Uncover the Many Uses of Painter’s Tape

Posted by Mark Newton on

Many uses of painters tape


Painters tape is great for masking a finish or glue but there are so many other uses for it.

If you are a woodworking enthusiast, then you know that painter’s tape is a must-have for your toolbox. This super thin tape is great for masking finishes and glues, but its uses don’t stop there! From micro-adjusting to preventing slippage, painter’s tape can be used in a variety of ways to improve your woodworking projects. Let’s explore some of the most creative ways to use painter’s tape.


A Simple Woodworking Trick: Painter’s Tape and CA (Super) Glue

Do you ever find yourself in a woodworking pickle, needing to temporarily hold one thing to another? Or maybe you want to securely hold a box in place while sanding? We have the perfect trick for you—painter’s tape and CA (super) glue. Read on to learn why this simple trick is so effective and how it can help you with your woodworking projects.

How it Works

Painter’s tape is a strong, yet non-permanent adhesive that won’t leave residue or damage the surface of what it sticks to. When combined with CA (super) glue, it forms an incredibly strong bond that is easily removable when finished. To use this trick, place some painter's tape on both surfaces that need to be stuck together.

For example, if you are using a scrap piece of wood as a spacer or position marker, apply some painter's tape on both the workbench and the piece of wood. Then, take some CA glue and apply it to one of those pieces of tape. Spray some activator onto the other piece of tape, then once they touch each other they will be firmly stuck together. After carrying out your task simply tap the piece with a hammer and the tape will give; peel off the tape and you're done! No holes drilled, no clamps needed, and no mess left behind.

This simple trick saves time and effort by eliminating cumbersome clamping or drilling holes into pieces of material. Not only does this method save time in set up but also allows for quicker clean up after completing your project since there are no clamps or excess glue left behind which can be difficult to remove from certain materials like wood grain or plastic surfaces. This technique also allows for more precise positioning since you don't have to worry about clamps slipping or uneven pressure applied by them. Furthermore, this method keeps surfaces free from any permanent damage or residue unlike other adhesives which may leave residue behind when removed from certain materials like fabrics or paper products.

The Cross Cut Sled

Your crosscut sled will give you a perfect 90 degree cut right?

If not - Stick painter's tape between the fence and the stock to dial in that perfect cut.

 Painters tape for your cross cut sled

Precision shim's

​Let's say, you need a 1/16" spacer for a jig.

You cut it and there's a small gap so what do you do?

  • Cut another piece, hoping you get it right?
  • Add a piece of painters tape to dial in that perfect thickness...

Painters tape shims

Loose fitting jigs

​Ever notice that jig you made seems to be getting less and less accurate the more you use it. Where your router used to cut right on the pencil line, it no longer does? Add a strip of painters tape to the fence to sneak back to where you need the cut to be. It's simple, fast, reliable, and won't break the bank!

Shimming a jig with painters tape

Router Step Lines

​When routing through a workpiece in multiple passes, use painter’s tape along the fence until your final pass. When you're at full depth, you'll see faint lines from the depth change of each pass. Just remove the tape and make a finishing pass to clean up all those lines. The depth of cut will be so shallow it wont bog down your router either – making it look like you cut through in one pass!

 Painters tape for router step lines

Perfect Alignment with Mitered Joints

Mitered joints are a great way to join two pieces of wood together at an angle. It's a technique that is both aesthetically pleasing and structurally strong.

Stick a few pieces of painters tape to the outside of a miter joint.

Apply glue and close the joint to pull it tight together.

Alignment will be perfect with no outside glue squeeze out.

Peel off the tape when you're done.

It's even more therapeutic when you're doing a grain wrap.

Painters tape for mitered joints 

Secure Your Workpiece with Painter's Tape and Hot Glue

Are you a woodworker who needs to secure a workpiece but don't have a bench with bench dogs? Or perhaps you need to route something but clamps get in the way or can't reach? You may be surprised to learn that the solution is as simple as painter's tape and hot glue. No holes, no clamps, and no damaging your bench.

How It Works

The process is simple enough. All it takes is two pieces of painter's tape—one vertical on the workpiece and one on the bench next to it. The idea here is that you'll position the tape together around the workpiece, which will be secured by running hot glue between them. Once everything has set, your workpiece is locked down firmly and securely. No holes, no clamps, and no damage done to your bench!

When you're finished working with the piece, just peel back the tape and the hard glue will come with it. This makes cleanup fast and easy.

Painters tape for clamping

Securing a Straight Edge Without Clamps 

Need to use a straight edge in the middle of a workpiece?

Clamps won't reach and you don't want to create and fill holes in the project piece.

Painters tape and hot glue to the rescue... (The CA glue trick would be another option here)

Painters tape to secure a straight edge


Labeling components

Working on a complex piece?

Make sure you know where everything goes.

Hand written notes on painters tape will clarify what goes where.

When you're done, peel off the tape and you're good to go.

Sand before applying a finish to remove any tape residue.

Painters tape to label components 

Reducing tearout

The best solution is to use a sacrificial wood scrap.

When that's not an option, painter's tape will reduce tear out. It won't eliminate it but sometimes you get lucky.

Apply tape to the outside of the cut and it'll support those wood fibers.

You'll have a much better cut quality and less clean up to do.

Painters tape for reducing tear out 

An extra pair of hands

​Often you need to hold something in place for a moment so you can take a look from another angle.

Here you can often use painters tape to hold something in position for you.

Painters tape for an extra pair of hands 

Correcting a worn out jig

​Even when using stable materials like MDF or plywood, your jigs can move.

Wear and tear, expansion, contraction and screw movement.

You could replace the old one but what if you don't have time?

Pull out your painters tape and make a quick alteration.

Painters tape for correcting a worn out jig

The main reason we love painter's tape? It's only a few thousandths of an inch thick so you can use it to micro-adjust anything. For example, if you need to make small adjustments on drawers or doors, try using painter's tape instead of sandpaper or miscellaneous tools. The adhesive will help hold each piece in place while allowing you to make the desired adjustments without marring the surface. 

Conclusion:   From micro-adjusting drawers and doors to creating an effective preventative measure against slippage during glue ups and joinery work – there are so many creative uses for painter’s tape! Its super thin design makes it perfect for all sorts of delicate tasks that require precision, accuracy and control – making it one of our favorite tools in our workshop arsenal! Next time you're looking for a versatile tool for any project – grab some painters' tape – you won't regret it!


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