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Painter’s tape is one of those incredibly useful inventions that everyone is familiar with and no one is using to its fullest potential. Sure, painter’s tape—when used properly—can make painting (or caulking) with crisp, clean lines effortless. But pause for a moment and think about the triumph of painter’s tape: It possesses this ideal level of stickiness that allows it to grab hold of most surfaces with a reasonably reliable persistence, but it’s not so sticky that it requires a hammer drill and some sweat equity to remove it.

Add in the ability to write on it, and you have a recipe for something that is useful in a lot more situations than just painting. Everyone should have a roll of painter’s tape in their toolbox and/or kitchen utility drawer, because you can get a lot of mileage out of that stuff.

Paint-can spout

First, a quick extra paint-related use for painter’s tape: keeping your cans of paint clean. Yes, you can buy a plastic pourer for your paint can, but why bother when you have a roll of painter’s tape? Just attach two strips of tape in an arrow shape on top of your can and you can pour all the paint you want without getting a mess into the grooves or drips all over the label.

Temporary labels

The most obvious non-painting use of painter’s tape is as a temporary label. Professional cooks use tape like this all the time to label containers of ingredients, and so can you. Cut a piece of tape to label leftovers in plastic containers, to organize your refrigerator, to label jars of loose screws or other tiny things, to mark your lunch at work—just about anything. This avoids having to cross out permanent marker or scrub off the sticky remnants

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