Stick Around Awhile

By Jerry Rabushka,

  Filed under: Feature

A Painter’s Tape Update

Sometimes change seems seamless. When a product performs better than it used to and you don’t have to do anything different than you used to, that’s pretty cool. Like if you brush up a paint the same way as before, but it lasts longer and smells like that rose garden you can finally promise someone. And here’s where we’ll seamlessly move into what’s changed—because as paint changes, many sundries around it do as well. We know it’s true of brushes, but tape also has to keep up. For this article we asked our manufactures to talk about a product or two, how it works and keeps up with contemporary coatings, and why it deserves a spot on your shelf.


Jump Higher

FrogTape’s PaintBlock® Technology needed to change along with paint technology itself, in order that it could still block the paint that’s put over it. We heard talk of this change at the National Hardware Show, so we thought it would be a good time to ask and pass it along—seamlessly.

“All FrogTape® brand painter’s tapes are treated with patented PaintBlock Technology, a super-absorbent polymer that reacts with the water in latex paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier,” explained Kacie Baon, category manager for FrogTape. “This barrier seals the edges of the tape, preventing paint bleed and creating clean, crisp lines. But as paint companies continue to evolve their paint formulas, it’s critical that tape manufacturers respond in tandem. This ensures that when painters are on the job, the tape they use will adhere completely and uniformly, regardless of the paint brand, color, or sheen.”

FrogTape answered that call, she said. “To respond to these changes, FrogTape Multi-Surface (green) painter’s tape features a new adhesive specially formulated for hard-to-stick-to paints and surfaces while still delivering the same 21-day removal. This medium-adhesion premium painter’s tape is designed for an array of surfaces including cured painted walls, wood, metal, and glass.”

Its companion product, FrogTape Delicate Surface (yellow), will provide the same protection, so remember to ask your customers about their projects so you can recommend green, yellow or both. “FrogTape Delicate Surface is still treated with PaintBlock Technology to provide sharp paint lines, but it has a lower adhesion level to help prevent surface damage when it is applied to fresh paint (dried for at least 24 hours), wallpaper, faux finishing, and other decorative painting projects,” said Baon.

The good news is that you don’t have to do anything different—they did all the R&D work at parent company ShurTech so you can sell a roll with the same confidence you did before. “Users should not notice a difference with the new adhesive formulation. They’ll continue to have the same great experience with the product that they have had in the past,” said Baon. “This should provide them with the confidence that they can achieve their desired results regardless of the paint they’re using.”



New Hands on the Unroll

One of the challenges of any tape that targets the pro is that many contractors don’t want to use it (or at least be seen using it!). They feel a good painter can cut in without it, so why waste all that time putting up tape they don’t need? Plus if you’re that guy on crew that wants it, it might be embarrassing if everyone else points and laughs.

But while painter’s tape can help even the most experienced pro do a better job, it’s usually up to a manufacturer and retailer to convince them of the benefits. Hence, the company’s new Frog It™ campaign, to show the pro how to seamlessly incorporate the brand into an everyday lifestyle.

“Frog It is a brand-new campaign centered around the message that even the best paint contractors can benefit from FrogTape painter’s tape,” said Baon. “Nobody has time for touch-ups these days, so why not use FrogTape, the brand pros rated #1 for sharp paint lines, to make sure you get the sharpest paint lines possible the first time?”

You can see this campaign right here, right now by checking out the new FrogTape ads in The Paint Dealer and The Paint Contractor. Plus, your paint contractors can get a free roll! “As a part of this campaign, we are encouraging paint contractors to engage with the brand—especially if they haven’t before—by offering a free roll to try on the jobsite,” said Baon. It’s free, so it’s a great opening to talk to them about the brand, she said, and what do they have to lose but wasted time in touchups? “You can encourage them to visit to give it a try for themselves!”


It Comes out in the Washi

If it feels different, that’s because…it is different. Blue Dolphin’s Washi Tape has a lot of properties that recommend it as a “add on” product, but that also give it the glamor of a go-to in its own right. For one, it has 60-day clean removal for those projects that just never seem to get started (or finished, because everything isn’t seamless after all). Apply in July, remember in September!

