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Thread: Removing masking tape

  1. #1
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    Default Removing masking tape

    I've wondered over the years if there is a best way to remove masking tape. I'm not talking about tape that has been on too long and is really stuck. Rather, tape that has been on for a few hours or a day or two. Sometimes the tape pulls bits of the base paint off and (fortunately) usually it doesn't. Is the very slight angle best? Or is it best to pull at right angles to the surface? All responses and thoughts welcome.
    Dave

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    I always pull the tape at 180 to the direction it is lying. I.e. right back flat on itself, so that the pulling force is in shear to the adhesive. Anything to avoid lifting the paint. I also try and remove it before the paint has fully cured so that the "edge" will still lay down a bit.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Don’t leave it in glass for a few weeks in the elements, had some wind units replaced and left the tape on after painting the putty. It is impossible to remove, the paper disintegrates, there is jus mess on the window, my wife has give up asking now.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Pull it flat back on itself but also slightly angled away from the frame or painted edge. not more than 45 or so. get some silicone release like you peel off double sided tape and use that to flatten a soft edge , wrapped around a finger.

    Tink's problem, above...mask the paint with new tape, paint the old tape with acetone and leave only a few minutes. If it hasn't softened the old adhesive acetone's the wrong solvent. almost certainly will be another hydrocarbon/petroleum derivative ...benzene, toluene, xylene...and a safety razor blade, but care ...its surprising how easily glass scratches. Remove the new tape pronto.
    'C'est la vie' say the old folks it goes to show you never can tell

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Quote Originally Posted by tink View Post
    Don’t leave it in glass for a few weeks in the elements, had some wind units replaced and left the tape on after painting the putty. It is impossible to remove, the paper disintegrates, there is jus mess on the window, my wife has give up asking now.
    Try wood alcohol aka methylated spirits. Or if the adhesive is really hard a razor blade will scrape it off.
    Cross post with jonboy.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Gentle heat (Heat gun) might help.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Welcome to 20 years of my life, single pot waterline paint job every year on a wet old classic boat.
    #1 is the right tape , it used to be blue scotch or 3 m 7 day tape.
    #2 is what Jake and jonboy says. I tend to be pulling it from below so its angled down and as much back on itself as practical.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Don't buy cheap tape.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    I use the green 3 day 3M tape, but 3 days is truly the limit or it starts not wanting to come off.
    The blue low tack stuff is OK if you are worried about pulling the fresh paint off that is being masked, but it doesn't mask as well unfortunately.
    Plus 1 for the advice on pulling flat along the tape and at an angle away from the fresh edge.
    I try to get it off immediately after finishing painting, with the associated mess being the price.

    For windows, getting the right brush and learning how to cut an edge is way faster and gives a better finish than using masking tape.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Quote Originally Posted by Slacko View Post
    I use the green 3 day 3M tape, but 3 days is truly the limit or it starts not wanting to come off.
    The blue low tack stuff is OK if you are worried about pulling the fresh paint off that is being masked, but it doesn't mask as well unfortunately.
    Plus 1 for the advice on pulling flat along the tape and at an angle away from the fresh edge.
    I try to get it off immediately after finishing painting, with the associated mess being the price.

    For windows, getting the right brush and learning how to cut an edge is way faster and gives a better finish than using masking tape.
    You can improve masking (avoid bleed under) by painting the edge of the tape with the colour that the tape covers. Then bleed under will not show if it does happen.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Handy timing for this thread. Been sanding filling sanding filling sanding... for about three weeks. Tomorrow I get to take a break from that and play with masking tape and primer. I have the green stuff, hmmmm maybe should have got the blue.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Get the yellow Frog Tape.

    Jeff

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    Get the yellow Frog Tape.

    Jeff
    What is the attribute you like about this tape?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Low tack yet it still prevents bleed. I've put it on enamel and varnish that's only 24 hrs. old and left it for five days with no lifting. It's thin which allows sharp edges. It's treated with some sort of stuff that inhibits bleed. Overall I've found it to be the best masking tape for paint and varnish that I've ever tried. I admit that I've never used the 3M automotive finishing tape. The super thin line stuff that some rave about. But Frog tape is available at my local ACE hardware store and the exotic stuff is.... I dunno?????

    Frog tape comes in metric sizes. Roughly 1", 1 1/2", and 2".

    Jeff

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Hint, Go to an auto body supply store and get real masking tape made for painting solvent paint. I use yellow 3M tape in my auto shop and boat work. For two tone get the blue fine line. Remove as previously stated pull back and away not straight out.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Thanks Jeff. I’ve not had much luck with the 3m low tack blue tape. General problem is that it’s a day to get all taped up and then usually a week or more with the tape on between work and weather before I get a couple of coats of varnish on. When I go to pull it off, it’s a mess!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Buy cheap masking tape, leave it on the deck in the sun for a week, and there you have it -- a permanent, inexpensive, non-skid deck covering.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    I don't ever use the basic blue Scotch crinkle-tape, but I almost always use the smooth Scotch 2080 safe-release, and haven't had any trouble. The only complaint I have with it is that it doesn't take a curve worth a rip. This year I finally experimented with the green fine-line stuff, around the curve of the waterline under the counter --and I'm sold! That stuff's awesome! I only left it on for a few hours, though; just long enough for the bottom paint to set properly. I can't speak to how well it releases.

