Person removing 3M masking tape at a perfect 45 degrees angle

How and when to remove masking tape

In the following steps, we’ll explain the best way to remove masking tape correctly to ensure the best finish with no bleeding.


Here's how to remove masking tape - Step by step instructions

From the sharpest lines to the easiest cleanup, tape removal is an important step in your painting project. A little patience and preparation will help you avoid peeling away paint when you take off your masking tape. It's important to use the right tape for your project and surface, use our helpful Selector Guide (PDF, 1.3 MB) to ensure you get the best results.

  • Wait until the paint is dry to the touch before removing the tape. Check the paint can for the manufacturer's dry times.

    Be sure to check the packaging of your Scotch® Masking Tape to see how many days the tape can be left on the surface and still give clean removal with no residue.

  • 3M masking tape being removed at a perfect 45 degrees angle
    Step 2: How to remove masking tape

    Taking your time, lift up the masking tape and pull it back on itself, slowly removing at a 45° angle, demonstrated in the above image.

    Please note: for a high adhesion tape the angle can be increased upwards to 90° to lower the adhesion resistance.

  • Image showing skirting board clean and looking great
    Step 3: Clean finish

    You’ll get a sharp, clean line and a professional looking paint job!

Scotch® Masking Tapes and how you compare best tape for your project

Find the right Scotch® Masking Tape for your project

Compare all Scotch® Masking Tapes in one chart, to find the best tape for your project.


Read our other How To Tape Tips

Take a look at some of our other handy guides for using masking tape to help you paint areas such as doors and floors, and create the perfect finish.

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