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Can you put masking tape on wallpaper?

If you are painting some wall edges that meet wallpaper then you will want to ensure you don’t get any paint onto your wallpaper. Now your first thought will immediately be to use masking tape, but then you wonder, will the masking tape damage the wallpaper? And that has led you to my humble site, well let me help you out and answer that question.

Can you put masking tape on wallpaper?

Yes, you can. In order to avoid any damage to the wallpaper though it is advisable to use a low tack or delicate surface masking tape. Frogtape Yellow is a delicate surface masking tape and it is designed to work well on wallpaper.

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Frog Tape Yellow Delicate Surface
£5.99 (£0.15 / meter)

Frog tape is the only painter's masking tape treated with paint block technology. It reacts with emulsion paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier that seals the edges of the tape, preventing paint bleed. Delicate-surface frog tape is designed for use on freshly painted surfaces, wallpaper and newly plastered walls

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08/11/2022 12:48 pm GMT

What is “delicate” masking tape?

These masking tapes are developed to be lower tack i.e not as sticky as normal masking tape. Because of this, they shouldn’t damage the surface underneath, normal masking tapes may bring some of the layer below with them when they are peeled off.

This can be particularly damaging on wallpaper where the masking tape tears some of the wallpaper with it. That is why I wouldn’t advise using normal masking tape and making sure you get the delicate surface stuff. Yes, it is more expensive, but it’s cheaper than having to re wallpaper an entire wall.

Testing Frog Tape Yellow

I actually did a test of the yellow frogtape against other competitors as part of my best making tape article. One of those tests was how delicate they are, I will share those results with you below.

For this test, I painted some wood with emulsion, let it dry, and then put two runs of each tape on it. I then left the tape for a while before removing it and seeing if it brought any of the paint with it.

The Test – Green Frog Tape First

This is the standard frog tape, one of the leading brands of painters masking tape. So let’s see how it gets on in the paint peeling test.

You can see the results in the image below. You can see a couple of spots, particularly on the bottom tape peel, where it has peeled little bits of paint off with it. Where the text is on the images is where the masking tape was before being peeled.

Frog Tape Yellow

Now, this should be an interesting result, particularly for our main question of whether masking tape will peel paint because yellow frog tape is a delicate masking tape. It is designed to be lighter on the paint below it and not damage it. let’s see if that holds true.

And we have a really good result here, it hasn’t removed any paint at all and shows a much better result than the frog tape green.

Just looking at these top two results we can see that masking tape can peel paint but that there are also delicate masking tapes that won’t peel paint.

KleenEdge

This is a medium-priced masking tape, it is definitely a lot more premium than your bog-standard tape but not as expensive as some other brands.

We can see in the below photo that it has actually done pretty well. There are a couple of small chips in the paint but overall it is not too bad at all.

Ultratape

Now we are getting down to cheaper masking tapes. This tape is a little bit more expensive than your really basic masking tapes but not by much, lets’s see how it gets on.

Again it has actually done pretty well, it has peeled the paint in one area but apart from that, it hasn’t damaged the paint at all.

Eurocell

So this tape was in the test to represent the really cheap tapes. This stuff was pence per roll of tape and as here to show what really cheap tapes will do.

As we can see it has peeled the paint fairly extensively, particularly on the bottom of the two tests.