How to Mask a Car for Paint
Masking a car properly times a lot of time, but it is an important part of a paint job. If not masked correctly, then you will have overspray, paint in the jambs, and many other problems which will make it noticable the car has been painted.
The video will give you some tips for masking.
If you are having problems viewing this video, I added the transcript below.
- Hey, YouTube, this is Donnie Smith, and we're back with another Eastwood video series. This is the series where we're working on Mustang. We're changing the color on it, we're going from start to finish, and we're showing you all the steps that we took to complete this car. Now we have finally, finally got this car in the booth. I know it's taken a long time, but it is in the booth, and we're gonna start masking it and getting it ready to paint. In this video, we're gonna show you the steps we took to mask this car. Now we all know that masking takes up a lotta time. I mean, it's very time consuming, very important, you wanna do a good mask job, but it does take a lotta time. So we sped this up a little bit. You know, I'm wantin' to show you all the steps that we took, but I don't want just to drag this on forever, so I did speed it up a little bit, so it may look a little bit choppy, but let's go ahead and get started. All right, so we got the car in the booth, and we already washed it, of course, with soap and water. Make sure it's good and clean, you always wanna do that. I know I stress that in the videos, but you do want, and this one's gonna be black, and that even shows every little piece of dirt. So make sure that you clean it really good. Wash it with soap and water, pull it in the booth. Now what we're doing is we're wipin' it down with some wax and grease remover, and that's just to help remove any more contaminants that it may have. But really, what's really important right now, all of your edges where you're gonna be back masking or doing any type of masking, in the jambs and area like that, you wanna make sure that they are super clean. And especially that wheel well flange there. I mean, that gets so dirty. So when you're washin' it, make sure you try to wash that really good, and then with wax and grease remover. Because if you don't, the tape's not gonna stick well. And when the air pressure hits it with the spray gun, it blows the tape off, and then you're gonna have a messy job, and you don't want overspray it up in your wheel well area or in your trunk or in your jamb or anything like that. So it really is important to clean the edges that the tape is gonna stick to real real good. And they're just goin' around cleanin' it. And again, you can't clean a car enough, and that's where a really good paint job starts. If you don't wash it good, you don't prep it right, it really doen't matter how well you spray, so. Okay, now we are startin' to do some of the masking, and this is a back mask technique, where I'm puttin' the tape on the back side of these flanges and goin' 'round the wheel well area. We'll be goin' 'round the side glass. Anywhere I can back mask, it's probably what I do 'cause it provides a really nice clean job when you unmask it. Another thing is, like on that trunk, they're masking the back sides of those holes. Wanna be sure and do that, and it's a lot easier to do before you get it all, the jamb, and all that masked off, and shut it. If you can get to the back side of it, it's probably gonn' be a lot easier than tryin' to mask it afterwards. So, just somethin' to kinda keep in mind before you start shutting these doors. Because once they're shut and masked off, like the jambs, if you open 'em sometime, that's gonna mess your masking job up, so, you can't really open and shut 'em. So gettin' all those holes masked off in the trunk and then they will mask the trunk off, you know the jamb, and then they will shut it. And now we're gonna do the jamb on this door, this door edge jamb. And what I'm using here, now this is some transition tape. 3M makes it, it's just a thin, clear tape that has that adhesive in the center. And it makes a very soft line, I mean, it works really good. The line's almost invisible, and works real, real good. And, after you put that on, you're gonna still need to do something to keep paint from gettin' inside the jamb. That's just for the edge, that real soft edge. And you can use foam tape, like I'm usin' here. You could mask back from that with masking tape and paper. That would work well too. Also, in another video, there's some new product out there called tube tape, and that seemed to work well too. But you can use just this foam tape around these edges and not use that transition tape, but it doesn't do as clean of a job. It's a little bit more noticeable, your edges. And you know, we just painted all these jambs, so last thing we want's to have a real hard edge or some overspray to get inside there and make it look bad. Now these front edges, they're usually a little bit harder 'cause