iQuip Tape - What's the best tape to buy? [Top Tape Tips & Range Breakdown]

Paint spraying is excellent.

Better coverage, longer-lasting, EXCEPTIONALLY faster, and incredibly satisfying.

However, the reality is that paint spraying is only 20% spraying - and whether you like it or not - the other 80% of your time belongs to prep. Whatever flare points spraying has, surface prep… well, doesn’t.

But what if you could take this 80% portion of your spraying life and make it marginally easier? Or even 20% more cost-effective?

Cheap labour isn’t an option - so let’s talk tape types.

Though painters’ masking tape isn't as exciting as sky diving – and it definitely isn’t - by choosing the right type of tape for the right application, you have the ability to optimise finish, minimise frustration AND get a better bang for your buck.

So, it’s our goal here to answer the simple question:

What’s the best tape to buy for what project?

iQuip Envo Tape Masking a Window

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Tapes:

 

What makes the perfect tape?

In our minds, the perfect tape application comes down to three things: lines, residue, and cost.

Lines - You want the cleanest of lines, no leaks through the tape and zero bleeds.
Residue - Needs to be easy to remove and leave no residue on the surface.
Cost - There are always premium tapes that will get the job done, but we want the most cost-effective tape that meets all the requirements of the job without being excessive.

What is the best painters’ tape?

What's the best car? 

It depends. If you’re on the road 100% of the time, you might go for something with a few extra horses. But let’s say you have four kids and enjoy tackling off-road tracks on the weekends – you’re likely to be leaning in a different direction.

Similarly, there are different tapes for different situations.

The three aspects you need to consider are: surface, environment, and application.

Working in cold conditions on cabinetry? You’ll be looking for something different than the everyday repaint of an interior during Spring. 

iQuip Masking Painters Tape Range

So, what’s the difference between masking tape and painters tape?

If you’re new to the world of specialty tape you may ask: “Can you use masking tape for painting?”

And the answer is yes, and no. 

In the same way apples and pears are technically both fruit - masking and painters’ tapes are technically both tapes. Yet each is designed with a specific purpose in mind. 

Those purposes do cross paths in some cases but remember our criteria: lines, residue, and cost.

Masking tape is designed to stick as firm and for as long as possible with less consideration for residue, material, environment, or purpose. Masking tapes can also produce straight paint lines but have far less consistent results. 

The goal for masking tape is a cheaper price that sticks to stuff.

Painters’ tape, however, is designed with resistance to water-based products in mind. Generally, they use a lower tack for easy removal, consider resistance to UV for exterior use, and are more mindful of production quality. 

As an example, iQuip’s multi-purpose masking tape is a low-cost, crepe-backed, high-tack solvent adhesive that provides a solid stick but lacks strong UV resistance. Why is this important? High tack will get a good stick, but the everyday masking tape quality has a higher risk of leaving residue, paint bleeds, tearing, and even lifting the paint upon removal. 

Not ideal.

So yes, you can use masking tape for painting, just don’t expect the world every time.

Surface protection using painters masking tape

Our ‘tape types’ breakdown

We’re going to run according to tack, going from low to high, and we’ll spend a bit more time on the three most similar tapes - iGecko, Envo and Blue Painters - and when to use which for what.

Why we use iQuip tape

As a disclaimer from the start, we are going to do exclusive testing on iQuip’s tape range. If you’re looking for a multi-brand, side-by-side comparison of tape-vs-tape, this is not the one for you. 

Why? 

  1. This is more about types of tape than brands, and;
  2. We think iQuip tape is among the best brands

iQuip Best Masking Painters Tape

Adhesive Types: What’s the difference between Acrylic and Solvent Adhesives? 

One last word before we get to the tape - adhesive.

By dabbling in some basics on adhesive type, we’ll find that it quickly unlocks why which tape works best for what scenario. Here, we’re breaking down iQuip’s two primary adhesives: acrylic and solvent.

This is not exclusive to iQuip, and can be applied to all tapes.

 

Acrylic

Solvent

Quality

Good

Great

Tack

Gentler More aggressive tack

UV Resistance / Stabilisation

High resistance Hinders resistance

Ageing

Longer lasting

Temperature Resistance

High resistance

 

As you’ll note, one adhesive type doesn’t transcend the other across the board. This is a matter of context. 

Exterior painting requires stronger UV resistance, so an acrylic adhesive tape would perform better. However, that won’t work for extreme temperatures, so you’d consider a solvent adhesive tape for that. 

The general idea is that certain adhesives work best for certain applications, but they come with baggage that limits their performance too. Except iGecko Tape, but we’ll get to that.

