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The Right Tape for the Job

Every time you start a job, you strive to deliver top-quality workmanship to ensure client satisfaction and good references. One key component of meeting that goal is proper masking, which is vital to painting clean, professional lines and helps prevent drips, spatters and accidental brush strokes. To make sure your lines are razor sharp and picture perfect, be sure to use the best tape for the job. Consider the following factors to help you choose wisely:

Adhesion and Surface

For optimal results, your tape's adhesion level should match the type of surface you are planning to mask.

  • Delicate surfaces, such as wallpaper and fresh paint, require lower-adhesion tapes
  • Rough surfaces, like brick or concrete, require more aggressive tapes with higher adhesion
  • Challenging coatings, such as lacquers and stains, also require high-adhesion tape

Length of Time

Consider the number of days needed to complete the project, as well as how long the tape may need to be in place before removal.


Environmental factors should be taken into account when choosing a masking tape for a project.

  • Temperatures between 50˚F and 100˚F are ideal
  • Clean, dry conditions are optimal
  • Changes in temperature and sunlight can affect some tapes' adhesive properties


Exterior conditions — such as the sun, rain, wind, humidity and high heat — can have a significant effect on how tape performs. When selecting a tape for outdoor paint jobs, choose one specifically designed to meet these challenging conditions.

Making the Best Choice

Dunn-Edwards carries a full line of tapes for every job. Consider the following options for your next painting project:

Dunn-Edwards OPT Orange Premium Painter's Tape

Brightly colored, high-tack, all-temperature tape

  • For straight, clean lines with no bleed-through
  • For interior/exterior use
  • Three-day clean removal

Dunn-Edwards Blue Multi-Surface Painter's Tape

For masking multiple surfaces on a variety of painting projects

  • Removes cleanly from painted walls, trim, woodwork and glass
  • Medium adhesion
  • 14-day clean removal

Dunn-Edwards Contractor's Edge Contractor-Grade Masking Tape

Designed for commercial and residential painting projects

  • Good multi-use tape for hanging plastic, paper or masking film
  • Easy unwind
  • Good, quick stick and tear-resistant

3M #2097 Exterior Blue Tape

The only masking tape designed specifically for outdoor use

  • Weatherproof (plastic) backing for use in sun, wind, humidity and rain
  • Quick-snap features makes it easy to get a straight tear
  • Seven-day clean removal

3M #2080 Delicate Surfaces Tape

For super-sharp paint lines on freshly painted surfaces (at least 24 hours old)

  • Features Edge-Lock™ Paint Line Protector
  • Ideal for accent walls and stripes
  • 60-day clean removal

3M #2090 Original Multi-Use Tape

For masking multiple surfaces such as wood, metal and glass

  • No. 1-selling painter's tape
  • Use on smooth to lightly textured surfaces
  • 14-day clean removal

3M #2093 Multi-Surface Tape

For sharp paint lines on a variety of smooth to textured surfaces

  • Features Edge-Lock™ Paint Lien Protector
  • Super-sharp paint lines
  • 14-day clean removal

#2060 Concrete, Brick & Grout Tape

Ideal for rough interior surfaces; also for lacquer coatings

  • Features very high adhesion for masking rough, non-damageable surfaces
  • Use on brick, concrete, stucco and rough wood
  • Three-day removal

Taping Tips and Techniques

UV Resistance

  • Most masking tapes will bake on the surface, so be sure to use a tape that is UV- and sunlight- resistant
  • Use a tape that is designed to hold for an extended period of time - even on glass
  • Paint sharp lines
  • Properly clean the surface before painting
  • Make sure the surface is completely dry
  • Apply the tape, pressing it down firmly with a flexible putty knife or 5-in1 tool

Textured Surfaces

  • Seal the edge of the tape with the existing base color of the wall

Uncured Paint

  • Use a tape designed for delicate surfaces for paint that has not cured for at least 30 days
  • Test area before use

In the end, no matter how big (or small) the painting job may be, taking the time to mask properly helps ensure that you deliver a professional paint job and keep your clients happy!