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Can I use tape in mixed media works?

8 thoughts on “Can I use tape in mixed media works?”

    • Hello Lisa, it is also important to note that the back of tape may have some sort of release agent to prevent the tape from sticking to itself permanently. This may affect adhesion of paints to the tape, so testing is recommended to see if it can work for you. In our article on oils and tape, this affected the applications in interesting ways. There may be some benefit to acrylics being layered over tape, if adhesion is good, but this type of sandwiching will not make a tape more archival. Acrylic mediums and paints do not have UV filtering, so depending upon the application you might want to use a varnish to reduce exposure to UV, which can lead to these changes we described in the article.

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  1. I learned about using tape at the Elizabeth O’Neill School (of decorative painting) in NYC, that it’s best to remove tape used for masking before the paint has begun to dry. The reason cited was that removing the tape as soon as possible will prevent partially dry bits still attached to the edges of the tape from tearing the fresh paint before it has finished setting. Think as a magnifying glass sees.

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    • Libby we agree, in our experience pulling the tape while the paint is still wet will give you the cleanest looking lines. If acrylics dry they form a film, which can tear or pull with the tape when it is lifted. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Thank you for this!! Ive been looking for an acid free tape that could be left in a collage once it’s been painted. I have been toying with the idea of painting m then sealing and varnishing with UV protectant. but good to see the tests you ran!!

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    • Hello Cheryl, We are glad you found the article to be of interest! There are acid free tapes used in bookbinding and art conservation, but we have not explored or tested them. When considering their use, remember that putting a coating on top would not help with future failed adhesion unless the coating has penetrated the tape and connected to the layer beneath. Happy creating! Cathy

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