Automotive masking tape is not the same as regular masking tape, as it is specifically designed to be used on vehicles to protect sprayed paint from going over the intended area and onto other car parts during the painting process. You can try and be as accurate as you want with a car painting gun, but when you get to the edges of where you’re spraying, paint will inevitably go over it, and could potentially ruin other parts if not covered correctly. That’s why masking tape is so important in the car painting process.
If normal tape won’t do, then what makes automotive masking tape so different and what one should you buy? We’ve listed our top automotive masking tape picks below, with what features make these tapes so special and ideal for vehicle painting without leaving marks or residue.
Best Masking Tapes for Automotive Painting in the UK Reviewed
36mm x 32m
50mm x 50m
25mm x 50m
55mm x 10m
24mm x 20m
#1. 3M 03433 Automotive Performance Masking Tape, 36 mm x 32 m
3M is one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to automotive masking tape, with their 03433 tape being the clear overall top pick. The width of the tape is 36mm, with a total length of 32 metres. You also only get one roll of tape with this purchase.
The pick has all the qualities that you want from car painting tape, being transfer-resistant, conforming to the parts and surfaces easily, doesn’t bleed paint through, and most importantly, it is easy to stick on the vehicle and take it off.
Although this is the best quality masking tape overall, it is quite expensive for one roll of only 32 metres.
Overall it has everything you would want for automotive painting and is excellent in terms of quality and reliability, the only thing that might put you off is the price, however, it is worth it if you’re serious about buying the best.
- Reliable, strong tape
- Does not bleed paint through
- Easy to take on and off
- Can handle heat
- Really expensive
#2. 3m 3434 Blue Car Trim Protection Tape
3M has the 2nd spot on the list aswell with the 3434 tape being a close runner up in terms of quality and reliability. This car tape is blue and is significantly larger, with 50 metres of tape that is 55mm wide.
The tape is sticky enough to stick to car paint and other parts easily without falling off and can easily be contoured around tricky areas of the vehicle. It is also tough enough to handle most paint jobs and shouldn’t let paint through.
This is another quite expensive pick considering it’s only 1 roll, though it is 50M this time. Another slight issue is sometimes it can be a little trickier to take off, though for the most part is fine.
Overall the quality is still there and is only just behind our top pick in that aspect, but it is a better option if you need a larger bit of tape for covering.
- Thick tape
- Strong and reliable
- Easy to stick on
- Slightly harder to get off
- A little Expensive
#3. AutoBright 3M
3M clearly have a knack for making car painting masking tape, appearing again on the list with another solid choice. This time it’s another blue roll, with 50 metres of thinner 25mm protection being provided.
This is one of the strongest adhesive tapes, and sticks to the cars very easily even when wet, reducing any worry that it will fall off when painting. It’s also very easy to peel off and doesn’t leave any marks or residue behind.
The actual quality of the actual tape is decent, but not quite at the standard as the two choices above in terms of withstanding heat etc.
Overall, although the most expensive pick on here, you get 2 50M rolls of decent quality masking tape, with it being one of the best picks out there in terms of stickiness.
- Really sticky
- Easy to peel off without leaving any marks behind
- Reasonably priced for 2 rolls
- Quality could be better
#4. SurePromise 3PCS Adhesive Rolls
A different pick this time comes from SurePromise, with 3 rolls of thinner UV-resistant tape provided, each being 55 metres long and having the choice of 4 different colours - black, red, yellow and blue. These are really thin rolls, and you have the option of either 5 or 10 mm width tapes when purchasing.
The tape is bleed-through and solvent resistant, aswell as being able to handle high temperatures. It also peels off very easily and doesn’t leave behind any nasty residue on the vehicle.
Although it can stand up to high temperatures and other harsh stuff, the quality of the tape overall isn’t as strong as it could be. It’s also sometimes not the stickiest and might just be too thin for some car painters.
Overall if you’re looking for thinner masking tape for a job that has reasonable quality and is fairly priced, then this is for you.
- Fairly priced
- Bleedthrough and solvent resistant
- Can handle higher temperatures
- Different colours and sizes available
- Might not be thick enough for some painting jobs
- Quality could be better
- Not the stickiest
#5. NORTHERN BROTHERS 10 Pack
The last pick comes from Northern Brothers and is a much cheaper alternative option. You get 10 rolls of masking tape in this pack, with each tape being 24mm wide and 20m long. This thin blue tape is made from wrinkled paper and only comes in blue.
Considering this is very cheap for 10 rolls of the tape, you would think the quality isn’t there and it wouldn’t be upto the spray painting job, however, that’s not the case and is actually as good and strong as the bigger brands of masking tape.
Although the quality is there, there are certain other features of the tape that might make it unsuitable for some car painting jobs. The stickiness can be a problem for some people, with it peeling paint off and leaving a mess behind in some instances.
Overall a quality cheap budget option, however, it might not be the safest option for all car spray painting jobs, especially in a professional setting.
- Very cheap
- Good, strong quality tape
- Maybe a little too sticky, can sometimes leave a mess
Car Painting Masking Tape Buying Considerations
High Temperature Exposure
Any masking tape that will be used in a professional automotive spray painting setting must be able to handle higher temperatures. During the different processes of vehicle painting, such as drying, the tape will have higher levels of heat than normal blasting onto it, therefore you need the masking tape to hold up and not melt away, potentially ruining an expensive paint job. We have taken this into consideration with our top picks above and have tried to pick models that are heat resistant to some level.
Any tape applied to a car needs to be sticky enough so that it doesn’t fall off or peel away when painting, though in saying that, it shouldn’t be that sticky that it leaves a mess when removed.
Removal with No Mess
As mentioned above, stickiness is important, but you don’t want it to leave any residue or marks behinds when you peel it away. You need to watch out as many cheaper and non-automotive tapes can leave a mess behind, and that’s the last thing you want after an expensive paint job.
Strength When Stretching and Shaping
Because of the nature of automotive painting and the different parts and shapes that are involved, any tape you do use must be strong enough to be able to be shaped around corners, bends and awkward angles easily without tearing.
Easy to Tear Off
Although we’ve just said you don’t want the masking tape tearing too easily when shaping around the car, it still has to be easy enough to tear off in the moment yourself, without having to have someone on standby to help you, especially in a professional spraying garage or shop.
Paint and Solvent Resistant
Because paint and other solvents will be coming into contact with the tape, it needs to be able to handle them without the paint bleeding through, and potentially ruining the parts you’re trying to protect in the first place. Most well-known masking tapes are resistant to paint and solvents, though when dealing with automotive painting, you’re better not taking any chances and buying specially designed tape.
Although masking tape for painting your car is slightly different from buying tape for some basic house room painting, it really isn’t too hard to find a good roll of it. As long as they have the qualities mentioned above that are important for protecting your vehicle, you should be all good to go. Our list of the 5 best masking tapes for automotive painting has some great options to choose for, giving you peace of mind for your car spray painting process.
Last Updated On: May 20, 2022.