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Old 02-03-2007, 12:45 AM
SHIFTY101EASY's Avatar
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Masking Off...?

does anyone have any tips or a guide or a step by step on masking off a car for spraying? like where to start and where to finish?

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Old 02-03-2007, 01:38 AM
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Here's a couple of links with some info that may help...
http://www.thebugshop.org/bsfqpnt.htm#Masking
http://www.carcraft.com/howto/24820/
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:04 AM
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While I never worked as a car painter i have painted lots of cars and masking is real Art,it's not as easy as you think.
First and best advice I can give is to go to the best auto paint supplier in your area and buy the most expensive tape they have.
Nothing is worse than having your tape unstick during a paint job...!!!
Second...I always use plastic auto mask instead of paper,it's faster ,comes with one edge already taped and because you are going to remask a car up to 6 times when you paint it ,it comes away clean and never leaks.
I only use Brown Wrapping paper which comes in large rolls.I go to a commercial paper supply place for that,it's cheaper than buying it from a paint supplier.
Thirdly..Never use Newspaper,it contains solvents from the printing process which WILL affect your paint.
Now the hard part...when you mask a car ,ALWAYS lay a line of tape down along the edge where you do not want paint.( I mask chrome and other bright trim before I start sanding or stripping to prevent damage) .
You stick your masking paper or plastic to this tape line with another layer of tape.
Never try just using one line of tape to save money.Buy the tape in bulk and get various sizes.e.g 1/2" for the first line,3/4" for the second line.1/4" and smaller for flames etc.
The average car will need at least 12 rolls if you are painting the full load from etch to clear coat.
Wash the car completely if you are painting a roller as opposed to a shell or chassis.
I lay a line of tape right along the inside of the rockers if I am painting the whole car,I then run paper or plastic to the floor and seal off the under side of the car (which is really dirty no matter how clean you think it is) to the floor.i wet the floor and the paper sticks to the wet bits.really simple!.
A full mask will take 4-6 hours of non stop work so don't think it will take 1/2 hour then straight into the painting bit..
When doing a body which may still have interior parts such as dash boards and headliner i start at the rear left door opening and tape it up from the inside .On a four door I work around the car until I reach the drivers door .i usually make a shape that fits each door then it's simple matter to just tape it at the top ,let it hang then tape it place.
If you are doing etch,primer paint ,you MUST remove the mask each time you do a coat,if not unstuck primer etc will ALWAYS blow off and end up in the finish color.
If you are in an area where civic authorities are big on enviro waste,be aware that you are going to generate a lot of paint covered garbage.make certain before you start you have somewhere discrete to dispose of it.
When you are removing the mask make sure you remove all masking tape too,otherwise it sticks like cr@p to a blanket..if you do forget to remove it,it can be easily got off after the painting is finished by rubbing the tape with Jonson's baby oil.Finally one last piece of Advice,ALWAYS GO SLOW,when you have finished take 1/2 an hour to go over the car looking for leaks in the mask.
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Old 02-03-2007, 04:15 AM
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awesome responses, thanks guys.

now im wondering if its really necessary to have one of those paper/tape dispenser setups or just do it the old fashion way? does anyone know where i can get one on the cheap? in that link the guy mentions harbor freight for a dispenser and two rolls of paper for like $32 or something which seems incredibly good but id even take something for a bit more if it would make life easier...but in the end i'd prob rather be able to afford the primer on my young persons budget and do the masking the less than easy way than get some $60-70+ roll holder....
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Old 02-03-2007, 05:12 AM
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As far as the masking machine question, they will save you alot of time and work. In all reality, you can make a simple holder, but for what you can buy them for, not really worth it to me.

Quote:
First and best advice I can give is to go to the best auto paint supplier in your area and buy the most expensive tape they have.
I don't believe that. I buy a quality brand of masking tape usually, but not the most expensive. You can easily spend $200 or more on masking tape alone at that rate, and it isn't necessary.

