11 July 2007

Don't Just Pull That Tape

This happens all too often to those of us painting our cars: we mask freshly painted areas of a hood, trunk lid, door, etc., to prevent overspray while painting the other surfaces and then find the tape pulls off some of the paint that it was stuck to. Ouch!

Yes, we should have used special masking tapes that are designed for such applications, but there wasn't any on hand. We took the risk and paid the consequences alright, but isn't there some way to get that "normal" masking tape off without damaging the nice finish?

Yes there is, and it's just a few feet away from you. It's a heat gun - or hair blower if you don't have a heat gun. All you need to do to remove masking is to gently (GENTLY!) heat the tape as you pull it away. The adhesive will soften enough to prevent pulling the paint off, leaving just a little film that can be cleaned off with a mild solvent or waxing.

This technique is great for removing tape that's been on surfaces for a long time, too. We've tried it on tape that was wrapped around some parts that had been stored for over 5 years and it came right off!

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