Masking tape has been used to work with paint in a variety of environments since its invention by Richard Drew in 1925. Drew observed that autobody workers, working with butcher’s tape at the time, would strip the paint off that they had just applied as they peeled off the butcher’s tape – due to its highly adhesive properties.
Drew, who was working with 3M at the time, created masking tape, a less adhesive tape, designed to work with paint. These masking tapes solved the problems of the autobody painters seemingly overnight, as their less adhesive properties made it less likely to remove paint from the surface, while still leaving straight lines.
Masking tapes today are routinely used by autobody workers and DIY painters alike, as they’re easy to work with, cheap to purchase and still leave satisfactory results. Though there have been other tapes invented to rival masking tapes when it comes to painting, few are as popular for the price tag.
Painter’s tape is designed to be less adhesive than masking tapes and heartier against the elements. Typically, painter’s tapes come with a timeframe that they can be left on an exterior surface before they begin to peel. This time frame gives the exterior paint an opportunity to dry and leave straight lines.
Masking tapes can also be used in a pinch as sticky notes, or non-permanent sealants. Masking tapes are also by electricians and construction workers who may need to bind cables together (those that aren’t live), temporarily stick something to a wall, or mark a nailhead.
Masking tapes are something of a catch-all tape for folks who like to use it for, well, everything. Its general-purpose nature is one of the main selling points of the tape, as well as its lack of permanence means that it’s unlikely to damage whatever it’s stuck to once you peel it off.
Will Masking Tape Remove Paint?
In general, yes, masking tape will remove paint – so it should not be used in a commercial setting by professional painters, however, it’s the perfect match for DIY painters who’re only painting their interior or exterior and don’t really care that much about painting in straight lines, or if their paint is removed once the masking tapes come off.
Can Masking Tapes Be Used Outside?
In general, masking tapes cannot be used outside for almost anything, they’re not waterproof or durable and because they’re made from crepe paper, they’ll simply crumble under any type of harsh weather. Similarly, they’ll fade in the sun fairly quickly. If you need to tape something down outdoors – use painter’s tape, or scotch tape.
Why Buy Masking Tape Over Other General-Purpose Tapes?
One of the main reasons to consider purchasing masking tapes over other types of tape is that it is really one of the true general-purpose tapes out there, that’s cost-effective to buy in large quantities and available in a variety of colours and thicknesses. Scotch tape tends to be too sticky and not as easy to break off from the roll, and painter’s tape tends to be too expensive for general-purpose painting use.
Masking tapes provide the perfect balance between utility and cost-effectiveness.
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