How to Use Blue Painter's Tape

How to Use Blue Painter's Tape

Painters, both professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike, know how helpful blue tape for painting can be when it comes to achieving professional results. When used correctly, painter's tape can help you create sharp edges and avoid a mess. TapeManBlue has collected some of the top tricks of the trade from professional contractors and DIYers to help even the most novice painter achieve a flawless look using blue adhesive tape. The professionals at TapeManBlue hope that these tips help you use our products more effectively. We welcome your tips as well. If you have a pro tip you would like to share, join the conversation on our facebook page

What Is Blue Painter's Tape?

Before we dive into discussing how to use blue painter's tape, let's take a moment to define what it is. As the name suggests, this tape is blue in color and is ideal for painters, both professionals and DIY-ers. Before painting a surface, you can apply blue painter's tape to edges, such as on baseboards or at the ceiling line, so you don't accidentally get paint on a surface where it doesn't belong. Quality painter's tape can also help you paint with clean lines so your painting project looks great every time.

Painting tape is also sometimes called masking tape. Though these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, masking tape usually refers to the cream-colored tape you may use to label boxes or for other purposes around the house. Masking tape can be used as painter's tape, but as we'll explain more later, masking tape is more of a general-purpose tape, while blue painter's tape is specially engineered for painting.

Masking tape was invented by Richard Gurley Drew in the 1920s when he noticed that painters at auto body shops were having trouble masking car parts because the tape would pull the paint off with it when it was removed. To solve the problem, Drew used cabinetmaker's glue and treated crepe paper to create the first masking tape.

This early design has been refined by various companies over the years to create blue painter's masking tape that can adhere well enough to keep paint out but can also lift off easily when the paint has dried, leaving no gummy residue behind. Blue painter's tape comes in a variety of widths. For instance, TapeManBlue tape is available in 3/4-inch, 1-inch, 1.5-inch, 2-inch and 3-inch widths. Whichever size you opt for, blue painter's tape comes in a roll so you can pull off the amount you need and cut or tear it off easily.

How Do You Use Blue Painter's Tape?

So, how do you use blue painter's tape? Let's start with a basic step-by-step, then we'll go over some tips for getting the most out of your painter's tape. Using painter's tape is a simple process that involves five basic steps:

Step 1. Clean the surface: Before you even begin applying the tape, make sure the moldings and anywhere you plan to apply tape are clean. Dust and dirt can prevent the tape from sticking. If the area is greasy and requires a more thorough cleaning, wait until the surface is completely dry before applying painter’s tape.

Step 2. Apply tape: Once you have a dry, clean surface, you can start to apply your painter's tape. If you're painting interior walls, you can either start by taping off the ceiling line or the baseboard. Either way, start at a corner of the room and tear or cut off pieces of tape no longer than your arm. For corners, tear the tape at an angle to fit.

Step 3: Smooth tape: As you apply the pieces of tape to your borders, smooth it down with your hands to ensure it adheres well and that there are no wrinkles or air bubbles that could get in the way of achieving a clean, straight line. It helps to press the tape down and smooth it out as you go rather than applying a whole run of tape and then smoothing it.

Step 4. Paint: Once your borders are all protected by painter's tape, you can start painting. You may find it easiest to start by cutting in, which means painting around the border and then filling in the rest of the wall. The tape is there to keep you from getting paint on the ceiling and floorboard, so it's fine to get some paint on the tape, but try to avoid getting too much paint on it.

Step 5. Remove tape: Once the paint is dry to the touch, which typically takes about an hour, you can remove the painter's tape. Pull the tape gently at a 45-degree angle. Once you've pulled a foot of tape off, grab the tape again at the base. Continue to pull all the tape off the ceilings, baseboards and anywhere else you've applied it, revealing your finished project.

Where Can Blue Painter's Tape Be Used?

Blue painter's tape is most often used on moldings attached to interior walls, but it can be used on a variety of surfaces. Not all brands and types of blue painter's tape have the same capabilities, so you should always check before purchasing painter's tape to make sure it will work for your surface. Here are some examples of where TapeManBlue's painter's tape can be used:

  • Walls
  • Baseboards
  • Doorframes
  • Crown molding
  • Ceilings
  • Hardwood floors
  • Tile floors
  • Windows
  • Wood furniture

Some painter's tape, including TapeManBlue's blue painter's tape, can even be used for exterior painting projects. Be careful, though. When taping off rough or uneven surfaces, there could be gaps in the painter's tape seal — meaning it won't be able to fully protect these surfaces from paint.

Remember, you can get creative with how you use painter's tape. Most people think of painter's tape as a handy tool for protecting moldings when they're painting walls — and painter's tape is certainly that — but it can also be used in other ways. For example, you can use blue painter's tape to create geometric patterns on an accent wall in your home or to create a striped border on a tabletop. The possibilities are endless.

What Are Some Tips for Applying Painter's Tape Like a Pro?

