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Does Masking Tape Peel Paint?

Masking tape is a very useful tool in the decorator’s arsenal. It allows all painters to achieve nice, crisp, clean lines, even if their brushwork isn’t brilliant. But it is not without its own downsides, one such downside being peeling off the underlying coat of paint. Now does masking tape peel paint? And does it all do it at the same rate?

So, does masking tape peel paint?

Yes, some masking tape can peel paint. This does not mean all masking tape will peel paint though. Specialist low tack masking tapes are available which are designed to not peel paint when removed.

Testing different masking tapes

In order to come to the conclusion above, I did a lot of testing with a wide selection of masking tapes. I wanted to test different tapes at different price points and see how they fared on a paint removal test.

I painted some wood with regular emulsion paint, I then let it fully dry before putting some masking tape on it. I then left this masking tape on the paint for a couple of hours.

After it had been left on the paint for the same amount of time I peeled the tapes and recorded the results.

Frog Tape Green Test

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.

Overall Winner!
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

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.

Conclusion

So what have we learned after these masking tape tests?

We can see that some masking tapes will peel paint heavily and others not at all. If you want to find a tape that won’t peel paint then you need to get a delicate masking tape.

I would recommend Frog Tape Yellow.

Overall Winner!
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

Buy Now On Amazon Buy At ToolStation
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. This helps fund the Bloke Cave and allows us to create epic projects!
08/11/2022 12:48 pm GMT