The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.


Masking up - masking tape

Protecting surfaces with masking tape

When painting or varnishing around the home, the use of masking tape will help speed up your painting and prevent paint going where it shouldn't!

Protect areas that do not require painting such as glass windows, carpets, light fittings and already painted walls with one of the full range of masking tapes.

Not all masking tapes are the same!

For protecting glass windows, carpets etc, use a regular paper masking tape. There are a range of different qualities available. The main point of difference is how long you can leave the masking tape stuck down before removing. This ranges from 3 to 4 hours for the lower quality masking tapes to up to 3 days for the higher quality masking tapes. The higher quality masking tapes will also give sharper paint lines and are also suitable for masking when spray painting.

Other masking tapes

For stencilling or masking on already painted walls use a Low Tack Masking Tape.

Use an exterior masking tape when masking outdoors.

For curved surfaces, such as arch windows, use a curved edge masking tape that has high flexibility.

For difficult extended painting jobs where you may wish to leave the masking tape stuck down for longer periods, (e.g. a door with many glass panels) use a sunlight resistant masking tape. These tapes can cleanly be removed for up to 14 days!

Do not use ordinary masking tape to protect paintwork as it often lifts the paint when removed. Remember also that the bond of masking tape gets stronger with time. So it will become very difficult to remove cleanly after several days.

Masking switches and sockets

Switch plates can be carefully masked without needing to slacken them off. But, as always, take care with electrical items.

masking around a light switchmasking skirting board

Masking carpet with tape

Carpet edges should be masked too. Tape right up to the edge or a fraction over and push the tape right down at the skirting. When the tape is removed the pile will be lifted back up again concealing the paint edge.

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