We've gone over the basics, but to tape a room off like a pro, you may want to pay attention to these tips and tricks we've assembled:

  • Cover outlets and switches: You can use blue tape to cover outlets, light switches and anything else that's in danger of getting paint on or in it. It can be easy to let paint drip into an outlet, for example, while you're painting a wall, but a layer of tape can keep that from happening.
  • Use paper or plastic for more protection: Use masking paper or painter's plastic in conjunction with painter's tape to avoid splatter. This can be very helpful if you’re painting a surface with large trim or using a paint roller on the walls or ceiling. To provide even better coverage, TapeManBlue offers protective tape designed specifically for carpets and floors.
  • Speed up painting prep with an applicator: Contractors may use a painter’s tape applicator to speed up the process of laying the tape. If you don’t have an applicator, try sticking a few inches of tape to the molding and then unroll about six inches. Hold the tape roll tight against the wall and rotate it down quickly to stick the tape. Repeat with the next section.
  • Overlap the tape generously: To avoid getting unwanted paint between the sections of tape, make sure you overlap your sections of tape. This is especially important in corners and uneven areas where paint may find an opening.
  • Use a tool to smooth tape: While you can use your fingers to press and smooth tape, your fingers may get overheated or feel raw from doing this task for too long. Thankfully, you can also use a flat tool like a credit card or a putty knife to assist with the application, so your tape stays smooth and bubble-free.
  • Beware of uneven services: Since flat surfaces in older houses tend to be uneven, you'll have to work harder to press and smooth tape and make sure you have the protection you need. The best thing you can do in these cases is to avoid painting over the tape. When painting the desired area, don't bring the fully-loaded brush all the way to the tape. Instead, paint lightly when you get close to the edge.
  • Use tape to divide walls: If you’re painting an accent wall, you can use painter’s tape to get a straight line at the inside corner where the walls meet. Start by painting around the corner with the first color. When that dries, mask off that side with painter's tape. Place the tape about 1/8 inch from the corner, and you’re ready for your second color. You will have a nice straight transition between colors.

As you work on your own projects, you may discover your own tricks for using tape for trim or other surfaces in a way that helps you achieve the results you're after. We welcome you to share your own tips by joining the conversation on our Facebook page.

Common Questions About Blue Painter's Tape

Now, let's take a moment to answer some common questions people ask when they're planning to use blue painter's tape for a project.

1. What’s the Difference Between Masking Tape and Painter’s Tape?

We touched on this issue earlier, but this is a common question related to painter's tape so it's worth addressing in a little more detail. Masking tape is intended for the same purpose as painter's tape. However, blue painter's tape, which may also be called blue masking tape for painting, is created to excel where masking tape falls short.

Namely, blue painter's tape is designed to peel off more easily so you don't have to worry about it sticking to a surface. Even if you can pull the masking tape off without any problem, you'll likely have a sticky residue left that you need to clean off. With blue painter's tape, you can easily remove the tape when it's time, and with tape from TapeManBlue, you never have to worry about a sticky residue.

2. Is Blue Painter’s Tape Waterproof?

Blue painter's tape is typically not waterproof, which isn't really an issue when you're working indoors. However, that doesn't mean water-based paints, like acrylics or latex paints, will seep through. Painter's tape will keep these, as well as oil-based paints from seeping through.

If you're working on an exterior project and you want your painter's tape to be waterproof, you may be able to find an exterior-grade option that is waterproof.

3. When Do You Remove Painter’s Tape?

It's crucial that you remove the paint at the right time — not too soon and not too late — so it pulls off smoothly, leaving a clean line behind. Removing the tape too soon can cause the paint to chip, and waiting too long can cause the adhesive to remain stuck to the woodwork. The rule of thumb is to wait until the paint feels dry. Drying time will depend on the paint you use, so read the label to see how long you should wait for your paint to dry.

In most cases, it will be at least an hour. If the paint still feels gummy when you touch it, it's too soon to pull the tape off. You may want to wait several hours or overnight to be safe. Just make sure you don't leave the tape on for too long or it may bond too strongly with the surface it's on, making it more difficult to remove.

4. Does Blue Painter’s Tape Leave a Residue?

In short, no. One of the things that sets blue painter's tape apart from other types of tape is that it does not leave a sticky residue behind when you pull it off. However, most painter's tape will adhere more strongly after a certain amount of time, so if you wait too long to remove it, you will have to work harder to get it off and will likely be left with a sticky residue.

Blue painter's tape from TapeManBlue is designed so that you can remove it up to 21 days after applying it, which gives a huge margin so you don't have to worry about your tape getting stuck to the surface it's on and leaving a residue.

5. How Do You Get Stuck Tape off When Painting?

Blue painter's tape from TapeManBlue is made to pull up easily when your paint is dry. This is the goal for all painter's tape, but when working with other brands, you may run into situations where the tape is stuck and seems to be in danger of pulling the paint up with it if you were to pull it off. This can happen with any painter's tape if you apply too thick of a layer of paint over the tape.

Whatever the cause, in these cases, the simple solution is to run a razor blade along the edge of the tape to score it. Then, you can pull the tape off the surface without worrying about taking your paint with it.

6. How Long Should Paint Dry Before Applying Tape?

This question comes into play when you're painting adjacent surfaces. For instance, if you're painting the ceiling and the walls or the baseboards and the walls, you'll need to tackle one of these first and allow it to dry completely before painting the other surface. This is so that you can apply painter's tape to the surface you painted first.

So, let's say you paint your ceiling. You'll want to wait at least 24 hours so it can dry completely before you apply painter's tape to the ceiling edge so you can paint the wall. Applying painter's tape to a surface that hasn't fully dried could mess up your results, so when in doubt, give it a little extra time.

Blue Painter's Tape From TapeManBlue

TapeManBlue knows the right tape can make or break a painting project. Our blue painter's tape is the best product on the market today. It's American-made and is designed to help you achieve the best results possible on your next painting project. We offer painter's tape at wholesale prices and free shipping on all online orders.

If you have any questions about our products and what they can do for you, contact us today. At TapeManBlue, you'll find tape you can trust to get the job done right, every time.

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