When I visited the Los Angeles home of Angelo Surmelis
- popular host of HGTV's Rate My Space
and now a furniture designer
, I immediately wanted his striped walls in my own home.
Photo: Kathy Price-Robinson
But I knew the awful truth: Whenever I try to mask off walls to add stripes or paint trim, the paint always bleeds under the masking tape and looks awful.
However, I might had gone forward with my ambitious painting project had I known about Inspired Technologies' FrogTape
, a high-tech masking tape that makes it nearly impossible to do a sloppy job. FrogTape is made with a unique polymer called PaintBlock, which creates a micro-barrier that seals the tape's edges as soon as it comes in contact with paint. When you lift off the FrogTape, the membrane breaks and you have a clean line -- no paint bleed.
See a video
showing the technology.
So what's up with typical painter's tape? According to Frog Tape, masking tapes were developed back in the day when most interior paint was oil-based. Oil paint has a high "viscosity," which means it's thicker and doesn't spread as easily under tape. Today, most paint used in homes is water-based latex, which has a low viscosity, and seeps easily into cracks and crevices -- and underneath masking tape.
FrogTape has won so many awards that it advertises itself as "the only tape with a trophy shelf." It earned an innovation award from Popular Science
magazine -- and another innovation award from Handy Magazine
, which named it one of the best products for DIYers. At the 2008 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, FrogTape won two Retailers Choice Awards.
Before considering FrogTape, note that it won't work in all applications. Extremely bumpy surfaces are notoriously difficult to tape off successfully. EVen with a high-tech tape, paint bleed is common on bumpy surfaces. For best results, press the tape as securely as possible.
Also, the surface accepting the tape must be cured thoroughly -- not just dry to the touch. The timing to cure paint depends on many factors, including air temperature and humidity. Latex paint may take up to a month to completely cure.
Finally, when using FrogTape on surfaces other than smooth latex (such as on aluminum), you should test the tape first in an inconspicuous place.
FrogTape comes in two widths -- 24mm and 33mm -- and costs about $7 to $10. It comes in a recyclable container to keep it clean and nick free. It's available through Lowe's, Ace Hardware
, Amazon, and building supply retailers.
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