slivering when I pull it off?
    There are multiple reasons your tape may be slivering. If this happens, score along the tape edge with a utility knife, and then remove the tape.

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General Questions

  • What is the shelf life of masking tape?
    The recommended shelf life for masking tapes is generally one year.
  • What paints work best with ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape?
    ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape works well with:

    Most water-based paints and coatings — acrylic, urethane, vinyl latex and enamels
    Many solvent-based coatings — alkalyds, varnishes, most enamels and some polyurethanes
    Plaster, glazes, textures and metallics used in faux and decorative painting

    Be careful when working with lacquers. Nitrocellulose-based lacquers react with the adhesive on many painter’s tapes. They seem to bond the tape with the lacquer, making it impossible to remove the tape. Tapes with higher adhesion levels, such as tan masking tapes, are a better choice for use with lacquers.

Painting tips and tricks

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