The Best Painters Tape – Complete Buying Guide & Reviews

When it comes to any painting job, looks and finish are everything. The best painters tape will provide you with protection and resilience for a neat and clean finish.

There are few contractor or home improvement jobs that require as much prep time as painting does and for a reason. There are many factors to consider, from surface materials to temperature and humidity to environment and lighting.

Missing a single step or failing to account for certain variables can quickly make for a messy or inferior job and a total pain to redo.

In most jobs, touch-ups are always best kept to a minimum. That goes for painting too. Unfortunately, looming deadlines can result in sloppy outcomes.

And the importance of speed grows along with the surface area to be covered. For this reason, painters tape is often a painter’s best friend. Here’s a comprehensive list of our favorite options to provide you with the best painter’s tape for your needs.

Our Best Painters Tape Choices

ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape, Multi-Use, 1.88-Inch by 60-Yard, Contractor Pack, 6 Rolls

This product has become the industry standard for a reason. It’s easy to manipulate, sticks well to most surfaces (may require some added pressure), and leaves no residue behind. When paired with 3Ms M3000 Hand Masker, it makes securing areas from spatter and over-spray a cinch. While not as strong a bond as some other products on our list (especially on glass), for most applications, consider this as your go-to.

Things We Like:

  • Great tape to protect from spatter or over-spray
  • An industry standard – you really can’t go wrong
  • Easy to use

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Not ideal tape for glass

FrogTape Multi-Surface Painter’s Tape, 1.41 Inches x 60 Yards, 4 Pack (240660)

When you’re in need of protecting surfaces other than drywall or freshly-dried paint, FrogTape Multi-Surface is the way to go. Designed for use on windows, brick and stone, metal fixtures, etc., this is easily one of the best painters tape for extra difficult jobs. It’s also well suited for sectioning off baseboards and cabinets and the like.

Just be sure not to use it on paint less than 24 hours old. It has a strong bond that can pull off uncured coverage. And it’s best stored in the manufacturer’s container, as the adhesive may otherwise dry out.

Things We Like:

  • Multi-Surface tape, works on a variety of materials
  • One of the most versatile tapes on the market

Things We Don’t Like

  • Not ideal for freshly dried paint
  • Has the potential to dry out

FrogTape Delicate Surface Painting Tape, 0.94 in. x 60 yds. Roll, Yellow (280220)

No matter how specific the material you need to protect, it seems as though FrogTape has a way to provide it. Their Delicate Surface painters tape is formulated to protect even the gentlest, least durable surfaces. While not the best choice for securing heavy plastics, it’s great for decorative painting, from detailing to the overpainting of newly dry coats.

Things We Like:

  • Crepe Paper material
  • Great for delicate surfaces
  • Ideal for decorative painting

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Not nearly as heavy duty as other types of tape
  • Less grip and smaller surface area

3M 2060-24A 1” Scotch® Painter’s Masking Tape For Hard-To-Stick Surfaces

FrogTape’s multi-surface tape is great for most things. But 3Ms Hard-to-Stick Surfaces tape has them beat when it comes to concrete and brick. Do you need to section off part of your garage floor for a water-tight coating? How about masking a brick chimney or fireplace? Or maybe the wooden columns on your porch need a fresh coat, but not their stonier bases. This is likely the best painters tape for these and similar jobs.

Things We Like:

  • Ideal for concrete and brick
  • Heavy duty for large surface areas

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Not to be used for fresh coats
  • Smaller cut means you may need to buy more tape

Features to Consider

Being able to paint in a reasonably straight line is a rare skill. And even the most experienced painters can’t necessarily do so quickly. This goes for painting walls and ceilings as well as furniture or other objects. But whether with brush, roller, or sprayer, proper use of painters tape can help the process along.

It’s also important to consider whether or not your going to be painting outdoors.

By securing neighboring surfaces from bleed, spatter, or over-painting, a certain degree of calm and confidence is achieved. This translates to a quicker turnaround on the job, and usually a better result all around.

Apply Here: The How, When, and What of Laying Paint

Painting is an involved process, to be sure. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Taking the planning in steps can alleviate most difficulties.

First, have a clear understanding of what you want to paint and how you will be painting it. Every surface takes paint differently. But there are a wealth of resources and advice available (including on this site) to answer most questions.

While painter’s tape may not be as fast as a paint edger tool, you get to do it manually without running the risk of the edger failing you. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that make painter’s tape great.


Of primary importance is how you will be applying the paint. Generally, if you are willing and able to go more slowly, you’ll want to use a combination of brushes, rollers, and sprayers.

(If you’re considering a paint sprayer, check out our article on the “Best Airless Paint Sprayer: Complete Buying Guide and Reviews” for some great options.)

Rollers will help you cover a large area relatively quickly, and they’ll do it without making too much of a mess. Also, they’re great for hard to reach spots, like ceilings. However, with a roller, it’s easy to splash, drip, or bump up against surfaces you would prefer to keep unpainted.

A bit of carefully applied painters tape (and maybe some plastic) comes in handy here. It can help retain the speed benefits of a roller without the worry of swiping neighboring areas.

Once the roller has done its job, a paintbrush can be used for touch-ups and details. But even here, painters tape is a good tool to have. Want really sharp lines? Masking off certain areas with firmly applied tape can make even the shakiest brush hand seem like a Davinci.


Of course, not all surfaces are equal. Neither are all tapes. Glass can be notoriously troublesome for the tape to adhere to. Metal, stone, and unfinished ​wood painting may also prove to be more challenging. And what works well on old paint might inadvertently strip off newer paint. But worry not. There are tapes designed for all these possibilities and more.

Some tapes will ruin the finishes of some surfaces. This is an especially important concern for commercial jobs. There, a bad decision can mean unhappy clients and lost profits. It can even mean liability for damages.

Be sure to keep in mind the surface you’re going to be painting and the effect that may have when choosing which painters tape you want to purchase.

Size of the Area

Another important consideration is the size of the surface area you hope to protect. Here is where paint sprayers can be a great benefit. Sprayers are fantastic for getting things done quickly and evenly over large areas. While they’re often used primarily for exterior jobs, they can be used indoors provided extra precaution is taken.

Tape alone is often insufficient to protect the surfaces you want to keep free from an unintended paint job. Tarps and plastic sheeting are great for the floor or furniture, but they won’t stay on a wall or ceiling without a bit of help. In these instances, your tape needs to have a little extra grip.

Factors like the weight of your plastic as well and the type of surface its covering come into play here. The last thing you want is for your coverings to come loose in the middle of a big, fast application of paint.

Tarps and/or plastic sheeting are a common solution to the dangers of overspray or bleed. Painters tapes with stronger adhesion are ideal for securing large areas when combined with some type of sheet-like protection.

Wrap Up

Unlike electrical or structural work, paint is there to be seen. One bad decision can turn your paint job from a source of pride to a continuing annoyance. But a little foresight and planning can prevent disaster. Improving the surface appeal of your home or business or that of your client should be a rewarding experience.

Getting the right painters tape could be the difference between a project worth being proud of or a costly, ugly disaster of a finish.

To avoid tragedy, we suggest the Scotch Blue Multi-Use Painters Tape, a foolproof option for most carpentry needs and painting jobs.​​​

About Gus Donaldson

I built houses for over 30 years and recently retired. I've made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones. I still love to build and have a garage workshop that I use for hobby projects like the walnut bookshelf I made for my wife. I like to write and let people know that working with your hands and tools does not need to be intimidating.

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