This tape 3M Masking Tape, Scotch Masking Tapes, 3M green masking tape, auto masking tape
that you mentioned in your opening thread will serve you just fine, generally. Sometimes you may not need, or want, its holding power and would prefer a more low tack tape like 3M orginal blue painters tape.
Yes, I can find 3M green auto tape available at about 4 local Wal-Marts, though they usually only have a few rolls. It's near the automotive bondos and other 3M automotive products. O'Riely's as well as Advanced Autoparts carry it also. It's usually cheaper here at AG when you catch it on sale. This is a fine tape, and aside from the regular brand of blue 3M tape (crtitical key words there) that can be found just about anywhere like Lowes, paint stores, Ace Hardware, etc., those are the only tapes that I use.
I haven't tried the Meguiar's tape yet, but if you'll pay close attention to the many photo's posted in articles by Mr. Phillips, he is using only 3 types of masking tape and some vynil tape. It appears
he uses the Meguiar's tape (more recent since it came out) as well as plain ol' blue painters tape and then the green 3M Automotive tape you mentioned, and now some vynil tape. Please correct that if I'm mistaken, Mr. Phillips.
The green 3M automotive tape has served me well in what little detailing I've done, so has the original blue painters tape by 3M. The green sticks very well, and comes of easily.
The original blue will stick lightly and come off easily most often, but the ends can roll up on occasion that I've found. It doesn't like moisture and if left on over night with the dew falling on it, it will soften and become a nightmare to remove. Don't ask me how I know this, but I avoided (luckily) a potential disaster one morning and removed this tape before the frost melted. LOL! There are some substrates that I've found on cars/trucks where this tape has a bit of trouble sticking where you need it...some plastics, but it's generally a good tape.
I'm not sure what 3M's actual intent was for the 3M original blue painters tape. From my experience it does a horrible job at keeping paint from bleeding through, and I don't think that was it's intent at all. I tend to think that original blue painters masking tape was a 3M low tack, ease of removal alternative of the day, compared to standard brown masking tape that once applied could hardly be removed on things like walls, etc., and was mainly designed just to somewhat provide a contrast where paint line was to stop, which it doesn't do well, imo. I also think that a better (compared to regular brown masking tape) paint "edge" by the blue tape was a byproduct of the different adhesive used in that tape. Of course, I'm just making an guestimation and have no actual proof of this from 3M.
For painting, and for a long time, all we've been offered was the original blue painters tape. That is until recently, and now 3M is offereing their Edge-loc line of tapes. These tapes were created specifically to create sharp paint lines on certain surfaces without any bleeding through of the paint. If you read about these tapes, their adhesive actually forms a "wall" at the edge of the tape where liquid makes contact with the glue. The way I understand it is that this glue and reaction quickly takes place and swells on contact with liquid to form and almost impenatrable barrier. These tapes are supposed to realeas easily. Perhaps on some surfaces they do, but I've tried them on paint and I will NOT be using them again. Below is a link as to why. WARNING!! Scotch Blue Edglock tape (Made by 3M)
Then there is Frog Tape, which if my memory serves me well enough, is supposed to act similarly to 3M's edge-loc. This tape can be found at Lowes, as well as other places. I have some, but I've yet to try it. Quite honestly, since I've had good luck with two of the same tapes that Mr. Phillips uses (3M origianl blue painters tape, 3M green automotive tape, Meguiar's) I'm going to stick with them, and then add the Meguiar's tapes to my arsenal and forget about the others. (Rustoleum makes an orange automotive tape also and it can be found at Wal-Mart near the auto/rv supplies. Never tried it.)
Aside from all of the above there are some tips to remember when using these tapes.
1. Mr. Phillips has an article on how to properly and carefully remove masking tape so as not to pull paint from the metal. It's just a precautionary, and it's a good one, imo.
2. Only when absolutely necessary will I ever completely tape off an entire car again. I've had too many problems (in a short time frame of detailing) where I had trouble removing tape, some could have been potential disasters and thank God I avoided them. I plan on only taping off what areas I am working on at the time because I mainly work outside. I think working conditions have a great effect on how tape does, or does not, come off.
3. I will only use fresh tape. I've had issues with tape that is more than 6-8 months old. I've made the comparisons to prove this to myself as well by comparing some old rolls with new rolls and I have noticed a difference. Whether anyone else has noticed this or not, I can't say. So, I don't my much tape in advance. Sure, I keep some on hand so I have it, but again, I don't further plan on fully taping a vehicle very often.
I only offer my thoughts and experiences for others to consider. I am in no way claiming to be a tape "guru". While I've used many, many rolls of tape in my days, by comaparison it's a small of amount compared to the many miles of tape that I'm sure others have used.