Using Masking Tape On a Roll
Photo: Mark Weiss
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Using Masking Tape

Like brushes, rollers, and drop cloths, tape is essential on any paint job. Even if your hand is steady as a surgeon's, using tape to mask off walls, trim, floors, and windows protects them from errant drips and brushstrokes. But before you reach for that basic beige or blue roll, keep in mind that you can't judge a masking tape by its color. You need to study the fine print. There are tapes so sticky they hold fast on stucco and ones that are kind to wallpaper. Some hang tough when exposed to ­solvents, while others can stay for days without leaving behind a gummy residue. If you wince at sticking bits of tape into the corners of windows, there are even neat, precut tape triangles. And while no tape is 100 percent bleed-proof, you can improve the odds by picking the best one for your job. Here's how.
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