Masking Tapes

Masking Tape is made of a thin and easy-to-tear paper (crepe paper). The most useful aspect of this tape is that it can be easily removed without leaving residue or damaging the surface to which it is applied.

Some people prefer duct tape. Yes, it is tougher and stickier, but it tends to leave behind too much of a sticky residue once removed.

Masking tape was invented in 1925 by 3M employee Richard Drew.

In the early 1920s, while he was working in an car shop, something caught his attention: the two-tone paint jobs popular on cars at the time were a real hassle to execute.

This was because there was no efficient way to get a clean divide between the paint colors. The workers would stick paper (butcher's paper better know today as kraft paper) to the car with adhesive so strong that it would leave behind a tacky residue. Drew realized a gentler-pressure adhesive that still protected against bleed would be ideal.

Painter's Tape

The Painter's Tape is a type of masking tape. It is used mainly in painting, to mask off areas that should not be painted. House painter's tape is rated by how many days it can be left up without leaving residue on the surface being masked. It is available in 1-, 3-, 7-, 14-, 30-, and 60-day ratings, with the 7- and 14-day tapes being the most common

For its original use of marking off areas where body paint is not desired, a special grade of painter's masking tape is needed. With this special grade, very clean lines can be produced. Without it, the paint bleeds under the edges of the tape, producing a fuzzy or varied line

Washi Tape

Nowadays masking tapes are widely used for decorative purposes. These types of decorative tapes are called Washi Tape and can be purchased at a variety of craft specialty stores and online. They are printed with different patterns, symbols and pictures allowing tape users to add a personal touch to crafts, packages or anything that warrants the use of tape. Some Japanese tapes are made of washi paper.

Masking tapes for decoration

Masking tape for etching on glass

Masking tape to prevent burns in laser cutting

Laser engravers can be used to engrave or cut. It generates much heat, so much so that the act of cutting the wood can scorch it and mar the finished product. The scorching of laser-cut plywood is prevented by a simple layer of masking or transfer tape. Just apply a layer of transfer tape to the plywood or MDF before cutting

Masking tape as a "handle"

Masking tape is quite sticky and can be used to make “handles”. Use them to hold things that are very small, difficult to hold or slippery (like stones). With a “handle” it’s easier to put a stone in a setting, and take it out, to check whether it fits or it is level.

Masking tape to transfer vinyl stickers

Masking tapes made from plastic

When constructed with plastic films instead of paper, masking tapes can be used for more rigorous applications

Polyester-based tapes are used to mask off during etching, plating, and in particular, powder coating. Tapes based on polyimide films can resist molten solder in electronics applications. Glass cloth tapes are often used in powder coating and sandblasting operations. Foil or vinyl tapes are often used in plating.