As the name implies, masking tape is used to mask surfaces while you are painting. This is far from its only use. You can use this under-loved painter’s tool to make your life easier in many ways.

Properties
  • Masking tape is essentially adhesive paper ribbon. This means that you can write on it with most pencils, pens and markers.
  • Since masking tape is meant to be temporary. It is easy to move, remove and leaves little to no residue behind.
  • You can get it in a variety of widths from 12mm to 72mm.
Labels

Since masking tape is easy to write on, it makes great temporary and semi-permanent labels for sorts of things. From cables and paint tins to shelves, jars and leftovers, it is an easy and economical way to label most surfaces. Use a label with a name and a date to at least give you a clue as to what your mysterious fridge food was and how long ago should have disposed of it. Make your label multi-purpose by using to seal your canister or box. Take advantage of the variable sizes of tape to add as much information as you like. Or, label all sides so that you can tell what’s inside no matter how your container is stuffed in the cupboard.

Tack it up or down

Use masking tape to temporarily hang posters, diagrams or patterns for easy consultation during a project. You can also use it to hang templates for paintings or to mark spots for drilling or nails. Or, use it to tack a folded sheet of paper to the wall under your drill hole to catch most of the dust.

Tack newspaper or brown paper to your table or counter when you’re doing something messy. Tack down dust covers and drop sheets to prevent them from moving in the draught. Use a bit of tape to label screws and other small bits when you are disassembling something. If you need to walk away you can stick them to large pieces to make sure they don’t get lost and you remember what goes where.

Fluff Busting

Most pet owners know this trick, use some masking tape wrapped around your hand, sticky side out, to pick fluff and hair off clothes and furniture. It works more reliably than most brushes.

Use masking tape to get and extra use out of your expensive disposable vacuum cleaner bags. Once you have removed the full bag, cut a slit in the centre of the back and empty it out. Then, fold the edges of the slit together and seal it with masking tape. Replace the bag and use as normal, just be careful not to over fill the bag.

Additional DIY uses.

Cover the rim of your paint tins with masking tape to keep paint out of the grove  and makes the tins easier to close when you’re done and open the next time you want to use them.

Julian Cassell has some more DIY uses for masking tape. He explains them better so go and have a look.

Pop into Rex Hardware and pick up some masking tape, it’s inexpensive and has a multitude of uses even if you don’t paint. While you’re there pick up what you need for some other DIY projects.