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Will Masking Tape Damage Wall Paint?

If you are doing some decorating and wondering whether to use masking tape or not then one question which will have crossed your mind is: will masking tape damage the wall paint below it? Well, there is only one way to know for sure, test it, and we did just that.

Will Masking Tape Damage Wall Paint?

yes and no. Some masking tapes will definitely damage wall paint but some won’t. You want to get a delicate surface masking tape to be sure of not damaging the wall paint below. I recommend using frogtape 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

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08/11/2022 12:48 pm GMT

The testing

So it’s all well and good saying what I did above, that some masking tapes will damage wall paint and some won’t. but how did I actually come to this conclusion? The simple answer is I tested a load of different masking tapes and had a look at how much damage they did to regular emulsion paint.

throughout this testing, one thing became very clear, different masking tapes will cause differing levels of damage. In my testing, there was one clear winner, frogtape yellow. Now, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise as this masking tape is sold as a delicate surface masking tape, making it ideal for painted surfaces, wallpaper and other delicates.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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