I buy 18" rolls of the white masking paper from the local paint jobber for about $10 a roll. It is actually about $20 for a sleeve here. A sleeve is 36", so you get 2 rolls of 18", or 6 rolls of 6" for that price. I use both sizes when masking. The brown paper that I have seen has too much lint type of fibers for me. I also have a roll of masking plastic for covering large areas, like most of the vehicle, when painting just an area. You do not want plastic close to where you are spraying, as the overspray from the passes lands on it. The paint won't stick well to the plastic, and will blow off the next coat, landing on the fresh paint. I always have atleast 18" of paper before plastic.

I do outline everything with tape before applying paper. I do this for a couple of reasons. First, you want to make sure that the tape is stuck there well. With the paper attached to it, there is tension there. Once it is outlined, you can go back with the pre-taped paper, and not have the tension on the edge, wanting to pull the tape off.

One pointer that was given to me back in the late 60's was. "You are better off to miss a spot, and get paint where you don't want it, than to tape over a spot that needs paint".

It is an art, and will take some time, but is doable.

Aaron
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:08 AM
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I do a lot of what has been mentioned but have a few variations on some. First off, going and buying "the most expensive" tape may not guarantee anything. We don't know what store Shifty is going to walk into and God only knows what some store may have on their shelf. If you did a national average of course there is no one more expensive than 3M, and if you use 3M you WILL be using the "best". But there is one cheaper tape that I will use, JUST ONE, American tape. American tape is without a doubt, equal or better than 3M at quite a savings. That is IT, I wouldn't use ANY other tape. Junk tape, or even just under par performing tape can REALLY cost you in the end.

Shifty, the reason why all of us have mentioned tape, it is a VERY, VERY important factor in a quality job. Cheap tape could stick too much, too little, dry out, all kinds of things. If you leave this thing masked up for too long, or it is too hot you could have tape that WILL NOT come off. Quality tape has a LOT more "wiggle room" for mistakes and poor masking skills. DO NOT cheap out and get some junk. Masking tape is expensive, it blows me away how expensive. Mostly because the preppers at work leave rolls lying around, they use WAY too much tape it makes me sick to think of the waste. I haven't bought tape in a long time and I walked into the paint store a while back to get TWO rolls of "fine line" 3M Blue tape and found that I would need to take out a loan. I got American instead and it still cost me about $10 a roll for 1/8" and 3/8" wide, TWENTY BUCKS for two rolls!!!!

Bite the bullet and buy American or 3M and you will be in good shape. I am sure there may be others that will work just fine, but around this part of the country I have only seen the American to be on par with 3M.

On using "Butcher" paper, that can cause you a LOT of trouble. As Aaron said it has a tremendous amount of lint, lint to come off on your paint. No, again, masking paper is not cheap, but it is necessary to do a good job. Even 3M's cheapie paper will allow the urethane solvents to bleed thru. Use the better, more exspensive paper like 3M "White" is good money spent. There are products specifically designed for automotive painting that cost more, but are simply worth it.

On the plastic, if you use quality plastic DESIGNED for automotive painting paint WILL stick to it. When I was doing that stuff everyday, I didn't use ANY paper what so ever, only plastic. "Bag" the car, cut on the edge of the panel that was being painted and mask down the plastic right there, that was it! I LOVE plastic. A good quality (and there are a number of them) like 3M "Paintable plastic sheeting" # 06739 is VERY good money spent if you plan on shooting "spot jobs" where most of the car needs to be covered.

Masking machine, heck, I masked too many cars to count without one. They are a BIG time saver, I have a masking "tree" that has four different rolls from 18" down to 3" that I won't live without these days. But it is CERTAINLY not necessary to have, it is only a luxury

Mine is similar to this one.

We use ones like this at work.
I do not paint or prep at work but use them once in a while. If I was in need of a masking machine at work every day, I would toss these in the garbage, I mean RIGHT NOW, toss them. They are JUNK compared to the masking tree I have at home in the garage. These don't roll easy, they mess up the tape all the time, they are just JUNK in my opinion.

