Blue Tape: the Professional Painters’ Choice for Clean Edges

I got a call the other day to do a paint estimate on a rental property. Although I don’t work on a lot of rental properties, this was close to home — in the Broad Ripple area of Indianapolis, so I thought I’d check it out. As it turns out, the prior renters went nuts (unbeknownst to the landlord until they moved out) and painted almost every wall a different bright color in semi gloss…it was a nightmare. They never even bothered  to remove the tape from the walls. There was blue tape, beige tape and even duct tape still on the walls. Why would anyone think duct tape was a good idea? We will never know.

So, what’s the difference between beige and blue tape?

While beige tape is by far the cheapest, it has limitations. For a repaint, a professional painter might use beige tape for masking baseboards along carpets. The issue with beige tape is that it will become very hard to remove without pulling the paint and/or finish off of anything it has stuck to for more than a few hours. Carpets are the only exception.

Professional painters prefer blue tape (sometimes it’s green) because it has less ‘stick’. Blue tape will give you the clean, straight line you want without harming the surface it is stuck to (unless left on too long). Some blue tape is rated “delicate”.  It can be used on newly painted surfaces (within 24 hours of being painted) and even on wallpaper.

So when do you pull up the tape? I will paint a wall and remove the tape as soon as the wall is done. If you wait until the paint is dry, you might not get a clean edge when the tape is removed. Plus, any paint that has dried to the tape could pull some of the paint off the wall where the tape and wall meet. So be very careful when you remove the tape from the wall.

Yes, blue tape costs more,  but is well worth the extra few dollars you will spend.

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