Masking Tape vs Artist Tape: What’s the Difference?

Are you involved in the artistic sector or any such work that you need to know about the uses of Artist tape and Masking Tape? And you’re confused about which one is right to your object? Then, this is the right haunt to choose your best tape without any reservation.

artist tape vs masking tape

Although these two are used for painting and other related purposes. However, its benefits are different from each other. To be proficient in painting you must know when and why it is used more.

Here, you’ll learn the factual differences between artist tape vs masking tape and some tactics that will help you to choose easily between these tapes.

Is Artist Tape the Same as Masking Tape?

Have you ever noticed or observed that these two tapes are used for other purposes besides painting? These two tapes are separate, in some cases, they can be used as complements to each other. Both have good enough performance on their own.

So, let’s figure out the differences and the following steps will help to choose which one is more preferable to your artwork.

What is Artist Tape?

Artist tape is a type of tape that is designed specially for art work. It has medium to low tack adhesive which transforms a complete work without damaging the surface of the paper and don’t easily leave behind any sticky residue.

Basically it is made of such paper that is easy to tear using a hand. Artist tape is a kind of masking tape also. So, it is widely used for masking applications. People can use this tape for many other crafting purposes too.

Benefits Of using Artist Tape

There are several types of artist tape. The tape of your choice is used for suitable purposes.

This non-glare paper for display board, it makes a superb edging. Also, best for cropping photos, art on mechanicals, and blocking out a copy. Used in all types of writing and some of them are acid-free.

Besides, you can write on the surface of artist tape and so many people do this for crafting, writing ‘thankyou’ notes, decorating and labeling important subjective notes.

Also, white and cream color tape goes well with many other colors, and writing on this is easier with a felt-tipped marker. This sketchbook for alcohol-based marker post has some additional features for bleed-free writing or drawing experience.

Also, you can paint on them, it won’t pucker or buckle because it is primarily designed for painting and other related applications.


There are different types of artist tapes available in the market as such:

Mr. pen Drafting Tape.
➥ XFasten Drafting Tape.
➥ Art Alternatives Artist tape.
➥ Console Tapes Pro Artist tape.
➥ Tosnail Artist Tape.

They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. So, anyone can easily decide to choose the appropriate tape for them.

Also, it’s easily available in online. Moreover, it comes in a variety of colors that can be used for color coding and labeling.

Artist Tape For Canvas

The artist tape that is widely used now in the market is 3M scotch artist tape that cost $ 5, and this tape is basically used for creating solid and clean line avoiding color bleeding on canvas. It get remove very easily, clearly, and bonds without leaving any sticky residue on art paper.

This tape is a 10-yard (9.1m) roll and rounded in a plastic dispenser including a convenient tear edge system. Also, it is very easy to use on canvas. There has one more 3M Scotch Low Tack Artist Tape.

Disadvantages Of Artist Tape

Artist tape is more expensive than any other drafting tape. When an artist doesn’t want to spend much on one tape, he’ll found another one.

Moreover, these tapes can destroy the surface and some are simply too weak to block out the art paper’s edges enough to create a stronger border.

Once you apply it on paper, picture, or print and then try to remove the tape, it can sometimes tear the work or leave a sticky layer on top of it.

But all the disadvantages happen when you’re using a low quality, cheap artist tape. As it is cheap and you require using it, then try to purchase the better quality one.

To work properly with this, you need to cut the tape into small pieces and stick them on your shirt or pants before putting them on the paper.

What is Masking Tape?

what is masking tape

Masking tape is a type of pressure-sensorial tape, which is lightly adhesive, effortless to tear up from the paper.

The adhesive allows being easily removed without damaging the surface or leaving any residue in which part it is applied.

Masking tape can be used as artist tape too, but one thing we have to remember that every masking tape is not artist tape.

Usually, to paint walls and wallpapers, this tape is widely used and available in various sizes. There are time or days limitations that how many days you can leave masking tape on a surface. But it is better not to keep more than 7 days on any surface.

This tape is made with a crepe paper, which makes it easier to tear. Also, it allows writing on them using markers for labeling purposes.

Benefits Of Masking Tape

Masking tape is mainly used to mask off areas that should not be painted. Also, this tape has been used to cover and protect adjacent surfaces when is painted.

Masking tape can also help to protect the floors when painting. Cover up your floor with a cloth and use trusty tape to secure it in place. Moreover, it can also define to create wall art – use it as a stencil and get creative with their shapes.

