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Paint masking tape, without pulling off the paint?

#1
All of my FT paint jobs so far have been pretty simple. I've tried it a couple different ways: painting each part a different color, colored tape, painting one side (leaving the other brown) or even simple painting the whole plane one color. My most recent build is the Simple Scout and I wanted to go a little nicer so I tried some basic white stripes on the wings. I was really happy with how it was turning out until I came to the last step of removing the blue painters tape I used to mask around the white stripe. It pulled up the red paint I had put on the rest of the wings. It looked like:

20190716_103622.jpg

I was going to paint the tail white but I lost steam when it pulled so much paint from the wings. I maidened it anyway and it looks good in the air and the damage can't be seen while flying but I want to find a new technique for masking off sections. I want to go back and fix the red paint that was pulled up. But to do so, I need to mask over the white and I don't want to pull that up in the process.

What I did was:
* Prep the surface with sandpaper
* Take 2" blue painters tape and run it across my jeans to reduce stickyness
* Laid a strait line of tape with that
* Laid tape across the edge of newspaper and stick that down on top of the tape as a second layer to cover it for overspray
* Peeled it up as carefully as possible to prevent peeling the paint at the edge of the tape

What happened was that the paint adhered to the tape even though I tried to make it less sticky. While the edge didn't do too much damage, in some places the tape ripped up all the paint under the entire width of the tape. You can see that on the left wing in the picture. The brown is the width of the 2" tape.

How does everyone else mask designs? If you use tape, what tape do you use and do you do any prep to the tape to reduce paint peeling?
 

FDS

Well-known member
#2
Use an ultra low tack tape, there’s several options from Frog, 3M or hobby companies. Combine that with reduced tack by putting the tape on clothes first and you should reduce the pulling off.
I tend to use Medium or Fine Scotchbrite pads for prep on FT foamboard, followed by a pre paint wipe with either pro panel wipe in a can with a rag or panel wipes that are like a baby wipe deal, both can be got from auto paint stores, this will help your adhesion of the base layer.
I still prefer to do striping on FT foam with either coloured packing tape or sign writers vinyl. It reduces the chances of pulling the paint off. All foamboard is a very tricky surface for paint.
Another trick is to warm the tape with a hairdryer before removing it and not waiting for the paint to fully cure before removing the tape, peel it when the paint is just touch dry. Note that’s the striping layer not the base, see comments below for extra advice on fully curing the base paint.
 
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#3
Whether painting an airplane or a Hot Rod, your surface must be clean before you put paint on it. Simply wiping off the surface with a clean rag will normally suffice. If your masking over an already painted surface, the existing paint must be totally dried before you start. If not the paint will come of in flakes. Fresh paint over a not cured surface can also cause the first layer to shrink and crinkle up. Take your time. Especially during these hot and humid summer months where paint doesn't like to dry. You'll be fine.
 

Keno

Active member
#4
If you do a search (Advanced) on this subject you will find a lot of discussion on it. One thing too add it's very important to let you paint dry completely before you mask, 48 hours or longer and if you live in cold or high humidity I would suggest you increase drying time.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#5
All of my FT paint jobs so far have been pretty simple. I've tried it a couple different ways: painting each part a different color, colored tape, painting one side (leaving the other brown) or even simple painting the whole plane one color. My most recent build is the Simple Scout and I wanted to go a little nicer so I tried some basic white stripes on the wings. I was really happy with how it was turning out until I came to the last step of removing the blue painters tape I used to mask around the white stripe. It pulled up the red paint I had put on the rest of the wings. It looked like:

View attachment 136802

I was going to paint the tail white but I lost steam when it pulled so much paint from the wings. I maidened it anyway and it looks good in the air and the damage can't be seen while flying but I want to find a new technique for masking off sections. I want to go back and fix the red paint that was pulled up. But to do so, I need to mask over the white and I don't want to pull that up in the process.

What I did was:
* Prep the surface with sandpaper
* Take 2" blue painters tape and run it across my jeans to reduce stickyness
* Laid a strait line of tape with that
* Laid tape across the edge of newspaper and stick that down on top of the tape as a second layer to cover it for overspray
* Peeled it up as carefully as possible to prevent peeling the paint at the edge of the tape

What happened was that the paint adhered to the tape even though I tried to make it less sticky. While the edge didn't do too much damage, in some places the tape ripped up all the paint under the entire width of the tape. You can see that on the left wing in the picture. The brown is the width of the 2" tape.

How does everyone else mask designs? If you use tape, what tape do you use and do you do any prep to the tape to reduce paint peeling?
I've had this issue as well and it is disheartening. Especially when you put a decent amount of time into not just the build but into paint prep as well. I found that red paint was the worst for this peeling not only off other paint colors but straight off the FB too. All these suggestions are on point and stuff I'm going to use as well. I have gotten to the point where a good amount of my detailing is by way of Sharpies now. One thing I did notice on yours is that it looks like you painted the red first and then put the white on top... one trick I picked up from the FT painting tips is to lay down the lightest colors first. Not to say the white wouldn't have peeled up but the colors lay down more true to tone that way, and less coats.