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Painter’s Tape vs Masking Tape: Which is Best for Your Needs?

painters tape vs masking tape
Image credit: Capri23auto, Pixabay

There comes a time during many painting jobs where a little bit of tape is necessary. Taping off an area can help you avoid making messes where you don’t want them.

At the paint store, you have probably seen a product called “painter’s tape.” It looks an awful lot like masking tape, doesn’t it? Should you spend money on this new product, or just stick with the masking tape that you probably already have in your junk drawer?

Let’s explore that question as we now dive into our guide on the difference between painter’s tape and masking tape.

Masking Tape:

Masking tape is everyone’s favorite all-purpose tape. Our guess is that you probably know it. It’s easy to rip off, which is handy for quick fixes, and it is supposed to be easy to peal off as well.

Of course, we all know that that often is not the case, but regardless, the design does at least strive for an easy peal off.

masking tape
Image credit: Steven Depolo, Flickr

Most masking tape is pretty thin, which is actually not horrible for the purposes of painting, and also pretty narrow.

The design features are not really intended for painting jobs, but you actually can use it in a pinch. Do we recommend doing so?

Keep reading to find out.

Painter’s Tape:

Now for painter’s tape, the product that you probably are not quite as familiar with. This tool actually has much in common with masking tape.

In terms of appearance and feel, the uneducated eye may detect no difference between the two products.

There are two big differences, both revolving around the fact that painter’s tape is designed exclusively to be used for the purposes of painting.

painters tape
Image credit: mechnine, Flickr

The first thing to consider is bleed through. While masking tape may or may not be able to guard against paint bleed through, the results will be hit and miss.

With painter’s tape, your odds of avoiding a mess are much better. Keep in mind that mitigating bleed through is the main reason that this product exists.

Painter’s tape also has a slightly different adhesive makeup. While both products are designed to be easy to peal off, painter’s tape is optimized to be pealed off without leaving residue behind.

As a result, you get a cleaner finished product when you are finally all done painting.

So, Which One is Better?:

When it comes to painting, painter’s tape is unambiguously better. In a tight pinch, masking tape may be up for the job. However, it wasn’t designed to do the job, and that is how these two products differ.


As you stock up on painting supplies, don’t neglect to grab some painter’s tape. Masking tape is excellent for small tasks around the house, but we are talking about a product that protects the integrity of your paint job here.

Why leave anything up to chance? At the end of the day, painter’s tape is always going to be a little bit better at protecting your wall than masking tape.


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