How to work with Plaster Scrim Tape

What is Plaster Scrim Tape?

Plaster-based tape comes in a roll with a blue protective coating on the release liner. It’s used to create a temporary seal or as a masking agent for controlled frisket work. It is essentially painter’s tape with plaster particles suspended in glue, so it can be easily removed from your mosaic surface without damaging the underlying materials.

How does it work?

When you put down your first strip of tape and remove the top layer of paper, you’ll probably notice some plaster residue on your stick – don’t worry! That’s good – your stick will pick up more plaster in the future, resulting in a stronger bond between tiles and stick. The next time you add a strip of tape to your project, the plaster residue should create a seal with the layer below it. And so on. Be careful not to get too much plaster on your stick at one time, or you’ll end up gluing yourself to your work.

What does Plaster Scrim Tape do for me?

Your standard painters’ tape doesn’t do a great job holding tiles in place: if you press down hard enough, eventually, the glue that’s been activated by exposure to air will fail. Plaster Scrim Tape is specially designed for mosaic work and adheres exceptionally well no matter how long you leave the adhesive exposed to ambient humidity. It also cuts easily with scissors and won’t damage grout lines.

When you’re finished with the project, it’s easily removed from the surface of your mosaic without doing any damage or leaving a residue.

What can I use Plaster Scrim Tape for?

Creative uses for Plaster Scrim include:

  • Anytime you need to hold tiles in place while working on a project, like grouting or applying stain
  • As an easy (and temporary) way of masking off entire areas of tile
  • When using clear grout and want to be able to lift individual tiles for touch-ups.

How do I get started using Plaster Scrim Tape?

Step 1: Buy some at your local art supply store. It’s often kept in the mosaic supplies section with other specialty materials, but don’t worry if you can’t find it- many shops will place special orders for you if they don’t have what you need on hand.

Step 2: Have fun! Use your new tool to get creative with your mosaic 🙂

Tips & Tricks

Try to use a single layer of Plaster Scrim Tape where possible because each subsequent layer builds off the residue before it, creating more profound adhesion between tiles and stick. This is especially important when using grout that will be exposed to water.

Plaster Scrim Tape isn’t magical – too much exposure to humidity while still wet can cause problems. Be mindful not to leave your project in an area with high humidity for too long.

Most importantly, as with any new material, be patient and break it in slowly. Don’t expect to wake up tomorrow and suddenly be the master of Plaster Scrim Tape- instead, try a few tests runs first before moving on to essential projects.