Drafting tape looks similar to ordinary household masking tape, but has a lower tack. It is intended to hold blueprints to a drawing board or light table, and to pull off easily without damaging the drawing.
House painter's tape is rated by how many days it can be left up without leaving residue on the surface being masked. It is available in 1, 3, 7, 14, 30, and 60-day ratings, with the 7 and 14-day tapes being the most common. The longer-rated tapes are typically less adhesive, and are sold for use on smooth, delicate surfaces such as vinyl wallpaper and recently painted walls. In any case, the tape should be removed immediately after painting regardless of how long it was left up beforehand. Painter's tape is often blue or purple in color as opposed to the tan household masking tape.
The adhesive applied to a tape is often a critical determining factor for a given masking situation. There are three broad types of adhesives (with many chemical variations of each): rubber-based, acrylic-based, and silicone-based. Rubber based adhesives generally provide the greatest adhesion, but the lowest temperature resistance. Acrylic-based adhesives offer a wide temperature range, providing adhesion from sub-freezing temperatures up to 275–325° Fahrenheit (about 150° Celsius). Silicone based adhesives provide the highest temperature resistance, with some tapes (such as some polyimide films and glass cloth tapes) allowing for intermittent use up to 500°F (260°C).
Use the right masking tape to avoid sticky situations; The tale: There are many varieties that can work with any type of project
Oct 14, 2001; Dear Tim: I gave up on using traditional beige masking tape years ago. It destroyed several finishes, stuck to my glass windows...