What tape should be used for solvent-based paints?

In terms of adhesive types, both acrylic and solvent adhesive tapes from iQuip’s range will work. What you should be more concerned with is the tape itself. Of the tapes we have on showcase today, both we and iQuip would recommend NOT using Delicate or Cloth tape for solvent-based paints.

Other than that, as long as the tape meets your other project requirements - surface stick and climate conditions - you’re good to go.

What does the UV resistance day rating mean?

The day rating listed on all these tapes indicates the number of days the tape can be applied and remain in UV light without compromising tack and leaving residue. 

In practice, this means that after the listed days (e.g., 60 days), iQuip cannot guarantee perfect lines and zero residue.

 

Alright, let’s get to the main course.

iQuip Envo Delicate 36mm Masking Tape

Envo Delicate Tape 

Tack Level

Low

UV Resistance

60 Days

Adhesive Type

Acrylic

Backing Type

Flat Paper

Price

$$$

Suited Application

Recently painted surfaces

Wallpaper

iQuip Envo Delicate Painters Tape

As you may guess, this one’s ideal for sensitive applications.

Perfect for recently painted surfaces, wallpaper, and other decorative applications - Delicate tape isn’t going to be your everyday carry but it is extremely useful for those unique moments.

This is iQuip’s only low tack tape in the range, sharing many qualities with the standard Envo tape, but with superior UV resistance and is built to be waterproof.

Keep a couple of rolls in the arsenal and you won’t be sorry.

Other quick facts:

  • No residue
  • Suitable with all paint types
  • Suitable for removal when paint is dry

Shop Delicate Tape

iQuip iGecko Washi 36mm Painters Tape

iGecko Tape

Tack Level

Medium

UV Resistance

180 Days

Adhesive Type

Acrylic

Backing Type

Japanese Washi

Price

$$$

Suited Application

High-end projects

Cabinetry

iQuip iGecko Washi Tape

“Simply the best”

In the world of painters’ tape, if in doubt, use iGecko tape.

Previously known as iQuip’s Washi tape, they’ve recently adopted a new name because there are too many non-legitimate washi tapes masquerading as authentic. Since iQuip didn’t want to be associated with the lower quality versions, iGecko tape was born.

It is still the same tape, just rebranded. 

Also, if you’re looking for an iQuip Frog Tape equivalent… this is the one for you. Except better.

What is Washi tape?

Washi tape is - most fundamentally - tape backed by ‘washi’ paper. Washi is a Japanese Rice Paper that is extremely strong and thin - that means it avoids tears and prevents bleeding. 

This is an admirable combination for painters. For, as a rule of thumb, the thinner the tape, the better the lines. BUT the thinner the tape, generally the more tear prone it is.

Thus, when Washi demonstrates the unruly rebellion of chemistry, it gets some attention.

The Cons

Now comes the elephant in the room: price.

Premium, chemistry-defying products naturally have a higher price tag attached to them. iQuip’s iGecko tape is more than 3 x the price of Envo, and so achieves a “$$$” price rating on our scale.

For this reason, iGecko is probably not going to be your everyday tape for new builds, repaints or the like. 

Suited Applications

Where it shines though, is for high-end custom builds, cabinetry, or if you’re just a fussy painter. If you’d like to achieve no-fail lines with the highest finish quality guaranteed every time - iGecko is your choice.

Shop iGecko 'Washi' Tape

iQuip Envo Tape 36mm

Envo Tape

Tack Level

Medium

UV Resistance

30 Days

Adhesive Type

Acrylic

Backing Type

Flat Paper

Price

$

Suited Application

Everyday painting

New builds, renos, etc.

iQuip Envo Tape

"The everyday carry"

As we established at the beginning, the ‘best’ tape is one that gracefully balances razor-sharp lines, zero residue and low cost. So, we’d like to introduce you to Envo.

For the everyday Australian painting conditions, Envo will be your best friend. This is our and iQuip’s most popular selection, for both DIYer’s and professionals as it provides the best performance-to-money value.

For all our built-in associations - low cost means low quality, however, Envo bends the curve and provides zero bleeds and sticks to everything from plasterboard to brickwork. Plus, it does all this for less than 10c per meter.

"I love the tape, great value for money and one of the superior tapes on the market" (@sospaintingservices)

Available in all the usual 18mmm-48mm sizes, don’t just grab a couple of rolls of this guy. Buy by the carton.

Other quick facts:

  • Suitable for all paints
  • Do not remove until the paint has dried
  • Second thinnest behind iGecko, hence those crisp lines. 

