Low-Tack Masking Tape

Masking tapes are color-coded for tackiness. May 11, 2006

I am interested in a low-tack tape that is made specifically for a lacquer based product. We spray trim and cabinetry after installation and need to mask off areas for overspray. I have noticed that the typical blue tape tends to get lacquer soaked and loses its low-tack properties. When peeling the tape off of the wall, it has been pulling wall primer off with it. Is there some other product I should be using?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor S:
I feel your pain. There is a green tape made by Henkle much better than the common blue.

From contributor C:
There are numerous low tack tapes available. Look inside the roll and check the rating on the fine print. The blue tape is a medium tack. I particularly like the purple tape. It is low tack but still sticks. Some of the green tapes and some of the white ones (numerous are available, especially in white) are so low tack that I can't get them to stick, let alone hold up masking paper. You may need to use one of the very low tack tapes for your projects, but try to use the highest tack that you can consistently get away with. You'll have to try them to find what's right for you. Here's another trick. If you are using the blue tape but need just a bit less tack than normal, try sticking it to your blue jeans first, then pull it off and mask with it. This will slightly lower the tackiness of the tape. Be cautious about burnishing the tape down too firmly when you have a tender surface under itů application pressure has a significant effect on the sticking power of the tape.

From contributor E:
There is a green tape made by Intertape Polymer Group from Sarasota, FL. I get it from an ICI paint store. It's also called Painters-Mate Green - it's about 1/3 the cost of 3m blue tape. It's good for 8 days before you get glue transfer. 3M also makes a lime green lacquer tape that is solvent resistant - good when you're staining.

From contributor D:
I stay away from most blue tapes along finished edges. We also use green (lacquer) tape. 3M makes a superior product. Their blue tape is also A-list. A word of caution - no tape is 100% in preventing bleed. Near sensitive surfaces, we follow all tape with aluminum tape to prevent solvent melt and to reduce the risk of pulling a finished surface.

From contributor V:
I have used blue, green and purple tape. All seem to be made by different companies. Definitions on packages stated that green was stickier than blue tape and that purple was for more delicate areas, i.e. not as sticky. I don't know about the bleed qualities, but the purple won't pull off the primer and the green I have used would be worse than the blue.