“It’s a super thin/flat rice paper backed by a solvent free adhesive that produces clean sharp lines,” explains Blue Dolphin President Roland Kolilias. Does paint color matter? Oh, yeah it does. Then this is the roll for you! “Washi is the best tape available on the market to use when working with variations of dark to light colors,” he asserted.

While it’s a premium tape, says Kolilias, it’s that type of premium that can become the norm for the discerning painters. “You can promote this as the go-to of premium tape products,” he said. “It’s great for use on freshly painted surfaces, it provides sharp edges, and it’s a lacquer friendly product that will outperform the competition.”

Try swapping it out for your go-to conventional tape, he encourages, and you’ll quickly be spoiled with how good it works. Put it on just like any other tape, but when you peel it off, you’ll have superior results—and results are what counts! “Our Washi can be used in the same ways in place of conventional tapes and actually give better results. The Blue Dolphin Washi can be used as a conventional tape as well as a high end tape.” Either way, it’s a great outcome.



Indoors or Out, Give Platinum a Shout

We’ve talked a lot about investing in premium products, so why would tape would be any different if you want that “seamless” job? A great paint and a great applicator isn’t going to help your homeowner who wants to “paint like a pro” if they can’t paint a straight line and the tape doesn’t work—or in some cases, even stick to the wall. And for the pro…well they don’t want to worry every time they pull off a strip.

Why pay more? It’s worth it, but that’s for you to explain! If people ask why ScotchBlue™ Platinum Interior Painter’s Tape has a higher price point than ScotchBlue Original Painter’s Tape, you can show them what more it has to offer. “Its price is due to its premium features that help in achieving professional looking results,” said Laura Maciejewski, 3M marketing manager.

“Well what’s the difference, it’s just a roll of tape!” you may hear. Just like it’s “just a can of paint.” Or “just a counter clerk.” Heck a good counter clerk can sell a bundle more than a bad one, especially if they know some selling points. Here are a few for ScotchBlue Platinum:

• ScotchBlue Platinum Interior Painter’s Tape is made with an advanced 3M poly-material that removes easily in one long piece without slivering or tearing, for faster prep and removal (compared to 3M paper backed masking tapes).

• Durable poly material helps stop paint seepage for ultra-sharp paint lines on multiple surfaces including baseboards, trim, glass and metal for professional results.

• Advanced technology lets you tear the tape at a 90-degree straight edge for fast corner prep.

• It’s easy to apply and adjust, with excellent conformability and 14-day clean removal with no surface damage.

If you don’t want to be that retailer that’s always upselling without a good reason, you need to have an out, in that you need to be able to tell your customer there’s a still time when the less expensive product will do but there are times when they’ll want superior performance. Here, therefore, is a list of conditions when you want to send them home with Platinum Interior: “It is a must in situations where you need the highest quality results, including ultra-sharp paint lines. When fast cleanup is desired, this innovative poly-tape is great because it removes without tearing or slivering,” said Maciejewski.

Just like exterior paint itself, Platinum Exterior will withstand more of nature’s brouhaha than its interior sibling. “Platinum Exterior Tape has a durable waterproof backing that holds strong in rain, wind, humidity, high heat and direct sun,” said Laura. “The adhesion levels also differ. Exterior Tape has a very high adhesion for exterior surfaces whereas Platinum Interior has a medium adhesion for multiples surfaces.”

But, you say, another SKU? Another product to keep track of. Help me! Well, help is here. “Platinum Interior can be used in place of our Trim+Baseboard tape,” said Maciejewski. It’s an easy change to pull off. “Show customersw how it removes easily in one long piece without slivering or tearing.”



If it Walks like a Duct…

Applying stucco can pose some danger, in that just like paint you don’t want the stucco materials going where they aren’t supposed to. That involves protecting a lot of different surfaces: doors, window frames, and nearby building materials. Intertape Polymer’s Stucco tape will come to the rescue, so if you see a painter buying a whole bunch of stucco stuff, see if he will stuff some Stucco Tape into his sack of sundries.

