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Does Masking Tape Leave Residue?

If you are planning on using masking tape, particularly on a delicate surface, then you may be wondering does masking tape leave a residue? I know one way to quickly find out, test it. In order to do this, I stuck three different masking tapes on some glass and then looked if they left any residue once removed.

If you don’t want to read the full article and see all the testing then I have a short and direct answer for you below.

Does Masking Tape Leave Residue?

Yes, most masking tape will leave a residue. The more premium low tack or delicate surface masking tapes seem to leave behind less residue or sometimes none at all. Budget making tapes leave behind quite a bit of residue.

Testing Masking Tape Residue

So let’s find out how these different masking tapes got on. What will be interesting is first seeing if they do leave any residue but then also seeing if different tapes leave different amounts of residue.

In the below photo you can see the three different tapes on a window. The top masking tape is ProDec advanced tape, a more premium masking tape where the bottom two are cheaper, more generic masking tapes.

Masking tape on a window

Masking tape on a window

First Masking Tape

So below we have the results from the ProDec advanced tape, lets have a look.

First tape left no residue

The first tape left no residue

As you can see this tape has left no real residue, particularly in the middle of the tape. There has been a little bit of an outline formed around the tape which you can just about make out.

In the middle, though there is no sticky residue at all. This is a more premium “low tack” tape though. These tapes are intended to be able to be used on delicate surfaces. This is why they are low tack, in order to not destroy any surface you apply them to.

I think it will be interesting to see how the cheaper making tapes get on in this test. This will help, hopefully, to show if there actually is any difference between the more premium masking tapes and the cheaper ones in terms of how much sticky adhesive they leave behind.

The Second Masking Tape

This tape is the bog-standard cheap tape you will find in any shop, let’s see if it is any different at leaving behind residue when compared to a premium tape.

Residue from second tape

Residue from the second tape

So it is fairly clear that this masking tape left a lot more residue behind than the ProDec tape did. I have circled the residue to make it a little easier to pick out on the glass but the sticky spot it has left is fairly obvious.

So this answers the question, yes masking tape can leave behind residue, but as we see from the ProDec tape, not all tapes will. Or at least not to the same amount.

Third Masking Tape

just to complete this experiment let’s have a look at the third masking tape we used. This is again a cheaper tape, although it is branded unlike the generic tape above.

Residue from third tape

Residue from the third tape

Again there has been some residue left behind by the masking tape. And like the others, there is also quite a visible outline where the tape was placed.

This goes to show that making tape will leave behind residue but that not all tapes will leave the same amount of residue. If this is a really important issue for you then I recommend using a low tack premium masking tape.

The ProDec advanced tape I used in the first test worked really well and left very little if any residue behind.

Best Budget Pick
ProDec Advance Precision Edge Masking Tape
£5.21 (£0.10 / meter)

Precision edge by prodec has been specially treated to give excellent barrier properties and eliminate paint bleed for the sharpest paint lines and a professional finish every time.

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07/05/2022 09:23 am GMT

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