It is called "PAINTER'S TAPE," right?
October 25, 2011 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Ok, this is nearly impossible to Google: Is masking tape/painter's tape easy to paint over? On purpose?

I have a Halloween prop I'm making, and since I lacked white masking tape I just wrapped the whole thing in blue painter's tape. Call it a lazy man's papier-mache. But this prop is not meant to be blue, it's meant to be pink (and a bunch of other colors). Can I paint directly over this tape with acrylics, or any other kind of paint?

I know that when I paint walls and things with latex paint, it definitely sticks to painter's tape, but then I just throw it away. I've never left it to see if the paint stuck to it and was permanent. Since I'll be potentially roughing up this prop, I don't want the paint to slough off easily.
posted by snapped to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
Best answer: It will slough off, though not extremely easily. More along the lines of cracking and peeling on corners or when you bump it into stuff. It will definitely be showing its wear by the end of the night.

Why not just actually papier mache it? You probably have all the stuff you need: newspaper, flour, and water. That'll take up the paint really well.
posted by phunniemee at 12:14 PM on October 25, 2011

Best answer: The blue/white issue here isn't the big one. As phunniemee observes, while paint does kind of stick to masking tape, it's not an awesome surface for that kind of thing. If you "rough up" this prop, you shouldn't be surprised if it starts to crack and/or flake a bit.

In a sense, it depends on how long you need this thing looking pristine. If it's a one-off prop for a Halloween party, you're probably okay, as it's just the one night.* If it's a stage prop intended to go through multiple shows, you'll probably need a different solution or multiple copies.

*And if you're going to the right kind of party, most people will be too drunk at the end of it to care anyway.
posted by valkyryn at 12:23 PM on October 25, 2011

It'll probably work pretty well, but not really really well. Best way to find out is to try it. If you're planning on doing real painting to make it look like the real prop in many colors and careful stuff, don't do that yet. Just get a base color (like pink) and spray paint it on there. Or use acrylic, hard to say which I'd recommend. Let it dry, knock it around a bit, give it a taste of the real world.
Still pink (pink enough)? great, proceed with other colors and making it pretty
Lots of blue showing through? As phunniemee suggested, try a layer of newspaper paste and then paint it.
posted by aimedwander at 12:26 PM on October 25, 2011

Yes, paint will stick to painter's tape. In fact, a popular-but-expensive green-colored tape (whose brand I will not mention) even advertises this a feature, in that it claims to suck up paint that would otherwise get underneath the taped surface and create an uneven line.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:33 PM on October 25, 2011

It will stick fine - apart from the colour, the only difference between blue 'painter's tape' and the normal white masking tape is the adhesive (well, the price also) - the blue tape can be left on for longer and still removed easily. If you knock it around, the paint may come off, but no more easily than any other tape.
posted by dg at 7:20 PM on October 25, 2011

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