But again, you don't have to have one. This is how I get away without it when I have to. I get some clean area like the window or nice clean paint on the car. I lay the paper on it, then stick the tape on the half on the paper, half on the glass or paint, and then run it down the paper keeping it half on half off all the way to the other end of the paper just as the masking machine does. I do this WITHOUT pressing it down hard on the painted surface, but pressing it down hard on the paper. I then peel it off the nice clean surface and stick it where I need to mask something up.

This is again where I differ from a lot of guys. I DO NOT mask around the panel or window or what ever first. I put the paper covering the majority of what ever I am masking up to within a half inch or so of the edge. I THEN mask the edge with tape. I started doing this years ago on parts that I wanted to unmask while the paint was still wet. Like on a "hard line" mask on a two tone or masking off a black area on a black molded plastic bumper or something like that. Then just got into the habit of doing it this way everwhere and it works very well for me.

You see, on those "hard line" masked areas, you want to remove the tape BEFORE the paint cures. This way you peel the tape off and the paint will flow down that tiny amount to leave you with a nice soft line instead of that dreaded "curb" you get leave it to fully cure. Well, if you are going to unmask that edge, you can't be pulling paper all off while the paint on the car is still wet! So you mask up to within about a half inch of the line and THEN a single piece of masking tape (or even closer if it is REALLY a hard line and you use "Fine line" tape at the edge). This way, right after the last coat of clear, you hang the gun up, walk over and pull that tape off being careful not to drop it in the wet clear and walk out leaving the car still fully masked.

Anyway, so I got into the habit of doing this on all masking. It works GREAT for a number of reasons. First off, if my tape gets messed up during the prepping process like wiping with wax and grease remover or something, I can replace JUST that tape on the edge without messing up my paper. Second, I can unmask at the end very easy and safely pulling up that edge first instead of fighting with a giant ball of masking paper while pulling up tape right on that critical edge next to my new paint. Third, if I want to wet sand and reshoot something I can remask that edge easy without messing up the paper. So it it works VERY well for me to mask the outer edge of the window or what ever last.

Brian
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:58 AM
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shifty,
your doing metal patch work, just need to spray epoxy at this point

go visit the $3500 paint job guy, buy a 25' length of his "car bagging poly" off his 250' roll, typically 1.25mil hi density poly.....$5?

cover/bag the whole car and tape it down secure

with a razor blade cut out just the area and a little more that you want to spray, just tape the cut poly to the area and shoot it....

move on to the next repair area and cut away the poly there and tape it down

ha! when your done the car looks like a big chunk of " epoxyed tape holes" swiss cheese

ps:get EVERYTHING out of the interior and trunk or you will be wondering "did I leave it in the car"......

great post on final taping Brian
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:51 AM
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masking before painting

Hi,all you guys covered the masking very well,ive painted a number of boats and yachts,and the ONLY tape i will use is 3-M BLUE tape. i can leave it on the boat (or car) for a month or longer,if i have to( some yachts have taken me 1 1/2 months to paint) the blue tape comes off with no problem.HINT, i wrap masking tape around 2 fingers ,maybe 3 wraps,then i put the tape on,and rub it hard with those 2 fingers,that way i dont friction burn those fingers. im boatbob2
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red65mustang
shifty,
your doing metal patch work, just need to spray epoxy at this point

go visit the $3500 paint job guy, buy a 25' length of his "car bagging poly" off his 250' roll, typically 1.25mil hi density poly.....$5?

cover/bag the whole car and tape it down secure

with a razor blade cut out just the area and a little more that you want to spray, just tape the cut poly to the area and shoot it....

move on to the next repair area and cut away the poly there and tape it down

ha! when your done the car looks like a big chunk of " epoxyed tape holes" swiss cheese

ps:get EVERYTHING out of the interior and trunk or you will be wondering "did I leave it in the car"......

great post on final taping Brian
well the car is bare metal and completely taken apart...i was going to spray the unibody at one time and then fenders, valances, doors at one time.....im not like spot priming.
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