Not only that, but it has some heavy-duty uses beyond its name. “Stucco Masking tape is unique in that its tough like a duct tape, but removes cleanly after its done its job—even after direct exposure to UV outdoors,” said JoMarie Pagano, consumer marketing specialist at Intertape. “It’s also used as an outdoor utility tape to mark areas, hold things together, and protect surfaces while being exposed to rain, wind, humidity, and dust and dirt. It sticks well to many surfaces and generally removes cleanly, leaving little to no residue.”

So it’s not something you apply to stucco so much as something you apply around it. “You can apply it to the doors and frames of the house, and also to hold up protective poly-sheeting,” said Pagano. “This provides surface protection to the window and door frames as well as masks the windows from splash. It also protects the frames and windows from the exposure of stucco and from the grime associated with the stucco application process. The tape can also be applied around frames after the stucco is painted.”

Plus it’s easy to take off! “Stucco masking tape is specially formulated for easy removal after applying the stucco,” said Pagano. “It’s made with a specially engineered adhesive that provides high adhesion while removing cleanly.”

There are a few varieties, so as with many products, a few questions as to the exact nature of the project will send your painters out with just the right roll. “There are different levels of UV performance utilizing polyethylene tape, and also poly-cloth versions that are usually used during one-month (or longer) three-coat stucco applications,” Pagano explained. “IPG offers Stucco Masking tape usually for less than 30-day application and PE8 Preservaton Tape for longer applications.”

So to recap your benefits, you can market this product as a great all-around exterior tape that is UV resistant, highly visible for marking, that removes cleanly, and is heavy duty for extra durability, she concluded.


Fantastic on Plastic

Back to the sea with Blue Dolphin. Since most dolphins live outside, an exterior tape seems like a good bet from this company. Let’s say you put up a roll of tape and then it’s going to rain, do you want to have to put up another roll of tape again? We’ll take a guess, in an industry where people value time and money, that it’s no. “Our exterior tape is weather and water resistant and will hold up in hot humid areas and light rain storms,” said Kolilias.

Not only that, but when you’re done, you’re done—no ugly cleanup for your painters. Well they still need to clean the sprayer, but they won’t have to take time away from that to deal with tape gunk and residue.

“Blue Dolphin exterior tapes allow painters to complete exterior jobs with ease and no mess,” said Kolilias. “The residue free formulation allows contractors to work on smooth and rough substrates while leaving the tapes on for 7-14 days. This means painters have no extra clean up at the end of the job.” And just like paint itself, these exterior tapes can be applied to all kinds of surfaces. “Blue Dolphin products work fantastic on plastic, aluminum, vinyl, and composite windows, as well as performing on brick, stone, concrete, and stucco,” Kolilias listed.

Even on an uneven substrate, it seems to be seamless. “Its special formula allows it to stick to rough surfaces with no problems and still have a 7-day easy clean release,” he said. “Duct tape in the same environment will fail and require extra clean up.” But you still gotta prep to get these benefits. “The surface needs to be clean of dust, grease, and dirt before applyng,” he reminds us.


Get a Grip

T-Rex Tape from ShurTech isn’t your typical tape. After all, there are very few people who aren’t fascinated with tyrannosaurs. Now you can bring a T-Rex into the house without putting your family at risk of being eaten, not to mention the property damage­, as this tape line can do just the opposite and save a lot of equipment. Some of the powers of this tape are quite amazing, and a good demo will definitely wow your customers and show them the benefits, or barring that, ShurTech has created several videos to demonstrate. However, you want to make sure they bring home the right roll, and this is a product line where asking the right questions can help you make a real difference in how customers perceive the tape—and how they perceive you for solving their problem.

“T-Rex® Tape products include ferociously strong, weather-resistant duct tape, packing tape, and repair tape for household repairs, DIY projects, and outdoor living,” said Stephen Wagner, T-Rex Tape category manager. “It is therefore critical to ask how and why they are using tape. Are they using it for an interior or exterior job? Do they need all-weather durability? What about waterproof backing? Do they need packaging tape or repair tape rather than duct tape? What about mounting tape for indoor or outdoor surfaces?”

