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Pros and Cons of Painters Tape + Best Uses for Painters Tape

Whether you are painting your own home or are a paint contractor who paints everyday, painters tape is an important tool to understand. Will discuss the pros and cons of painters tape in this article so you can decide if it makes sense for your painting, additionally will suggest times when painters tape can be extra helpful.

Painters Tape Pros

  • Painters tape can protect an already painted surface from drips and runs – this makes it ideal when your painting near a baseboard and do not want any small run to get on your baseboard
  • Painters tape is the easiest way to guarantee a straight line – as long as the painters tape is applied in a straight line you will be guaranteed a clean predictable line while painting
  • Reduces the need for skilled technique like cutting in – cutting in is when you paint along an edge or create a line through a particular use of your paint brush. Cutting in can be faster than using tape but it can also require a steady hand and skill to do it well, tape eliminates the need for being able to cut in well

Painters Tape Cons

  • Additional expense – painters tape is not that expensive but a roll will cost a few dollars, which is an additional expense
  • Can slow down your work – If you can quickly cut in using just a paint brush, then using painters tape can end up slowing you down compared to just cutting it, the reason being the extra time and work needed to lay out the tape line prior to starting work.
  • Can peel away existing paint – while painters tape is generally designed to be applied over dry paint without peeling the dry paint up when it is being removed, there are times when it will still remove a small portion of the dry paint when it is being peeled off after you have completed your painting. This can cause you to have to retouch up the area you had the painters tape over.

Areas where Painters Tape Can be Most Beneficial

Knowing the pros and cons of painters tape is helpful but it can also be good to know when painters tape will be most beneficial, here are a list of common painting projects that painters tape will yield the biggest benefit.

  1. Painting the wall above baseboards – baseboards are prone to get dripped on or runs on them which can cause you to have to repaint the baseboard, and often times the repaint will not completely cover the wall color you used. Due to these common issues, using painters tape on baseboards is a great way to ensure a great result painting the baseboard and wall itself.
  2. Painting baseboards and trim – painters tape can also be helpful when painting trim and baseboards because it will allow you to effectively paint the entire baseboard or trim without worrying about your line accidentally going to far and carrying over to your wall.
  3. Painting accent walls – If you plan on painting one wall a unique color and the walls next to it the same color you will be painting what is known as an accent wall, painters tape can ensure you get a clean crisp line at the edge of your accent wall which is important as a clean line is critical to maximize the visual appeal of an accent wall.

Areas when Painters Tape can Create Problems

  • While painters tape can almost always be used, it can sometimes peel away dry paint. If you have painted the wall a few coats it may peel away when painters tape is applied. If you have concerns of this happening in an area apply a small amount of painters tape and wait a while before removing it prior to taping the whole wall so you can see if the tape will peel up the existing paint to much, alternatively you can lay the painters tape along the top edge of your baseboard eliminating the need to worry about paint from your wall being removed, though this will prevent you from painting the top edge of your baseboard.

Ultimately choosing whether or not to use painters tape will depend on a variety of factors including what type of painting your doing, your skill as a painter, and more. Reviewing this guide will hopefully help you to better decide whether painters tape is a tool you want to use for your painting or not.

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