Author: Kelly Patrick

What is the difference between duct tape and gaffer’s tape?

Often times – and to the dismay of tape experts everywhere – these tapes are mistaken for being interchangeable. On the contrary, duct and gaffer’s tapes are constructed differently because they are designed for different purposes, and using one for the intended application of the other often leads to negative results. Duct tape is constructed with a polyethylene (PE) cloth backing, a material that makes the tape waterproof. It contains an aggressive natural rubber-based adhesion system, allowing it to adhere to a variety of surfaces. Duct tape: Has a shiny, reflective backing Is for semi-permanent or permanent adhesion applications...

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How does surface impact the type of painter’s tape used?

The surface that you are painting on should be a major consideration when selecting the type of painter’s tape. Different tapes are constructed with different levels of adhesion, making it important to choose one that is strong enough to hold up on the surface you will be applying it to, without being so strong that it causes damage or leaves behind residue on removal. Will your tape need to adhere to brick, metal, or wood? You may want a medium to high-adhesion tape. Will you be masking off windows or other glass surfaces? Try to find a clean removal...

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What problems do low/no VOC paints cause for painter’s tape?

Many new paints are being designed with lower or zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) compared to traditional paints due to a growing demand for non-toxic paint products. While this may be a good thing, DIY painters and contractors have encountered a challenge with low and zero VOC paints: tape not sticking. Most painter’s tapes were designed with traditional VOC-containing paints in mind; that is, they are not engineered to hold well on paints that do not contain the same chemical components found in most. These molecular changes can impact the performance of standard painter’s tape, making it difficult to...

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Can I apply painter’s tape to windows?

Yes, given its light adhesion, you can apply painter’s tape to windows. In order to mask windows, start at any corner of the trim, and stick your painter’s tape on the trim where it meets the wall. Apply your tape in 4- or 5-foot segments in order to prevent the tape from adhering to itself. Run a card or other hard plastic tool along the edge of the tape, firmly pressing it against the trim. This will prevent paint from seeping under the edge of your tape, leaving you with clean lines. Then, unfold a plastic sheet and place...

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How do I protect the walls when painting the ceiling?

Painting a room usually starts with the ceiling, but if you aren’t painting the walls, you should drape them using the process we discussed in “how do I protect walls”. The wall may get a few splatters of unwanted paint, but any blemishes should be able to be removed by simply wiping the paint away with a damp towel. When masking surfaces, it is important to use the correct painter’s tape. Having the appropriate tape for the job will help you achieve the best results from your project. And as always, make sure to remove the tape before the...

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