Masking is a necessary part of car painting. It’s not complicated, but proper masking will help you avoid getting paint on the wrong places of your car.
Before masking, you want to clean the car with soap and water. The soap you use should be made specifically for washing cars. After washing, wipe down the vehicle using a solvent to remove any grease, oil, and silicone.
Masking tape and paper considerations
Start by determining exactly which areas need to be masked. For best results, choose a good quality masking tape and masking paper. The tape should be easy to tear and release. You can use foam masking tape for areas involving gaps, such as around doors, jambs, trunks, hoods, sunroofs, headlights, and taillights. You can use trim masking tape on trim areas.
Here’s how to mask your car:
- Unwind and apply your masking tape under the edges of an area to be masked.
- Leave half of the tape’s adhesive surface sticking out beyond the edge.
- Apply the bottom edge of the masking paper to this exposed edge of tape.
- Apply another strip of tape on the top edge of the same paper.
- You can tape around the edges of windshields and windows and apply the paper, using the back masking process.
- Small areas (such as door handles) can be masked by directly applying tape.
- Be sure you apply a skirt of masking paper around the bottom edge of the car to prevent overspray on any of the under areas.
Additional tips and tricks for masking a car:
- Use foam earplugs to plug small holes. Foam earplugs work well to for this because they are able to expand.
- Applying the masking tape flat onto the surface will help you prevent paint bleeds.
- Do not use newspaper for masking, because the ink can transfer to glass and metal, making a mess. Cheap paper might stick to the surface of the car.
- Check your masking tape and paper to be sure there are no holes that paint can get through.
- Tape down any folds or creases in the paper to prevent overspray and dirt from blowing out when spraying fresh paint.
You’ll be glad you took the time to mask your car properly, because your paint job will look professional.