Vehicle Masking for car repair

Vehicle Masking for car repair

  • Masking systems from 3M can be used in all coating and repair processes, ranging from standard masking tape to special applications and solutions.
    Worldwide, 3M is one of the largest and most experienced manufacturers of adhesive tapes. For car refinish tasks, masking tapes play an important role in all core processes. Intensive research and development work within 3M constantly assures additions of innovative products to make customer processes more secure.
    Such innovative examples are the advanced aperture masking tape Soft Edge Foam Masking Tape Plus and Scotch® Transition Tape. The novel design of these two products allows significantly softer paint edges and transitions, greatly reducing rework. Just two of many products from 3M that actually improve the body shop work process.

General vehicle masking

  • Prior to any car repair or any painting, parts of the car which are not to be worked on, need to be protected from unwanted damage, soiling or paint overspray.

    Working thoroughly from the very beginning reduces or even eliminates any clean-up or rectification afterwards.

    Time consuming masking activities can be minimised by using high quality material and good application techniques and it is always worth investing into premium masking tapes, which can be effortlessly removed without slithering, slicing or leaving adhesive residue.

    In general, the following materials should be used and ready at hand:

    • Interior protection covers for seat and foot area
    • Masking tapes
    • Masking film
    • Possibly Masking paper
    • Special masking tapes such as Soft Edge Foam Masking Tape Plus for apertures or fine line tapes for sharp, clear lines



Aperture Masking

  • For the fastest, reliable aperture masking, use 3M Soft Edge Foam Masking Tape Plus, which is ideal for moveable car parts such as doors, bonnet or booth lids. Apply the tape along the car body line WITHOUT stretching and press lightly in both directions. One size fits all openings.

Special Processes for Masking

  • For masking special parts such as door handles, detailing applications, bumpers or plastic parts you best use special products such as fine line tapes like Scotch® Fine Line Tape 471, which allow precisely following contours and edges and have a very high flexibility. Using special products for special applications saves time, material and rectification work!

Step by step guide - Masking for a Car Repair

  • Step 1

    Step 1 - Cleaning of the surface

    Degrease the surface of and around the repair area - follow the recommendations of your paint manufacturer. Well suited for this step are 3M Panel Wipes 34567.
  • Step 2 - Apply Masking Film

    Step 2 - Apply Masking Film

    Cover the whole car except the repair area by using a 3M Masking film of your choice.
    Using 3M Masking film reduces work time as it allows you to cover the car fast with one person only. The Film will cling to the car, prevent the surface from any unwanted overspray and provides you with visual control as it's transparent.

  • Step 3 - Prepare the repair area surroundings

    Step 3 - Prepare the repair area surroundings

    • Prepare the larger area that you need to respray including application of aperture masking solutions such as 3M Soft Edge Foam Masking Tape / Soft Edge Foam Masking Tape Plus and / or 3M Scotch® Transition Tape, which are applied to the car body line of any moveable parts to close gaps.

    If you need to work around rubber parts, 3M Lift'n Stick protect these and hold them back and allows the paint film to go underneath the rubber seals and leaves the parts with a very clean rim.

  • Step 4 - Cut and fix the film

    Step 4 - Cut and fix the film

    Cut the masking film around the repair area in preparation for filler and primer and fix the film with 3M Masking Tapes.
    For best results, apply Scotch® Transition Tape on top of the 3M Masking tape to allow a smooth transition of primer edges.

  • Step 5 - Attach film to contours before base / clear coat

    Step 5 - Attach film to contours before base / clear coat

    Before applying the base and clear coat, further cut the masking film and attach it to contour and aperture masking.

  • Step 6 - Aftermath - Correct Demasking

    Correct removal of masking products

    • Removal of the masking tapes and film are best done when the car has just left the oven and is still warm.
    • Always remove Masking tape by pulling in an right angle to the surface. A flatter or sharper angle has a higher risk of leaving adhesive residue on the surface.
    • Using Premium Masking Tapes will pay-off as they have a lower tendency to leave adhesive or slice - saving you the most valuable thing: Work time!