Have a Masked Ball

By Handyman, Australian Seacraft, Jan 79, p. 73 - Australia

Reprinted from Australian Seacraft

MASKING TAPE is the one easy way to achieve a neat paint job on your boat, when cutting a sharp edge for boot stripe, water line or other trim. Yet this time-saver has its own special set of rules which must be observed if you want to avoid peeling, feathering and sticking.

Larger marine stores often offer a choice of at least three different masking tape types in various widths. There is the regular tape, a sharp edge tape which is best for boot tops, and a low-tack tape with reduced sticking power for use over new paint finishes. Any of them should be used with some basics in mind.

Masking tape on a paint job .

Masking serves two purposes - to save you time and to protect nearby surfaces. If you're spray painting, this protection has to include complete coverage against not only overspray but damage to plastics which can be caused by volatiles. In the presence of such plastics, any masking must be removed as soon as possible after spraying because fumes trapped under masking can craze non-glass windows. Any large-area masking should be done with tape plus brown paper or other plain, roll paper. Newspaper is cheap and readily available but it may leak through the tiny holes found along the top and the ink is sure to leave a stain behind - especially on new white paint.

Start with fresh masking tape because last year's may have dried, making it hard to remove later. Lay on the tape, then go along the edge with your thumbnail to make sure it is stuck right to the edge. Start the tape, then sight towards the line you want to make, holding the tape about 200mm (bin) out from the boat and keeping a little tension on it. Then lower the tape until it sticks. This works much better than trying to stick on a few inches at a time. At edges and angles, pull the tape up against a single-edge razor blade, to ,cut it. At edges where two pieces of tape cross, take special care td press down the tape to close the gap. If you're using a paper cover, attach it over the tape because it's too difficult to achieve an accurate edge when you re trying to attach paper and tape at the same time.

Side view

Even the best-laid masking tape may allow paint to creep. To seal the edge before painting, paint it with primer even if you're not priming the rest of the boat. You needn't get a brush dirty just rub on primer with a scrap of cloth. Primer dries so fast, it seals the tape before it can soak in. The finish coat can now be laid on without fear of a feather edge after tape comes off. The final step in proper masking is to get if off in time. Left to bake in the sun, masking tape can harden and grip until you can't get it off without either taking some paint or leaving some tape. In fact, removing the tape while paint is still tacky allows the edge to smooth out somewhat.


Good Faith Notice: We have used reasonable endeavours to locate the owners of copyright of this material. If you are the copyright owner, or know the contact details of the copyright owner, please contact us.


To comment on Duckworks articles, please visit our forum