When you use painters tape, you need to level your printer with the tape applied. You need to relevel if you change the tape type.
It's not any blue tape that printers love. There are basically two factors that make a tape useful:
- It has to stick during printing.
- Its surface has to allow the filament to stick to it.
Let's look at some different tapes and their suitability - from my own experience.
The original blue tape is actually ScotchBlue for delicate surfaces by 3M. It has a good surface to stick to and at the same time an adhesive that does not degrade to unsuitability by heating. The delicate surface one is just as good as the all surfaces type. But don't use the outdoor type, it is sealed too much.
FrogTape has an adhesive that has no problems with heating, the surface is sometimes a little smoother. Its green variant is about as useful as ScotchBlue, while the yellow variant is easier to remove - which can be an issue when the printhead is not calibrated correctly.
Generic painters tape
Generic painters tape is a can of worms - there are so many different ones it is hard to describe. I have had very good off-yellow rolls from the dollar store of the 'fine surface' type - as in the tape had a fine surface - and their adhesive was good and didn't degrade too much under heat. The followup roll was a little thinner of material and released under heat so it can be a hit and miss - it's ok for starting out though.
I also tried a roll of UHU painters tape of the easy remove type and it was horrible, as it didn't want to stick after the nozzle went over it once even on an unheated bed.
Generic blue colored tape
I even tried two blue colored tapes from different dollar/hobby stores. One was ok-ish and had a similar result as the good dollar store tape in look, but left a blue shadow on the base of the print after two or three prints. The other was showing similar behavior to other mild-adhesive/easy peel tapes.
It's not color that matters, it is the formulation. If you must use blue tape, spend the extra bucks for quality. Some bloggers compared other tapes, tested ScotchBlue vs Kapton, discussed the benefits of either, discussed the ScotchBlue tape in depth.
While in general, I prefer to print on the surface of my (blue) BuildTak (clone), I occasionally whip out painters tape on an unheated surface for very delicate prints: I remove the print together with the tape from the surface, which allows better handling. Sacrificing a layer of tape only costs some cents after all while breaking a print is hours and filament for much more money wasted.