Why Mask The Car With Tape Before Detailing?
Being prepared for the task at hand is half of what makes a great detailer, and knowing how to mask a car with tape is part of that preparation.
If you skip this step, you risk wasting time and, worse, causing damage to the vehicle. So, we’ll go through why you should mask the car with tape, when should you mask, and what should you mask,
Why Mask the Car with Tape?
Properly mask the car before detailing it’s to prevent whatever detailing technique you’re doing from contaminating, staining, or damaging the remainder of your car. But, to be more particular, consider the following:
1. Damage caused by Buffer
Assume you’re using a machine buffer to polish some paintwork. In an attempt to get the entire panel, you veer towards some plastic trim, and you unintentionally drift onto the trim. Oops! If the buffer didn’t damage the plastic, your polish or compound probably did.
Sure, it’ll come off eventually, but it’ll take up time that could be better spent working on the rest of the car. It’s best to tape the trim off ahead of time! This also applies to any materials applied with a machine buffer—no matter what’s on the pad, you don’t want to strike any surfaces you aren’t applying to.
Another type of buffer damage that can be avoided is burning. Using a buffer on a vehicle’s panel edges could burn straight through the paint because the edges are generally sparsely covered. It’s rare, but it can happen—tape down ahead of time to give yourself more peace of mind.
2. Residue in Crevice
After buffing out some micro-marring, you evaluate your work. Sure, the paint is nice, but what is this residue sticking between the panels? It’s dried polish, and removing it will take some time and effort. To avoid this, tape off any holes or fissures in the panels ahead of time!
This was briefly mentioned in the buffer damage section, but it merits further attention. Contaminating a surrounding surface with overspray or sling can be a real eyesore, as well as a chemical headache. It can be difficult to remove, has the potential to stain the surface, and if not removed, can interfere with other products you apply later.
When Should You Mask With Tape?
Does the detailing I’m going to undertake to have the potential to damage, contaminate, or change the appearance of a surface?” If yes, start taping the car edge or surface. Continue without taping if the answer is no.
What You Should Mask With Tape?
So, what precisely do you need to mask? Any surrounding surface you don’t want to pollute, harm, or change the appearance of. What are the most common items that you’ll wish to safeguard?
These are simply examples; as I indicated above, the simplest approach to figure out what to tape off is to ask yourself what you don’t want your buffer/applicator to touch and then tape over the perimeter.
1. Taping Techniques
Now that we’ve discussed why you should tape off, let’s look at how to do it. Taping may appear to be as simple as a kindergarten arts and crafts project, but there are a few details to consider. Take a look at the following:
2. Choosing the Correct Tape
Sorry, but that cheap clear tape in your kitchen drawer isn’t going to cut it in this situation. Choose a proper masking tape for automobiles.
3. Mask from Panel to Panel
It’s better to tape off features as you progress from panel to panel rather than doing it all at once. If you’re planning to work on numerous panels over a prolonged detailed session.
Note that you should also remove the tape from the previous section before moving on to the next—if you keep the tape on for too long, you may end up with adhesive residue that is difficult to remove.
4. Getting In Between The Crevice
When taping off a feature, make sure you tape the inside walls as well. This ensures that the full feature, not just the surface, remains hidden. It also has the added benefit of keeping items out of the crevices.