A common question we get asked is what colour masking tape do I need for this job?

It is a very important question as it can mean the difference between a successful job or a complete failure costing you or the client a lot of money. So we have decided to break it down below into the different adhesion levels and what job you should be using these on.


So we will start with the lowest level of adhesion, which is commonly referred to in the decorating trade as Delicate tape. Predominantly delicate masking tape comes in a purple colour no matter what brand the tape is manufactured by. Delicate masking tape is used mainly on areas that require a little extra care such as wood floors, wallpaper, cabinets, painted drywall, and freshly painted walls.

Most delicate masking tapes will be able to be left on the surface that they are stuck to for up to 60 days and be removed without leaving a residue.

Find our range of Delicate Tape options here – https://rstradecentre.co.nz/?s=delicate+tape


Medium adhesion masking tape is a little bit harder to spot for the untrained eye due to the varying colours that many manufacturers choose for this adhesion level of tape. Medium adhesion tapes are generally used in areas that don’t require a delicate tape or the tape does not need to be left on for a long period of time. A few examples are below.

Carpet Tape – our most popular tape that we supply for masking up on the carpet around skirtings etc before painting is our 233 Yellow Masking Tape this can be left on surfaces for around 7-10 days for clean removal and is a great all round general purpose medium adhesion tape that is very cost effective.

Walls & Skirtings Tape – the most commonly used masking tape on walls, skirtings and doors is the Blue Washi Masking Tape, these medium adhesion tapes can be left on most surfaces for up to 14 days for clean removal and also provide a nice clean line when removed and have very minimal bleed through.



High adhesion masking tape is your go to tape when you have a hard to stick to surface such as concrete or where all other tapes just aren’t sticking. Generally high adhesion masking tapes are only able to be left on the surface for around 2-3 days max for clean removal so you do have to be careful where you are sticking these and remember to remove in time before you have a small mess to clean up! (more about cleaning up that residue later)

Concrete Tape – concrete is a common example of where most of our high adhesion tape is used, the best tape that we recommend for concrete is the 3M 2060 High Adhesion masking tape. It features very high adhesion and is designed for use with lacquer coatings or cool temperatures as well as being ideal for rough surfaces such as stucco, concrete and brick.

A few other important versions of masking tape we should also point out are –

EXTERIOR MASKING TAPE – exterior masking tape is a tricky one if you don’t use the correct tape. For anything exterior you must make sure that the masking tape you are using is UV rated (if not the sun has the ability to bake this onto the surface it is stuck) and also water or residue proof if there is a little moisture in the air. That is why our most common exterior tape sold is the Extreme Blue Cloth tape which is used by exterior plasterers all year round.

This exterior cloth tape has a clean removal time of up to 21 days on most surfaces exterior, has good adhesion to irregular surfaces, great moisture resistance and is UV rated for those hot sunny days.

RAMBOARD OR FOAM PROTECTION TAPE – if you are taping down any sort of hard surface protection such as Ramboard, foam or plastic protection to protect surfaces such as polished concrete flooring, concrete or stone benchtops or vinyl flooring then you must be very careful to apply the correct masking tape that isn’t going to leave a residue behind when removed.

Our most popular and well performing tape for this job is the Orange Vinyl Masking Tape Orange exterior grade conformable PVC film tape allows for clean removal on most surfaces. Excellent UV and water resistance. Smooth edge. Commonly used for sticking Cardboard, Foam or other protection onto surfaces such as tiles, wooden floors and vinyl. Low adhesion so wont leave any residue.

So what do I do if there is a residue left behind after removal of the masking tape?

RESIDUE REMOVAL – If you get yourself into a sticky situation, Lift-Off Tape, Label and Adhesive Remover is the answer you have been looking for. Whether it is trying to safely remove painter’s tape, duct tape or mounting tape without damaging the efforts of your labour, or just cleaning a surface after an adhesive has been dropped or applied incorrectly.  Lift-Off Tape, Label & Adhesive Remover is the simple, easy and effective way to clean up a sticky situation with no stress. Simply spray around the edges, wait 60 seconds, and then use a scraper to and see the magic happen. This incredible product works!