Perfect Painter's Tape

Painting a room with bold stripes can make for a splashy makeover. But even if you're just painting a room with lots of windows or trim, Consumer Reports says with the right painter's tape you can get results like the pros.

Professional painters know one key to a great paint job is taking the time to tape the edges.

Danny Maldonado, a professional painter says, "Prep work is always the hardest part of the job. Painting is fairly simple. But if you have everything prepared properly, it makes the job go a lot smoother."

And testers at Consumer Reports say which tape you use can make a difference.

John Galeotafiore of Consumer Reports says, "A good tape keeps the paint from bleeding underneath it, it's easy to remove, and it doesn't take the paint off with it."

Consumer Reports looked at six painter's tapes, costing between three and eight dollars a roll. There were ones from Scotch...Duck...and FrogTape. Testers compared them to plain old masking tape, which costs about two dollars.

After applying the tape strips and pressing them down evenly with a weighted roller, testers paint a coat of blue paint over them-and then leave the paint to dry for varying times before pulling the tape off.

Regular masking tape tore, making it really tedious to remove.

Galeotafiore says, "Tape isn't a big investment, so you might as well spend a few extra bucks and get a painter's tape designed specifically for the job."

Several delivered a very sharp line, including:

3M's Edge-Lock ScotchBule Advanced Delicate Surface
3 M"s Edge-Lock ScotchBlue Multi-Surface
Frog Tape Multi-Surface

But these three were a little harder to remove than the clear winner-The FrogTape Delicate Surface tape. It costs between six and eight dollars a roll, leaves a very sharp line, and was the easiest of the six to remove.

Consumer Reports says when prepping a room for painting, be sure to press the tape down firmly along the edges to prevent the paint from bleeding underneath it.

And remove the tape as soon after painting is possible, even if the paint is still wet.

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