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What is Low Tack Masking Tape?

When it comes to masking tape a lot of the more premium tapes will be advertised as “low tack” but what exactly does this mean? And what are the advantages and disadvantages of low tack masking tapes? Let’s have a look and find out.

Low Tack Masking Tape

All this essentially means is that the tape is not as sticky as regular masking tape. This is intentional and is to help prevent the masking tape from damaging the surface it is applied to. There can be an issue with masking tape where it damages the paint or wallpaper or whatever surface it is applied to. Low tack masking tape has been created to avoid this problem while still providing great paint blocking properties.

Overall Winner!
Frog Tape Yellow Delicate Surface
£5.49 (£0.13 / 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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07/05/2022 12:05 am GMT
Masking tapes like the delicate surface frog tape above are low tack masking tapes. They are designed for use over delicate surfaces like painted walls, fresh plaster and wallpaper.

Does Low Tack Masking Tape Work

The quick answer is yes, it does. It can both block paint and be more delicate on surfaces below it. I know this because I tested it out, have a look at my testing process below. The actual test consisted of painting some regular emulsion onto a surface, I think it was just the basic stuff from B&Q. I then let the paint properly dry before putting some masking tape onto it. I put two strips of each tape down to get more thorough results. After leaving the tape on for a while I peeled it off and observed the damage.

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.

Test Results

So what did we learn from this? Well, we learned that some masking tapes will damage the paint below them and others will not. If you are concerned about this potential problem, and I’m guessing you are as you went to the trouble of finding this article, then I would recommend getting a delicate surface tape like the frogtape yellow. It ain’t cheap but it is probably worth it.

Does Low Tack Masking Tape Still Block Paint

I have used two strips of each of the tapes and made sure they are applied as evenly as possible. This is to test how well each of the masking tapes can block paint and stop if from seeping under them.

After letting the paint dry a little, it’s time for some peeling. We start with the frogtape green. As you can see, it’s done quite a good job overall, but there are some areas where the paint has leaked under the tape, so not perfect.

Next onto frogtape yellow. The first row is excellent, with barely any paint leakage, but the second is not as good. Overall though, I still think it has performed a bit better here than its green brother. This is a low tack masking tape

Up next is the ultratape. This is one of the cheapest tapes in the test, so I’m not expecting mega results here. And yeah, quite a bit of leakage of both strips, definitely the worst result so far.

The next tape to be put to the peel test is the kleenedge. I had never heard of this brand before, but it is quite an expensive tape, coming in at a very similar price to the two frogtapes. Two good results, the second strip is almost perfect aside from a small area in the bottom left which is more my fault than anything. I think this has edged top spot for the time being.

Now it’s prodec advanced’s time in the spotlight. As weird as this sounds, this is a really nice feeling masking tape. It just feels like a quality product. Let’s see how the test goes. Not a brilliant result on the first peel with a lot of leakage in the top left, but the second strip looks better overall. I would say this has just slightly beaten out the ultratape to be our second worst tape so far. this is a low tack masking tape.

And finally, we have the eurocell. This is by far the cheapest tape and is in the test really to represent the basic unbranded masking tape you will find in any shop. So not holding out much hope for it, but let’s see how it gets on.

And yeah, there are paint leaks pretty much along the full run of the tape, easily the worst tested so far.