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Automotive Paint Masking Techniques


A great auto paint job can be ruined by unsightly paint edges or over-spray caused by ineffective masking techniques. In professional body shops, auto preparers use masking tape, masking paper and polythene sheeting to isolate different areas of a vehicle. This helps produce a neater job that requires no detailing work once the paint has been applied. Different techniques are used on different parts of a car to achieve a professional result.

Masking Trim

Isolate window trim rubber and moldings with 1-inch-wide masking tape. Pull back a small section of tape and apply it to one side of the trim. Keep one finger on the end of the applied tape to stop it from peeling away while using the other hand to release more tape from the roll. Move a finger along the length of the trim to lay down the released tape, making sure the edge overlaps the trim very slightly without touching the surface to be painted. Continue until the trim is completely covered before tucking in the overlapped edges with a plastic spreader.