Whether you're an experienced DIYer or painting your first apartment, one of the most important decisions you can make in assuring a quality paint job is the choice of painter's tape.
The right painter's tape can make all the difference in achieving clean, straight paint lines, and protecting surfaces that you don't want painted, such as glass, woodwork, wallboard, ceilings, and carpeting.
Before you buy your paint and painting tools, do your homework on the variety of tapes on the market. Read package labels carefully before making your selection. For most surfaces, a premium-quality painter's tape will do the job.
Here, four essential qualities to consider:
*Resistance to "bleeding." One of the biggest problems painters face is paint seeping under -- or "bleeding" -- beyond tape edges. This can cause messy lines and uneven workmanship, and result in the need for frequent touch ups.
One product painting professionals recommend is Bloc-it(R), a high performance, professional grade painter's tape from IPG that's treated with a proprietary formula that eliminates bleed through, and delivers a consistently clean paint line.
An independent comparison study of leading brands of painter's tape found that Bloc-it had the least amount of bleed on a painted drywall surface, which is among the most common wall surfaces in homes today.
*Flexibility. If you have many architectural features or curved surfaces to paint around, consider tapes with fine crepe paper backing which bend and "drape" easily around light switches, moldings, window sashes, and door frames.
*Ease of removal. A low-adhesive tape allows for easy removal, without leaving any residue or damage to the surface to which it is applied.
It's a good idea to test your tape to make sure it doesn't pull off the paint; if it does, you'll need to purchase one with less adhesive.
*UV resistance. Look for ratings that indicate the number of days the tape can be left in place and in direct sunlight. This is important to know to avoid adhesive transfer from the back of the tape to the wall surface.
It's essential that you educate yourself about the characteristics of painter's tapes and understand the surfaces you will be working with before you make your tape selection. It's a decision that will go a long way towards helping you achieve a quality painting job.