I had a little painting project on my boat that required masking off the face of a tackle locker, and so decided this might be a good time to compare FrogTape Multi-Surface masking tape ($7.67/60 yards, walmart.com) with my old standby, 3M’s Scotch-Blue 2090 Painter’s Tape for Multi-Surfaces ($5.77/60 yards, walmart.com).
I was looking to see which one best prevented the paint from bleeding under the edge of the tape, thus giving me the cleanest edge possible.
The paint was Interlux Bilgekote ($35.99/quart, westmarine.com). Before you start, I know that FrogTape is designed to work with water-based latex paints, but since I had a roll of it laying around, I thought, what the heck, let’s see how FrogTape works on an oil-based paint.
After meticulously cleaning the gelcoated face of the locker, I masked off half with the green FrogTape and the other half with Scotch-Blue, carefully burnishing all tape edges. Then I went to rolling and brushing. I applied two coats and gave the paint a day to dry, then peeled away both brands of tape.
The results? Both worked well. The edges were clean on each side of the locker face, with only a couple of tiny areas where the paint bled under. I could discern no difference in the performance of the FrogTape versus Scotch-Blue.
Lesson learned: Having a clean surface and burnishing the edges of the tape are more important than the kinds tape, though I’d stay away from cheap bargain brands you might find at a 99-cent store. Stick with a name brand such as FrogTape or 3M Scotch.