Painter's Tape is Ticking Me Off!

I’m painting the interior of the house. The hubby bought the blue 3M Painter’s tape. It’s on the ceiling/trim from 1-3 days. When I pull it off, it’s taking paint with it! It’s supposed to be low tack, but it sure feels sticky to me. The trim and ceilings were also freshly painted, but had ample time to dry before taping.

Anyway, any of you fabulous dopers have any ideas/experience with how to get this stuff off?

I’ve had it pull paint when it’s only been on an hour or two. I just do touch-ups, never figured out a way to stop it from doing that.

Is it pulling the paint that it rests atop of, or pulling at the edges of the area it’s not protecting? (IE : The fresh paint which was your reason for putting the tape down)

Mostly just pulling off the areas it’s protecting. I’ve had only 2 problems with it pulling off new paint, and if I pull in the proper direction, I can avoid that. This is going to be a lot of touch up! :frowning:

Ah. Don’t know about that problem. Could be a problem with the paint used, also … I know I had trouble with painter’s tape sometimes pulling up the edges of fresh paint (since it naturally covers part of the tape as you paint the wall) - I think we used Scotch brand lasttime, though.

Masking tape’s only supposed to be left on your whatever for a few hours, generally.

3M does make a “safe mask” or some such name tape that’s decidely un-sticky. It’s white and seems to be the same level of stickyness as a Post-It note. I’ve had good results with it in the past, masking still barely-tacky enamel.

The real solution might be to learn the fine art of painting without masking. It takes some practice, but it is possible to cut in edges of wall vs ceiling without tape. Likewise, I don’t normally mask when doing trim. The secret seems to be using a good-quality sash brush and load it well with paint so you can get coverage with just one or two brush strokes.

Easy solution, don’t tape. You’ll be amazed how quickly you can learn to cut in an edge with a brush. I taught my wife (who is a painting fanatic) about 3 years ago and she hasn’t taped a thing since.

Damn you gotpasswords! By mere seconds you beat me!

I’ll second (third?) this. I’ve been happier not taping things, and in addition to the good quality brush, be sure you’re using good quality paint. Buying cheap paint is a mistake you’ll only make once. The hall bathroom still reverberates from the curses I placed upon Wal-Mart and DutchBoy. Sheesh. I buy all my paint at Lowe’s now. Sure, it’s 25 bucks a can, but I just have to buy one can.

Unfortunately, the damage is done. We only have one more coat to do on the main areas, and it’s already taped off. But good advice for next time, especially if we’re only painting one or two rooms.

Another point is surface prep. If you’ve brushed a layer of paint over a semi or gloss surface with no surface prep, it’s ready to peel off with little provocation. Next time, break the gloss with either a deglossing agent or a quick sanding and dust removal to create a tooth for the new finish to bond with.

Also, if you’re spending $25 per gallon for big box paint, you’re being robbed. Buy real paint from a real paint store, like MAB, Duron, Pratt & Lambert or Benjamin Moore. Bix box paint is tinted horse urine.

We got Benjamin Moore :slight_smile: It looks really great overall, just that paint is getting taken off. I’m not sure about the prep because most of our walls were built from scratch and we started with drywall. We’ll be done pulling the tape off tonight and hopefully finishing touch-ups tomorrow.

I’m definitely going to invest in some time for learning to cut in with a brush for the next time.

The scientists and research staff at Consumer Report/Consumers Union disagree with you and they have sophisticated testing methodologies and savvy industry/university paint chemists to back up their replicated findings.

Last time I looked, Lowe’s top-of-the-line external paint bested Benjamin Moore’s and Duron. MAB is a top-rated paint, but not nationally available. Pratt & Lambert, once known as the “Cadillac of paints,” has been rated both high and middling. I’ve heard painters scoff at Duron, but scoffing isn’t the same as scientifically verifiable proof.

Re: the OP: I once used the blue 3M painter’s tape, with similar results on expensive wallpaper.

3M refunded the cost of both the tape and the paint, and offered to pay for professionals to repair the damaged wallpaper.

[Homer Simpson]

Hey! That gives me an idea!

[/Homer Simpson]

Seriously, it would be nice if they offered to pay for the repair. Maybe I can at least get a refund for the tape.

We use the post-it low tack stuff now when we paint too, when we tape at all. Before when we used the 3M regular tape I used to stick it to my pant leg or something else first to make it a little less sticky and then tape it to the wall. We also tried those little roller things with the edge guard on them and various other gadgety things supposed to help you edge in without tape. Have yet to find one that works the way it is supposed to, so I say don’t waste your money on those. They don’t leave a clean edge and some of them are downright horrible.

We have good results with Behr paint (from Home Depot). We paint a lot. The Ralph Lauren brand they carry has nice color selection but it does not cover very well, and for the price I think it is a ripoff.

There are different tapes for different uses in painting. The blue tape is best used on glass or on wood that has been painted with an alkyd (after a suitable cure time). Never use blue tape on a lacquor finish or to mask off for spraying lacquor. It reacts with the glue, making a crusty mess.

Green tape is used for lacquor.

The puple tape is a very low stick tape for use on faux finish, wall paper, other delicate surfaces. It’s drawback is it odesn’t stick very well, you can drag it off while using a paint brush against it.

The off white, ecru, masking tape looking tape is the general purpose tape for all other uses.

Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to use tape on latex covered wood. Period. Learn to cut in. Taping and backfilling is for alkyd or lacquor covered trim.

On removing the other tapes, you either have to remove it as soon as you finish that area (not 30 minutes later even), or allow it to dry overnight before removing.