    Alex

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Using a sign painting brush allows for cutting in without using tape. Fingers can be braced on the hull and it then is a braced movement of the body from the shoulder. It takes a while to learn but, it is a lot faster cheaper and less hassle than using tape. If you watch a video of a pin striper at work, you can get the idea. I don't use a striping brush as a sign writing flat brush covers more surface. Here is a flat that is made by Grumbacher it is the smaller of the two shown. They come is several sizes starting a a quarter inch and going up to inch and a half. If well cared for such brushes can last twenty years or more. The larger is a a varnish brush made by the Linzer Co. Both brushes are over fifty years old.
    Jay

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Yes indeed. Hand-braced, or hands, good paint at the right consistency, and make a smooth clean line.

    I put anti-foul on Drake's water-line today. There is a scribed line on the planks. Tape would have wasted my time.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    And that is the way I learn't how to do it too!
    3M hates both of us!
    Jay

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    a very light knife cut along the tape edge will stop the bleed. I've done this many times. also burnishing (rubbing) the tape edge helps stop bleed also. but I always pull the tape soon after the paint sets.

    Thankfully new paints dry quite fast so there isn't a need for day and days. Of course the larger the project the longer tape can sit. I've had a few autobody shop friends over the years, they've all told me to pull the tape 45 degrees or so because it rolls the off the edge instead of lifting from it
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Well if you leave the tape on for 3 days, and then pull it straight up, it'll help strip the old paint off the hull.

  24. #24
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    Well if you leave the tape on for 3 days, and then pull it straight up, it'll help strip the old paint off the hull.
    And as many of us also have fiberglass boats if y'all be leaving that tape on gel coat more than a week, plan on going back with a heat gun or solvent to get it off the gelcoat!
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Working without tape, I find as an amateur I can paint pretty accurately up to a line but am lousy at going down to it. So topside paint on first. Besides sign painters brushes sash brushes are pretty controllable but not as good.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    I learned to paint with cutting in at a young age (10) --varnished trim, topsides, waterlines, bottom paint, the works-- and did just fine with it for maybe 30 years. Got good results, even by the standard of the yard foreman at Ralph Stanley's yard. I didn't start using tape until maybe ten years ago. Gotta say, even with the increased prep time, I like tape better. Especially now that I'm doing roll-and-tip, it's a lot easier to lay a fast coat. I'll still cut in on the dinghy, or on a fast job where I'm not doing R&T or fighting for gloss, but I'm a big fan of Scotch 2080.

    But if you're going to cut in instead of tape, I agree that brush quality is pretty much imperative.

    Alex

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    I second with using the right tape. Good professional stuff gets off easily even after months.
    I like Tesa ( a German company )professional varnishing tape, but 3M makes very good stuff too.
    I forgot some under the rail and removed it after one season sailing in autum.
    No trouble at all. Cheap tape is terrible!

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    There is an easily perceived visual difference between the best cut-in line and one resulting from being masked. This fact alone may determine one's choice in choosing one method over the other.

    Jeff

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    Cutting in paint or varnish free hand depends on a couple of things. A good sign painter or striper uses his entire body and not his hand to steady the brush as it is pulled over the surface.
    As you are pulling a line it helps to have one or two fingers, usually the middle and ring finger, braced on the surface ahead of the brush. "Shut out the world from your mind and go Zen": is the advice I was once given. Amazingly enough if you concentrate and breath easy while you work you will get better at dragging a line! Some stripers will pull a line of tape along the side of a body panel or even the entire length of the car or boat just to have a guide surface to brace their fingers on while free handing the paint. The tape gets pulled as soon as the stripe is laid on! If cutting in varnish, I try to start from a scarf joint that I tape on one side and then pull the tape as soon as the varnish tacks. Then I have a clean line to cut into at the other side of the scarf joint when I have gone around the boat from one end and back again. On this kind of work, there are no back strokes, the line is always picked up in the wet and pulled over the dry surface. This is why very good Russian or China boar hair and sable brushes are a must and foam brushes are a no no!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 05-17-2018 at 05:25 PM.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    A little off topic but, I have always admired the long double pinstripes done freehand on the lowly Fords of the early 30's...

    IMG_4014.jpg

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    But if you're going to cut in instead of tape, I agree that brush quality is pretty much imperative.

    Alex[/QUOTE]

    Only problem with quality brushes is being pretty much limited to single pack paints, unless of course the painter is rich enough to treat the brushes as disposable single use items.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Removing masking tape

    How long brushes last depends on how well you treat them. Kind of like being married to the right lady. I have brushes that are over fifty years old that are still are sweet to work with. Can't take my eyes off that Ford! 1931?
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 05-18-2018 at 11:04 AM.

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