The Mix Tapes


There will be times when a sticky situation is met head on with gusto thanks to the availability of a wide range of pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes. Listed here are the top 5 adhesive tapes that are handy to have around the home. I call this the Mix-Tapes.

1. Cellophane tape, also known by its brand name Scotch tape, is one of the most popular tapes utilized widely around the home and office. Use in light sticky situations like gift wrapping, sealing envelopes and repairing rips. Cellophane tape is available in a variety of widths and styles such as transparent, glossy and double-sided. This tape is not recommended for the permanent sticking of posters and other paper items to walls if you want to protect the surface underneath. Consider instead Washi tape, mounting tape or poster putty for such purposes.

2. Like the name implies, masking tape is used to mask and protect an area while it’s being painted. Its paper like texture is easy to tear and write on making it useful around the home for labelling containers and supplies, etc. Opt instead for surface-specific masking tapes such as Scotch-Blue or Frog Tape for paint jobs but keep in mind, some masking tapes have a shelf life.

Feature wall using painter's tape
A geometric design painted on a wall using Frog Tape.

3. Duct tape is made from a strong fabric bonded to polyethylene and was intended for sealing and waterproofing metal duct work. Ironically that is the one intended use duct tape is not suitable for. Some builders in the United States are even prohibited from using it. However, it’s toughness and high-tack adhesiveness makes it an easy go-to for other quick fix-it repairs around the home. Originally designed in grey, duct tape is available in a variety of colours and patterns.

Art installation using masking tape
2011 NYC art installation made with discarded furniture covered in duct tape.

4. Electrical tape is made of slightly stretchy PVC vinyl or plastic, backed with a pressure sensitive rubber-type adhesive. It’s used to insulate electrical wires and other materials that conduct electricity. Use for protecting tears on cords, wire splices and providing extra insulation on electrical cords. The most common and original colour is black but it’s now available in a variety of other colours making it useful for colour-coding your electronic and cable wires.

5. Packing tape is a pressure-sensitive tape commonly used for closing or sealing packages and corrugated fiberboard boxes. Most common colours are transparent or tan but other colours and pattern are available which can make for fun and creative packages. Use tape in a dispenser or tape gun, to save you the frustration of finding the beginning of the tape every time. Buy in a multi-pack if you’re planning to do any moving as you’ll go through a few and misplace the one you had on hand many times.

Patterned Packing Tape
Subway map patterned packaging tape.

Any other pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes you find good to keep handy around the home?


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