Thoughts on Masking for Sharp Edges

Here’s a few thoughts and tips regrading the use of masking agents (i.e., tape) for making sharp lines with oils.


This was good! I use painters tape (Canada) which is also low-tack, but I hadn’t burnished down the edges. I will try this. I also liked the scotch tape idea but just wonder if it leaves behind any residue or not.

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While I think that all tape has the potential to leave some adhesive residue, I’ve only really seen it with “scotch-type” tape.

Post-it notes also work great on panels (I haven’t tried them on canvas). They peel away cleanly and are repositionable. But they’re best used for quick edges because they lose their tack quickly and can release from the surface. As Anthony mentioned with using tape, make sure to lightly burnish the tacky edge to achieve a good seal (I use the round end of a brush).


I sometimes use a clear self adhesive foil which is originally intended to cover books. The one that I am using is removable and can be repositioned. The nice part is that you can cut it to any shape. The foil is quite tacky and if it feels too sticky I dab the adhesive side with my fingers before putting it on the canvas. I had one piece on my painting for over a month and there were no problems. I haven’t noticed any residue being left behind.

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I usually usually use the blue masking tape used in this video. I didn’t know that it was called painter’s tape. This is very helpful and gave me a lot to think about as I am approaching the “Pressure Scales” assignment. I like that name better. Much appreciated.

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