It is usually used when making plastic films instead of paper because they require rigorous applications. This tape is not limited to just painting needs, it can be used for any other purposes too.


Masking tape is made of thin and easy to tear crepe backing paper. Also, it’s available in a variety of widths. Most of the painting works will require a tape in the 50 range, in several strengths rated on a 1-100 scale based on the strength of the adhesive.

An important determining factor of a tape is that the adhesive is a given masking situation. It contains three types of thin adhesive, each of which has many chemical variations like acrylic-based, silicone-based, and rubber-based.

Acrylic-based adhesives generally measure a wide temperature, supplying adhesion sub-freezing degrees up to 275–325 °F (150 °C).

Silicone-based adhesives give the highest temperature inhibition, with some tapes (something like that glass cloth tapes and polyimide films) allowing for sometimes use up to 500 °F (about 260 °C).

Rubber-based adhesives usually provide the maximum adhesion for minimum resistance to temperature.

Types Of Masking Tapes

Masking tape is cheaper and also can be found out in stores. It can be left on for several days, and it’ll still come off cleanly. There are various types of masking tape available in the market. These are:

Acrylic-Based Masking Tape.
➥ Rubber-based masking tape.
➥ Silicone-Based Masking Tape.
➥ White Masking Tape.
➥ Blue Masking Tape.
➥ Yellow Masking Tape.

It has been made in different ways, resulting in multiple types of tapes suitable for different applications and environments. But it is important to know the main differences between each type to choose the right tape for the task. Comparatively, rubber-based masking tape is used widely.

Masking Tape For Painting

This tape can be used very easily for high-quality decoration applications. Be sure to completely mask the area before painting as this will negate the need to stop and start more than once throughout the whole process.

As a general rule, the amount of masking tape will depend on the type of paint or spray paint gun machine being used. Also, you have to consider your skills with paint.

It is one of the most popular uses. Applying tape to the surface may seem like a simple task, but it requires using the right techniques.

The lines are not straight, any gaps should always be taken care of to avoid these pictures can lower the line further down.

Disadvantages Of Masking Tape:

There are advantages to everything as well as some disadvantages that should be taken with caution.

If masking tape is not removed within an hour after application. they can easily leave a sticky residue behind which is difficult to clean. Sometimes, masking tape can easily ruin walls because of its adhesive.

As well as, pulling the tape away will spoil the paint until it feels dry and hard. Water-based paint main cause tape to buckle allowing the paint to seep onto the surface below the tape.

Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of this section is to answer any questions you may have about these two tapes that were not addressed in the previous description.

#1. Is the Artist tape the same as masking tape?

All types of artist tapes can be applicable as masking tape but masking tape is not for those applications. Usually, artist tape has the properties to prevent paint from bleeding in masked areas.

On the other hand, masking tape can usually pucker or wrinkle after contact with latex paint, which can cause subsequent penetration.

#2. What is artist tape used for?

Artist tape is multi-purpose paper tape that is essential for many art projects. This tape is used to hold artwork, drawing boards, craft. As well as it’s great to use for labeling and organizing, which is perfect for any artwork.

And used exclusively for hanging mats to the back, and hanging the photographs on the mats. Also, it can be greatly used for canvas.

#3. What kind of tape do artists use?

Artists use appropriate tape considering the pros and cons of their work. If an artist creates a painting on canvas and require sharp borders, then masking tape is used most of the time.

But sometimes artist tape also used by artist to create sharp lines. That actually depend on how important sharp border is.

Masking tape must be used to create a sharp border around the edges which gives the art a clean and finished work perfection. But this is widely used in wall painting.

#4. Do professional painters use masking tape?

Usually, a professional painter doesn’t need to use any kind of tape. They are preferred by freehand painting, cut-in method without using any kind of metal or plastic masking.

But, sometimes they use masking tape in skirting boards, around the floor, windows, door frames and, the ceilings.

Final Word

As you can see, there is given a clear idea about these two tapes. Both tapes have good qualities, you can use them in your project but it is important to consider whether you are using the right tape for that work.

Artist tape vs Masking tape, which one is more usable?

Masking tape can be a better alternative to artist tape. Artist tape is more useful in painting or other applications. On the other hand, masking tape can’t be used for all those applications in which artist tape can be used. There is the main difference in their price range. 

Whatever tape is taken, the results will depend on its use and work.

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Expertise: Content writer

My goal in life is to always be learning. I've spent 25+ years working with my hands and have found the art of building something new to be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience. Through my writing I aim to share some of what I've stumbled upon with the world in hopes others can benefit from my own experiences!