Painters are already using the original T-Rex in many places they previously used duct tape, says Stephen, and even if it’s not something they’d use during painting, painters have a lot of other needs as well. “From on-the-fly repairs to tools, sprayers, and even fixing work boots—to patching surfaces and more—it’s ferociously strong and won’t let you down. Packaging tape, on the other hand, can be used for storing items and supplies.”

So your basic selling point to a painter who’s all like I’ll never use this stuff is oh yeah you will. “It’s the little things that can bog down a painting job,” Wagner reminds us. “Broken tools, loose hoses on a sprayer, a cracked bucket or paint tray…Having the right tape on the job will make the contractor’s life easier.”

Plus it’s fun! It’s a dinosaur fer cryin’ out loud! Get your customers out of the Jurassic age into the modern era, where all kinds of new tapes can make that difference. “From heavy-duty packaging and mounting tapes to a wide variety of aggressively strong tapes for all-weather durability, the entire T-Rex product family is designed for those moments in your life when you need intense holding power no matter the application. That’s why we recommend contractors keep our full range of products on hand,” said Wagner.

Looks like tape suppliers are solving more and more problems. If this keeps up, you might want to call your store “Paint & Tape.”



It’s A-Peel-Ing!

A conversation with Michelle Mitchell, CMO of Peel-Tek, makers of Peel-Tek®150, a temporary protective surface and liquid masking.

What are some types of work Peel-Tek makes easier?
Peel-Tek 150 bridges the gap in masking rough, highly textured surfaces. Where traditional masking products (tape) fail to adhere or allow seepage in highly textured surfaces, Peel-Tek 150 forms a contour hugging, skin-tight protective barrier, preventing seepage and bleeding. It peels away cleanly, leaving no residue behind. It can be left on interior surfaces for weeks and still peel away cleanly. It can be used for stenciling, even on stained concrete floors, without fear of damage to the stained area.

How can Peel-Tek work in conjunction with tape?
Peel-Tek 150 can be used as a double-back adhesive with masking paper or plastic to mask large areas and will adhere to the most stubborn surfaces. Just run a small bead at the edge of the masking paper/plastic and apply to the desired area while it is still wet. It can be used this way to cordon off full rooms to keep them dust/residue free. Once it dries, it forms a tight bond and will not allow the masking paper/plastic to move until you are ready to peel it away.

Is it easy for the average person to apply?
Peel-Tek 150 can be applied with a paint brush or roller for larger surfaces. It is very forgiving—if you accidentally apply some where it doesn’t belong, just rub that area and it will come off or you can wait until it is dried and peel away any unwanted product.

Is it “safe and green?”
Peel-Tek 150 has a base of natural latex and is water soluble. It is eco-friendly

Give me an example of a project where Peel-Tek can “make the difference.”
When masking highly textured walls or hard to mask areas like brick, stone, stucco, cement—areas that tape will not adhere to easily—Peel-Tek 150 not only adheres, but it seeps down into every crevice and pore, creating a skin-tight barrier that paint will not penetrate. Upon completion of the project, it peels away cleanly leaving no residue. It is also great for use in masking difficult angles, circular patterns, etc.

In a more industrial setting, where does it come in handy?
Peel-Tek 150 is a great product for use on stained concrete. Traditional masking tape cannot be used on stained concrete as there is a chemical reaction between the adhesive in the tape and the finish of the stained concrete and will cause the finish and stain to be damaged. Peel-Tek 150 does not have this problem; it can be used directly on stained concrete without worry of damaging the stain or finish. It is also a great complement to masking paper/plastic to protect surrounding areas before shooting stain. It protects from over-spray and texture, as well as surface protection for tubs, granite counter tops, etc.

What are some benefits a paint retailer can talk up?
One quart of Peel-Tek 150 is equivalent to four rolls of masking tape and will not go bad sitting in your tool box. It can be easily partnered with masking paper/plastic and is able to stay in place for weeks at a time without becoming difficult to remove. It is great for detailed stenciling during custom paint jobs and can be used on both porous and non-porous surfaces.