The Tear Factor

Though it has graduated from iQuip's quality university, this super cost-effective version of flat paper backing simply isn’t immune to tearing like its Japanese counterpart. 

In our, and our customers' experience, tears occur most frequently when left on a surface for more than 10 days or when trying to remove the tape too quickly. 

This is by no means a significant issue - the tape is still totally functional - but is worth noting to give you a complete picture.

Remember, this tape comes in at around 10c per meter (compared to Delicate at around 25c per meter), so it’s worth a couple of tears every now and then.

Shop Envo Tape

iQuip Blue Painters 36mm Masking Tape

Blue Painters Tape 

Tack Level

Medium

UV Resistance

14 Days

Adhesive Type

Solvent

Backing Type

Crepe

Price

$$

Suited Application

High humidity / moist 

Mod. temperature variation

iQuip Blue Painters masking tape

"The everyday carry - but that works with moisture/humidity"

Your everyday Envo shines for most common applications but placed it in a high humidity environment or significant temperatures, it starts to get a little funny.

As an example, we received a call from a painter doing an odd job down South during a cold snap, stating that his usual Envo was leaving residue when removed. This meant he had to put in unnecessary extra labour into removing the residue by hand. But, once his Blue Painters tape arrived, there was no issue. Worked perfectly.

This isn’t anything against the tape, it's just a limitation of the adhesive. As shown in our table, out of the ordinary conditions are more suited to your solvent adhesive tapes. 

“Well, doesn’t iGecko tape use an acrylic adhesive?” Yes, but as previously established, iGecko defies chemistry. It also has to do with the country of origin and the quality assurance that goes along with it.

iGecko is produced out of Japan, as you may have guessed, and in the tape-world Japan and Italy are top-shots. Evidently, iQuip Blue Painters comes from Italy. 

Blue Painters also sits nicely between Envo and iGecko on the price line up.

Other quick facts:

  • Tear-resistant 
  • No residue
  • Suitable to remove with wet paint

Limitations

Again, coming in on the specialisation of these tapes, context matters. Whilst Blue Painters is the top performer for these out of the ordinary conditions, it doesn’t shine when it comes to UV resistance. 

Like all solvent adhesive tapes, it has a much shorter shelf life than your acrylics (i.e., Delicate, iGecko and Envo). Coming in with a 14-day rating is not too short though, just something you must be mindful of.

Blue Painters Practical Hack

Just a quick practical hack when using Blue Painters, is to ensure that you properly press and seal to the surface. 

This is something most painters do anyway, but since this tape type is a touch thicker than your Envo, you’ll need to ensure you ‘seal’ it to the surface to guarantee that perfect line.

iGecko vs. Envo vs. Blue Painters Tape: When to use what

These three are the most similar of that line up. They are all medium tack, all come in the four sizes from 18mm-48mm and are used by painters every day.

So, from what we’ve found, here is a quick summary:

If you’re going for everyday use - go straight to Envo. If you’re going to be experiencing some more dramatic temperatures or a humid environment - think Blue Painters. If you need a never-fail, level tape that will perfectly perform every time whether water is involved or you just need to ensure that perfect line, look to iGecko.

Shop Blue Painters Tape

iQuip iTalo Automotive 36mm masking tape

iTalo Tape

Tack Level

High

UV Resistance

3 Days

Adhesive Type

Solvent

Backing Type

Waterproof crepe

Price

$$

Suited Application

Automotive

Commercial / industrial

iQuip iTalo automotive tape

"The industrial and automotive specialist"

You’ve now been introduced to iQuip’s only high tack masking tape option - not considering Cloth Tape.

This makes iTalo ideal for sticking to any uneven surfaces, but sure to leave no residue given its use of a solvent adhesive.

It sits with the same approximate thickness as iQuip’s Blue Painters tape, so can secure those nice lines even on uneven surfaces.

As you would expect with a high consecrate of solvent adhesive when it comes to UV resistance, iTalo doesn’t shine. With a rating of only 3 days before things become compromised, this is not for the everyday painter. This is an industrial specialist.

Other quick facts:

  • Waterproof
  • 90-degree-Celcius temperature resistance (30min)
  • Suitable for all paint types
  • Made in Italy

Shop iTalo Tape

iQuip Masking Painters Tape Range

Conclusion 

Congratulations, you’re now a tape aficionado. Go off and crush the 80% prep game with more ease and cost effectiveness than ever.

Did we miss anything? Be sure to give us an email with your questions or suggestions for content. 


All the best,
The GO Team

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