it's kinda hard to get in there, and we'll usually do is open the front door and tape that to the inside of that fender. And that's gonna push that tape out, so we'll hafta get something, like a credit card or somethin' thin that you can push that foam tape in there. I'm usin' some keys here. You'd wanna be careful not to scratch it with a key. But you wanna get that pushed in there, or else that's gonna leave a noticeable edge where the paint wasn't applied because that foam tape was stickin' outside the edge of it, so. All right, now we're just continuin' some back masking around the window, and gettin' that done, just goin' around the car. Got several of us in here workin' at one time, just gettin' this, gettin' it done. And usually, that's what I will do. I'll do the, you wanna do the holes, like, I think in this video, we forgot to do this lock cylinder some reason. It'd be easier to do that before than try to do it from the outside. I can't remember why we did this one from the outside. It can be done, but that's what we're doin' here. You can just kinda stick it in there and tape to the inside edge of that hole, and then push it in. That's another way. I don't know if we could not get to that. I can't remember why I'm doin' it this way. Another thing for those small holes, somethin' you can think about, those foam earplugs, those work well. You squeeze 'em together, stick 'em in those small holes, and that will seal it up real nice 'cause they expand, and they'll kinda fill in the hole. And we're gettin' that vent area in the back masked off. Again, you wanna make sure all that's masked off 'cause you don't want overspray on the inside of the car. You wanna make sure you get all that masked off. Again, this takes a lotta time. It's not a quick process, but if you want a nice, clean job, you need to mask it properly. Okay, we got it masked off, and now what we're doing is I'm working on the windshield molding 'cause it sets right up against the paint. So we're usin' a special masking product there. It's a piece o' plastic that has adhesive on it, and you stick it up under the molding and then peel it off where it sticks. You can kinda fold it back on itself. And you peel it off, and it'll actually lift that edge of the molding up. And that does a couple things, it allows the paint to get up under the edge, but it also prevents bridging. That's where the clear coat or any of the coatings, especially the clear coat, it'll kinda make a bridge from the masking tape to the roof or whatever adjacent panel you're working on, and it kinda fills that gap in. And that is problem 'cause when you go to unmask it, it may not tear real even, and you might pull a chuck of clear off. So it's best to try to prevent that. And you can see right here we're workin' on this corner. Sometimes with this tape, you're gonna hafta cut some slits in it so you can bend it around the corners. It works well, but it can be a little difficult, 'specially gettin' around these corners and things. Takes little time, but, like I said, the end results is what matters. And that bridging, you know, that's something that you just absolutely don't want. And, if you're doin' the restoration and you have the windshield and all that out, that's even better, then you can mask the inside of the flange like we did lot of the other places, but we didn't do that with this project. We didn't take the windshield out. So we're just finishing gettin' it masked off. We outlined everything, did the jambs, came back and filled in the areas that we don't want painted with paper, so that paint don't get on it, and you wanna go around, make sure everything's sealed up, that there's no gaps that you missed where paint could get through. You wanna make sure that that's all tight and not gonna get overspray on areas you don't want. And we've got a lotta stuff on that roof, masking products, probably shouldn't have all that on there, but we are gonna clean this again and again. It seems like you do the same thing over and over, which you do. But if you want a nice clean job, you gonna hafta wipe it down a couple times. So yeah, this footage, I've had for awhile. Just now getting time to edit it and get it posted for you. This job has been done for a long time. We just, I'm runnin' behind on the editing part. Okay, we have got it all masked off. We're went around and made sure everything looked good. Cleaned the booth, cleaned off everything off the floor of the car, wipin' it down, and notice they have gloves on,'cause from this point forward, you do not wanna touch the car. Your hands can contaminate the surface. So we're gonna wipe it down again. We're gonna tack it, and now, this car be ready for some base coat, well, we're gonna seal it, base coat it, and clear coat it, so. Finally gonna get to those stages. As always, thanks for takin' time out of your busy schedule to watch these videos. I hope it was helpful, hope you learned something. 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