A: Each type of surface requires a different kind of tape. Some tape will be too sticky for a particular surface and may end up causing damage, or may not be sticky enough to last the amount of time you need. Using the wrong tape can lead to surface damage, paint bleed, adhesive residue and defects.
A: For ultra-sharp paint lines it's best to choose from our flat washi tapes which are made for this purpose. This includes 3M™ High Precision Masking Tape 244, 3M™ Sensitive Masking Tape 2071 and 3M™ Extra Sensitive Masking Tape 2072. Be sure to choose the right level of adhesion for your intended surface.
A: Masking tape saves you time by protecting surfaces from paint drips and splatters that can cause damage or are difficult to remove. It helps you avoid spending time and money doing rework or fixing damage after your paint project is done. It also helps you easily achieve professional-looking results with sharp paint lines.
A: Aywhere around standard room temperature is ideal, so between 18-25 °C. More specific advice can be found on your paint container.
A: You should wait at least 24 hours before applying tape to a freshly painted surface, and choose a tape designed specifically for this application. For example 3M™ Extra Sensitive Masking Tape 2072 takes around 12 hours, while 3M™ Sensitive Masking Tape 2071 takes 24 hours.
A: To obtain best performances, store this product under normal conditions of 21 °C and 50% relative humidity in the original packaging and use it within one year from the date of purchase. Avoid damage to the tape and never store a tape under direct sunlight.
A: Remove masking tape when the paint is dry to the touch — typically one hour after application. If you are applying multiple coats of paint, don’t remove the tape until you have finished the last coat and it has had sufficient time to dry.
A: If the tape is still intact on the surface, use a hair dryer to loosen it and then remove all the backing from the adhesive. Remove as much adhesive as possible by either rubbing the adhesive off with your finger, or by applying a fresh piece of tape over the adhesive to pull it up from the surface. If residue remains, use a chemical-based cleaner.
NOTE: Different tapes have different types of adhesive, so choose the cleaner carefully and test in an inconspicuous place before use. When using cleaners, wipe with a cloth or fabric rag to allow the adhesive residue to imbed into the fabric. After using cleaners, rinse the surface with clean water.
If the adhesive residue has been on the surface for a long time or is highly cured, scraping may be required to break up the adhesive.
If 3M™ Masking Tape is used on or with a lacquer coating, the surface may react with the adhesive on the tape, making it difficult to remove. In this case, buffing or sanding may be required to remove the adhesive from the surface.
NOTE: Removing adhesive residue can put the surface it is adhered to at risk. If mechanical means (like scraping or abrading) are required to remove adhesive residue, most painted surfaces are at risk and have the potential to be damaged, regardless of the type of finish or level of cure time.
A: If you notice that paint is pulling up with the tape, or that paint is cracking along the paint line as you remove the tape, score along the edge of the tape with a razor blade before removing.
This breaks the seal between paint and tape, ensuring a cleaner line and easier removal. See our Proper Tape Removal guide for a list of steps to follow when removing tape.
A: Usually, this is due to tape being left on the surface too long. If this happens, paint along the edge of the tape, wait until the paint feels a bit tacky, and then remove it.
A: If you're not sure on the condition of your surface, it's always a good idea to test the tape on the surface before applying it all over. This will help you avoid using the wrong tape and prevent you accidentally damaging your surfaces.
A: The recommended shelf life for masking tapes is generally one year when kept at room temperature in standard storing conditions.
A: Most water-based paints and coatings such as acrylic, urethane, vinyl latex and enamels, plus many solvent-based coatings including alkalyds, varnishes, most enamels and some polyurethanes. They also work with plaster, glazes, textures and metallics used in faux and decorative painting.
Be careful when working with lacquers. Nitrocellulose-based lacquers react with the adhesive on many masking tapes. They seem to bond the tape with the lacquer, making it impossible to remove the tape. Tapes with higher adhesion levels, such as beige masking tapes, are a better choice for use with lacquers.
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