Tape It Right: The Best Masking Tapes For Precision Painting

Achieve straight lines with ease on any surface with our handpicked selection of masking tapes.
Tried & Tested: See Our Testing ↓
Written & Tested By: Edward Bailey | Updated:
Best Masking Tape
Edward Bailey/DIY Works
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When it comes to the finishing touches, the masking tape you choose is essential because using the wrong type or incorrect use can result in paint bleeding or even the removal of paint underneath. Therefore, it’s worth browsing through our recommendations to find a tape that best suits your painting requirements and helps you achieve clean, straight lines.

To assist you in selecting a suitable masking tape, our handpicked selection lists top-performing tapes, chosen based on our first-hand experience masking multiple surfaces. Our testing and up-to-date research further ensure the quality of our recommendations.

Frog Tape Green Painters Masking Tape
Best Overall: Frog Tape Green Multi-Surface
ScotchBlue Multi-Surface
Most Versatile: ScotchBlue Multi-Surface
Tesa Precision Professional
Best Low Tack: Tesa Precision Professional
ProDec Low Tack Masking Tape
Best Low Tack Runner-Up: ProDec PLT Masking Tape
Duck-Tape-All-Purpose-Masking-Tape
Best Value: Duck Tape All Purpose
Northern Brothers Painters Masking Tape
Best Bulk Buy: Northern Brothers Painters Masking Tape

How The DIY Works Team Tests & Rates Masking Tapes

Whether we are carrying out touch-ups or painting an entire room, we’ve tried and tested a variety of masking tapes over the years. This is because it’s an essential tool for any painting project and without it, it can result in hours of removing paint from unintended surfaces. Although there is plenty of cheap tape for masking paint available, you’ll always regret using it because it can often ruin the finished result once peeled away.

Masking Tape Testing

Edward Bailey/DIY Works
What Masking Tape Is Best

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

To keep up our commitment to reviewing and testing the latest masking tape (for this article), we are continually testing the latest offerings from top brands in the UK. As shown in the photos below, we recently put some of our best-rated recommendations to the test.

best tape for masking paint

Edward Bailey/DIY Works
best tape for painting

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

Below is a video that we posted on our YouTube channel that shows the removal of the masking tape that we were testing. As stated in the instructions, we removed this particular tape within 24 hours and the removal was very satisfying to do as you’ll see in the video.

As well as testing and our experience of using a variety of tapes for painting, we also based our recommendations on the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included the compatible surfaces, widths and lengths available, adhesion, duration it can be applied and value for money.

The Best Paint Masking Tapes

At DIY Works, our content is 100% independent and we would never recommend a product that we wouldn't use ourselves (read our editorial standards and how we test products).

1. Best Overall: Frog Tape Green Multi-Surface

(How We Review →)

By far the most popular masking tape on the market is by the Frog Tape brand and they specialize in tapes for various applications. This particular tape for painting is ideal for masking up a range of surfaces including cured paint, wood, glass or metal and it’s also available in multiple widths too.

A standout feature of this particular masking tape is the “Paint Lock” technology, which helps keep the lines sharp and precise via the super-absorbent polymer construction.

Pros
  • Length of 41 metres
  • Available in 24, 36 or 48 mm widths
  • Multi-surface design
  • Prevents paint bleed via the "Paint Block" technology
Cons
  • Relatively expensive when compared to the alternatives

Although expensive, the Frog Tape is by far the best masking tape on the market that delivers professional results. The “Paint Block” technology makes it stand out from the alternatives and allows you to achieve straight edges with ease.

2. Most Versatile: ScotchBlue Multi-Surface

(How We Review →)

Another popular masking tape is the ScotchBlue Multi-Surface tape. It’s suitable for use on walls, ceilings, metal, wood and glass and it’s available in a 41-metre-long roll that’s 48 mm wide.

Pros
  • Clean removal after 14 days
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • 41 metres long and 48 mm wide
  • Medium adhesion
  • UV resistant
Cons
  • Limited size options available

Overall, the ScotchBlue Multi-Surface is an excellent all-round masking tape that’s affordable and can be left for up to 14 days. Unlike the Frog Tape alternative above, it can also be used outdoors, which is another great bonus.

3. Best Low Tack: Tesa Precision Professional

(How We Review →)

The Tesa Professional is a low-tack masking tape that’s ideal for perfectionists that are working with delicate or freshly painted surfaces. It’s suitable for use on a range of indoor surfaces and features razor-sharp edges as well as a high-quality adhesive that’s designed to avoid any paint bleed.

Pros
  • Low tack construction
  • 50 metres long and 50 mm wide
  • Leaves behind no residue
  • Lasts up to 14 days after application
Cons
  • Most expensive within our roundup

Although expensive when compared to the alternatives, it’s the best low-tack masking tape that’s built to a high standard and allows you to achieve sharp lines without any paint bleed.

4. Best Low Tack Runner-Up: ProDec PLT Masking Tape

(How We Review →)

A more affordable low tack masking tape that’s available in 50-metre lengths and multiple widths is by the ProDec brand. It’s ideal for previously painted surfaces but the only drawback is that it needs to be removed within 24 hours for the best finished result.

Pros
  • Minimal residue
  • During testing we found it easy to peel and tear
  • Available in 25, 38 and 50 mm widths
Cons
  • Needs to be removed after 24 hours

Overall, the ProDec Low Tack Tape offers excellent value for the money and the brand also promises that it won’t peel any paint if removed within 24 hours. Although not as high quality as the Tesa alternative above, this tape cannot be beaten in price when compared to other low-tack tapes.

5. Best Value: Duck Tape All Purpose

(How We Review →)

The Duck Tape All Purpose is another popular masking tape that’s ideal for decorators using emulsion or gloss paints. It can be applied to most household surfaces and it’s available in a range of sizes to best suit your requirements.

Pros
  • Lengths of 25 or 50 metres
  • Widths of 50 or 25 mm
  • Available in multi-packs
  • Easy to peel and tear
  • Suitable for brush or spray painting
Cons
  • During our testing of this masking tape, we did find that it allowed a small amount of paint bleed

Overall, it’s a cheap yet high-quality masking tape that’s ideal for decorators painting a range of surfaces. The popularity speaks for itself in terms of its performance and value for the money and it certainly won’t disappoint.

6. Best Bulk Buy: Northern Brothers Painters Masking Tape

(How We Review →)

One of the cheapest masking tapes on the market that’s actually worth buying is the Northern Brothers tape. It comes in a pack of 12 and each of the tapes is 20 metres in length and 25 mm wide.

Pros
  • Pack of 12
  • 20 metres in length and 25 mm wide
  • Easy to peel and tear
  • Available in white or beige
  • Multi-surface use
Cons
  • Only available in a single size

The Northern Brothers masking tape offers the best value for the money and is far better quality than other similar-priced alternatives. The only drawback is the single size but it’s more than ideal for the majority of DIY painting tasks.

Conclusion

Preparation is key to the perfect finish and masking any exposed areas that you don’t want to be painted is essential.

However, choosing an appropriate masking tape can be difficult due to the vast amount available but this is where our recommendations come in because they’ve been handpicked as part of our research, testing and experience.

To avoid disappointment, we strongly advise that you check the length of time it can be left before removal because some tapes can last multiple days whereas others can only last 24 hours before they need to be peeled away.

If you require further information regarding any of our masking tape recommendations, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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