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Masking Tape

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Industrial Masking Tape
With so many choices of masking tape, how do you choose the right one?
Introducing: Masking Made Simple
To win in today’s highly competitive marketplace, you need the right tools. And that includes your masking tapes. So 3M has created a simple, 5-tape system to help you choose the right tape for your job.
Five tapes, built on increasing levels of performance and a common goal of helping you finish jobs worth finishing.
It’s Industrial Masking Made Simple.

Application Tips

Application Tips:

Make the most of your time and tape

Surface considerations for best results

A clean surface gives the adhesion and removal you want.

    • Simply wipe the surface with a dry lint-free cloth to remove dust, dirt, and moisture.
    • To remove oil, grease, or plasticizer contamination, wash the surface with soap and water.
    • To remove silicone in some instances, apply shaving cream that contains palm oil and scrub clean with water.
    • If you have tougher contaminants, isopropanol or industrial solvent like heptane may be necessary to prep the surface.
    • When using such chemicals, follow the MSDS handling instructions.
    • Always test the tape in an inconspicuous area before full scale application.
Surface temperatures between 50-90F are best for tape application

Surface temperatures between 50-90°F (10-32°C) are best for tape application.

    • Colder surfaces may cause the adhesive to firm up and not grab well enough for an effective bond and sharp paint line.
    • On hot surfaces, the adhesive may soften and smear.

Handling tape for best application

Avoid stretching the tape.

    • Pull at least a foot of tape at a time from the roll… more when conditions permit.
    • Press down only small increments of tape, keeping a droop between the point of contact and the roll or tape end.
    • If stretched, tape may lift or break.
Firmly press down tape edges with a plastic 3M PA-1 Tape Wipe

Firmly press down tape edges.

    • After laying the tape into position, press down the edges.
    • Using a plastic 3M™ "PA-1" Tape Wipe increases tape-to-surface contact to help prevent seepage and jagged paint lines.

Lay tape into depressions.

    Do not stretch or force tape into depressions; laying it leaves "stretch" in the tape that compensates for any shrinkage during painting or drying, so you'll get better adhesion and paint edge.

Thin crepe is better than thick.

    • 3M Masking Tapes use a thin crepe backing to solve several thick crepe problems.
    • With thick crepe, paint builds up along the tape for a visible paint ridge, and wet paint can also seep into small channels leaving a fuzzy paint edge.

End tabbing for easier removal

    • Fold over and stick the end of the tape to itself.
    • The resulting tab is a convenient starting point for easy tape removal with reduced chance for slivering.
    • Be sure no adhesive is exposed to stick to other surfaces.

Removal Tips

Removal Tips:

Not too fast, not too hot


90° pull at moderate speed for best results Keep angle of removal perpendicular to the surface...

Keep the angle of removal perpendicular (90°) to the surface and pull at a moderate speed.

    • If the angle is more or less, there is greater chance of adhesive transferring from the tape to the surface.
    • The same problem is possible if the tape is removed too slowly. If removed too quickly, the tape may tear or sliver.

Remove at 60-120°F (15-49°C) for clean release

At 60-120°F (15-49°C), the adhesive is firm enough for clean removal without tearing or slivering.
    • Removal at hotter temperature increases the potential for adhesive transfer.
    • At colder temperature, the tape is more brittle with increased chance for slivering.

When speed or temperature of removal is not quite right…

For minor adhesive transfer rub the adhesive with your finger into a ball and wipe it off. Or, dab up the adhesive with another piece of tape.

For major adhesive transfer that is tacky, use common cleaning agents such as 3M citrus base cleaner, mineral spirits, or industrial solvents. Before use, always review manufacturer MSDS and test the surface in an inconspicuous area.

For hard adhesive on hard surfaces, scrape with a razor blade or sand with fine grit paper. Use caution to prevent surface damage.

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