Best Painter’s Tape 2019 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

a painter's tape“Cutting-in” with a brush is detailed work that requires a fine brush and a steady hand.   For years, the finishing work of cutting-in had to be done by a master painter.  Painter’s tape eliminates that painstaking process, speeding up your work and eliminating tiresome detail work that most of you would rather not be bothered with.

When painter’s tape first came out, only one company offered it.  You either used theirs or did without. But that’s changed in recent years.  Now there are a growing number of manufacturers producing painter’s tape and making conflicting claims about their products.  Who should you believe about what?

We’re going to make it easy for you.  We’ve already examined the different tape manufacturers’ competing claims, doing all the hard work of comparing them to discern which ones live up to their press and which ones don’t.  Then we put together these reviews so you can see the evidence for yourself.  The information we’ve found will help you decide which one to get, which one might be best in different applications, and which one will give you the most bang for the buck.

Our 3 Favorite Tapes of 2019

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape
ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape(Top Pick)

Check Price
10 ounces4.9/5
XFasten Professional Blue Painters Tape
XFasten Professional Blue Painters Tape

Check Price
9 ounces4.7/5
FrogTape 1358463
FrogTape 1358463(Best for the Money)

Check Price
7 ounces4.5/5

3 Best Painter’s Tape – Our Reviews

1. ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape – Top Pick

ScotchBlue Painter's Tape

This is the “original” blue painter’s tape from Scotch, as seen on so many HGTV home improvement shows.  It comes in a variety of widths, from 3/4″ to 2.82″, and in rolls that are either 45 or 60 yards long.  Millions of people have used this tape over the years and absolutely loved it.

This tape will stick to just about every surface imaginable, such as ordinary walls, wood trim, metal window frames, and even carpet.  There is very little bleed of paint under it, although, depending on the surface, you may have to spend a little extra time pressing the edges down.  Of course, this is true of any tape in this list.

Once the paint is dry—whether it’s the same day you applied it, or up to fourteen days later—it comes off easily and cleanly without damaging the surface underneath, leaving a crisp, straight line.  Occasionally it will come off in pieces, but other than that, this tape is nearly flawless.

Even when this tape has been exposed to direct sunlight for up to fourteen days, it still comes off quickly and cleanly.  You can’t beat the original.

Pros
  • Sticks well
  • Doesn’t leave a residue
  • Comes off in straight lines
Cons
  • Occasionally comes off in pieces

2. XFasten Professional Blue Painters Tape – The Runner-Up

XFasten Professional Blue Painters Tape

Another “blue,” this painter’s tape is a fierce competitor for the top pick.  It sticks to a wide variety of surfaces, and then comes up without leaving a sticky residue behind.  Exposure to direct sunlight doesn’t seem to affect it in this regard.  However, it doesn’t stick quite as well as the manufacturer says it does.  It occasionally curls up along the edges, which then requires you to spend some extra time pressing it down again so it will hold.

The manufacturer claims it will hold for up to sixty days without leaving a sticky residue. But this is hyperbole more than anything.  Extravagant claims set a bad precedent.

One thing that is disturbing is the physical width of this “half-inch” tape.  It isn’t half-an-inch wide.  It’s 7/16″.  In a six-pack of tape, that missing 1/16″ adds up to 3/8″, almost enough for another full roll of tape.  So you’re paying for a roll of tape you’re not really getting.  This is deceptive advertising.

Overall, this is a good tape. But the manufacturer needs to straighten out a couple of issues in order for it to take the top spot.

Pros
  • Sticks to many surfaces
  • Doesn’t damage surfaces
Cons
  • Missing 1/16″ on each roll
  • Doesn’t stick as well as it claims

3. FrogTape – Best Painter’s Tape for the Money

FrogTape 1358463

This multi-surface painter’s tape is .94″ wide on a sixty-yard roll.  This tape has the interesting quality of being moisture activated. If you’re having trouble sealing the edge to a surface, run a damp rag over it and it seals quickly.

This “multi-surface” tape has problems sticking to surfaces such as painted walls and tile floors.  In fact, it doesn’t stick to them at all.  You’ll need to use another tape for those types of surfaces.

When it does stick though, there aren’t any bleeds as long as you press it down correctly, and it comes off cleanly when you’re done.

Quality control at the factory seems to be lacking though.  Some of the edges of the rolls are wavy instead of even.  This makes it impossible to create straight lines, which is the whole point of using painter’s tape.

The results on this tape are somewhat mixed.  It doesn’t have the qualities of the first two tapes, but for the price, it’s a decent painter’s tape and will get the job done.  You just have to work with it a little.

Pros
  • Doesn’t bleed
  • Moisture activated
Cons
  • Won’t stick to some surfaces
  • Quality control lacking

Buyer’s Guide

When you’re buying painter’s tape, pay close attention to the total cost since that’s usually how online retailers decide if your order qualifies for free shipping.  Otherwise, it might be cheaper to run down to the hardware store to get your tape.

Available Options

One way to get free shipping is to get some add-ons you’ll need anyway.

Paint trays and liners are an obvious addition.  You’ll also need brushes, paint thinner for cleaning them, drop cloths, and spare rollers.  Get them all at the same time and you’ll be able to push your total high enough to save money on the shipping.  This is where your best savings will come from as opposed to buying from a local hardware or paint store.

Conclusion

The ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape is (no surprise) the clear winner on the list.  Scotch has a long history of producing a quality product that delivers a reliable result.  The “original” walks away with it, hands down.

The FrogTape 1358463 came out as the “best for the money” in these reviews.  It doesn’t have quite the quality you’d expect or desire, but for the price, it’s a quick and easy choice for smaller projects.

Unless you’re a master painter who can cut-in by hand, painter’s tape is an essential ingredient in your toolkit.  Hopefully, we’ve given you the information to choose the tools you’ll need.  With these reviews in hand, you’ll be able to decide, quickly and easily, which tape is best for your project.