I have worked in construction and painting planes and houses. My advice is never to use electrical tape or duct tape, because both leave a colored residue if they get heated up by the sun. The blue painter's masking tape works well, but you can get by with good quality 3M regular masking tape. Do not leave it on for weeks, because it eventually dries out, but I painted the exterior of a house here in the desert, and had to leave it on windows that I masked until the next day. The temperature was over 110F in the shade in the afternoon. I didn't remove it until the next morning, and there was no sticky residue left on the windows that were in direct sunlight all afternoon. I was all prepared to have to use Goof Off, then clean the windows, so I was pleasantly surprised. Cheaper brands or no-brand tape never have performed as well for me. 3M is more expensive, but not having to clean it up makes it worth it.

I have helped painting several airplanes, and for painting, the blue tape doesn't hold as well, because it needs to be pressed (burnished?) on to the surface much more than the regular masking tape to prevent paint from a gun working its way under, but if you're trying to keep out the rain, it should be good enough. Besides, the blue tape costs more.

Make sure that your roll of masking tape is fairly fresh. A roll that's been sitting in your hot garage over the summer may not perform as well.

Dan Branstrom

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