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Masking Paper! How To Protect Your Car From Overspray

Dec 5, 2007
Masking paper is a tightly bonded, poly-coated paper designed specifically for consumer use in repainting and refinishing automobiles. The use of this product ensures the highest quality results by protecting the automobile from paint penetration, seep-through and overspray.

Newspaper, which was once widely used when painting cars proved too porous for this purpose and often resulted in paint bleed-through. The poly coating in masking paper offers complete protection for the surfaces it is applied to if it is applied correctly. Masking products provide the maximum penetration resistance from the harsh solvents used in automobile sealers, lacquers, enamel paints and clear coat products. It eliminates dust contamination from fibers and performs well, even during wet sanding. Masking products easily withstand assaults from the powerful exhaust fans used to dry the automobiles after painting.

Masking paper must be carefully applied to all non-painted surfaces and secured in place by masking tape designed for this purpose. These products are available in a variety of widths to fit any job. Narrow tape is best suited for applying around curves. Wide versions are more suitable for quickly covering large areas of the automobile. A variety of tools such as a masking paper dispenser, speed up the job and simplify the application process. Masking dispensers are available as hand-held implements or sophisticated multi-roll dispensers.

Protected surfaces must be completely dry and free of silicones, lubricants, dust, rust and other surface contaminants before masking paper and masking tape are applied. Unless curved surfaces are being masked the tape should not be stretched. Simply lay it on the surface to be protected and apply tape over the edge of the paper. It should overlap both the area to be painted and the area to be taped. Then, using a sharp, single-side razor blade, cut the tape along the line where the two areas should be divided and remove the tape over the area to be painted.

When covering trim, masking paper is not required. Select a masking tape that is wide enough to completely cover the trim components. When taping a door handle, for instance, apply a wide piece of masking tape to the upper area of the handle first, smoothing the tape by hand to prevent any ripples or ridges. Then apply a second piece of tape to cover the lower side of the handle, slightly overlapping the first piece. Apply masking tape to chrome strips, grills, weatherstripping, decorative emblems and antennas in the same manner.

When masking bumpers, 12-inches wide is efficient for the job. Protecting grills is easy when masking paper is extended well inside the engine area to prevent overspraying the radiator and engine. Letters and emblems can present a problem that is easily resolved by using narrow widths (1/4 inch) of tape, though when possible, it is best to remove emblems. Headlights and taillights can also be easily masked using three-to-six-inch sections.

Two layers are recommended for covering windshields. Begin masking a windshield by first applying a running length of masking tape around the windshield trim or the glass itself. Attach masking paper to the lower portion of the windshield and then apply a top piece to the windshield that overlaps the bottom piece. Masking in this way prevents water and debris from running down over the paper onto an uncovered area. Do not remove it until the newly applied paint is dry.

When covering a panel for a two-toned paint job, select paper that is slightly wider than the area to be covered. Apply masking tape to one edge of the paper and apply the taped edge to the car body. Then fold it to the required width and tape it into place.
About the Author
Jason has been in the construction equipment and industrial sales business for over 10 years. He owns and operates Red Hill Supply to better serve the automotive and industrial industries. - Automotive Tools.
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