Masking Up For Spray Painting
Following surface preparation for spray painting take a few minutes to carefully look at the job that is going to be spray painted and identify any surfaces that you don't want covered in paint or overspray.
Any surface areas where overspray is not wanted will need to be protected by masking these surfaces off with tape and other types of masking film.
Masking tape is the most common material used to masking prior to spray-painting. Masking tape is available in many different widths and in varying qualities.
Take care not to damage the edges of the rolls of masking tape as this can cause problems feeding the tape off the roll and issues with achieving a straight mask edge.
Broader areas can be covered with drop sheets, newspaper or commercially available masking paper or film rolls.
To make the job easier ensure that all masking material is held in place firmly and cannot blow around once you commence spray painting.
If using water-based paints especially or working outdoors or in humid environments normal masking tape cannot be left in place for very long after it has been exposed to moisture otherwise normal masking tape becomes extremely difficult to remove.
Longer life masking tape products are available which are more waterproof and can be left in place for longer periods.
Before applying any masking tape wipe and dust down the surfaces to ensure good tape adhesion is achieved.
Unroll some tape tape and stick it where you want to start and then unroll to your full reach before sticking the take down again, if masking straight lines, to help make the line of tape as straight as possible.
Press down firmly all the way along the tape to ensure it is stuck firmly. A large volume of air is generated when air spraying and airless sprayers create a lot of velocity which can blow poorly adhered masking materials off the surfaces to be protected.
If working into a corner place a broad knife firmly on top of the tape and tear away to finish cleanly in that corner.
Good quality masking tapes will stretch and can usually be worked easily around tight corners and bends. If it is too difficult or slow to follow the bend properly allow the tape to fall over the surface to be painted and then lightly use a sharp trimming knife to trim the tape back to only cover the surfaces you want protected.
Taking the time to properly mask up before starting any spray-painting job will make the entire spray job easier cleaner and achieve a better end result.
Be careful removing masking tape while the paint is still soft as tears can occur in the coating across the surface that has just been spray painted. Likewise do not wait too long to remove all the masking after the paint has dried otherwise removal can become difficult.