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NYCTS
Jan 14th, 2005, 08:02 AM
How to tape-off a car (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=33720)


I'm a newbie, been looking through the posts trying to read up about masking. I'm looking for some general rules about masking (if there are any). So far mask off chrome, trim, plastic...

Are there any special rules for specific cars?

I drive a 2004 Cadillac CTS, lots of angles and edges on the car.

THANKS in advance.

Mike Phillips
Jan 14th, 2005, 08:23 AM
Hi NYCTS,

Hang on for a few minutes, I have to upload some photos...

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2Tapecollection.jpg





During the process

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/21963CorvetteafterDACP1.jpg

Afterwards on display

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2Sandys1963Corvetteatevent.jpg

Epic18s
Jan 14th, 2005, 08:56 AM
Im also very interested in this, I have yet to try to tape off anything but if it will save me from getting the wrong type of product on the wrong surface then I'm all for it. Also Im guessing the tape you use is mostly for painting so I thinking would it leave any residue behind?

Mike Phillips
Jan 14th, 2005, 02:11 PM
Here are some examples of what I cover before doing what I call a "Complete". When I used to detail cars full time, if I had to start with the compounding process, then I would call the job a "Complete", because I had to start with the hardest and most time consuming process, (removing serious defect with a rotary buffer and a compound), and work my way through multiple steps until I had achieved a show car finish, in other words, I had to completely go over the car finish with all the steps required for a show car finish.

In order to prevent splatter on wheels and tires, you can purchase wheel covers and any good PBE store or just use what you already have, newspaper and tape

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2600_finishedshotwithgoldclass1.jpg

After covering the wheels and tires, start taping-off everything you don't' want to detail later, (Here the word detail means, get the wax out of the cracks, or anything you don't want to get excess product, (splatter), into, such as under grills where the area under the grill is not readily accessible, or you don't want to run the buffer over, like high points, edges and body seams, or even known thin areas.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2600_finishedshottapedoff1.jpg

Mike

Mike Phillips
Jan 14th, 2005, 02:15 PM
Tape off small trim areas

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2Tapedoff4.jpg

Sometimes I cut pieces with scissors to make for a neater taping

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2Tapedoff5.jpg

Mike

Mike Phillips
Jan 14th, 2005, 02:20 PM
Window gaskets and trim around side mirror taped-off

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2600_tapedoffsidemirror.jpg

Windshield wash water squirter taped-off

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2600_tapedoffwindshieldwatersquirter.jpg

Mike Phillips
Jan 14th, 2005, 02:27 PM
This particular car was being prepped for the 2002 Bimmerfest, it was a side-by-side, before & after demonstration. This is why you'll see the car taped-off down the middle.

The first time we taped off one half,

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2600_tapedoff0.jpg

After the show the car was brought back and we taped-off the finished side so we wouldn't splatter it with product while buffing out the un-buffed side.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2600_tapedoff2.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2600_tapedoff3.jpg

Mike Phillips
Jan 14th, 2005, 02:32 PM
Here you can see we have taped-off the gasket and trim around the window and also a sticker in the lower right hand corner to protect it from splatter that would later need to be removed. (Just an extra safety precaution)

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2tapedoffwindowdecal.jpg

Mike Phillips
Jan 14th, 2005, 02:34 PM
Normal kitchen tin foil can come in handy for wrapping around some items like windshield wiper arms because you can shape it and it will keep its hold.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2tinfoil1.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2tinfoil2.jpg

Mike Phillips
Jan 14th, 2005, 03:08 PM
Here's a picture of the felt surrounding the sun roof to prevent it from product splatter. It's very difficult to clean this type of material so it's always better to tape it off.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2tapedoffsunroof.jpg

Mike Phillips
Jan 14th, 2005, 03:13 PM
Before

(Kind of hurts your eyes to look at)

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2bmwbefore.jpg

Feather Sanding

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2RightSideBMW-med.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2RightSideBMW2.jpg

Mike Phillips
Jan 14th, 2005, 05:16 PM
After Drivers side only

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2BMWRightSideAfter1.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2BMWRightSideAfter2.jpg

Mike Phillips
Jan 14th, 2005, 05:23 PM
Back for the other side after the show...

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2LeftSideBMW.jpg

Mike Phillips
Jan 14th, 2005, 05:31 PM
Completely Finished

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2hoodshot1.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2hoodshot3.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2hoodupshotownerreflection1.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2ownerreflection2-med.jpg

Taping-off is an important part of the process and the overall quality of the end results.

Lt1Corvette
Jan 14th, 2005, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by Mike Phillips
Here's a picture of the felt surrounding the sun roof to prevent it from product splatter. It's very difficult to clean this type of material so it's always better to tape it off.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2tapedoffsunroof.jpg

Sorry to off topic this a bit, but is there any approach that actually works when it comes to cleaning the felt around the sun roof?

chevymaniaco
Jan 14th, 2005, 08:50 PM
what's feather sanding??? :confused:

Tim Lingor
Jan 14th, 2005, 09:02 PM
Originally posted by chevymaniaco
what's feather sanding??? :confused:

Feather sanding is when you cut the sand-paper into small squares and carefully "feather-out" the deeper defects. You are not trying to sand a larger area with a block and sand-paper, as this can lead to a ripple effect when the paint gets buffed out. Instead, you are carefully dealing with the isolated defects, sanding only what is necessary.

Cheers! :)

Tim

Inzane
Jan 15th, 2005, 10:11 PM
Thanks for the excellent post Mike!! :xyxthumbs

Taping was one of my biggest nagging problems during my first couple details in the 2004 summer season. The first car I taped up (my wife's car) took me over an hour, maybe 1.5 hours!! I don't know why it took me that long....perhaps I was being too picky. The second car I taped a month later seemed to go faster.

Another car I detailed I skipped the taping step and did unfortunately get some residue in the felt area around my sunroof. Like someone else asked above, how do you properly clean that felt-like seal around the sunroof?

Thanks.

Mike Phillips
May 23rd, 2005, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by Inzane
Like someone else asked above, how do you properly clean that felt-like seal around the sunroof?

Thanks.

Very carefully.

I don't get splatter on these areas as I tape everything off. I do show the owner of the car the wax and polish residue in this area and other areas before going to work on a car so that they know it was there before I started. Then I do my best to remove any leftover residue at the end of the process. Meguiar's new Triple Duty Detail brush will be a big help in this endeavor.

Taping off this felt gasket will actually help to clean it to some degree as the adhesive will attract some of the residue, somewhat like a lint roller. After removing the tape, gently brush the felt area and blow with air through your mouth to remove. Repeat till you're satisfied or exhausted.

As mentioned before, it's best to tape these areas off so you don't have to detail them later.

Mike Phillips
May 4th, 2006, 05:23 AM
Originally posted by NYCTS
I'm a newbie, been looking through the posts trying to read up about masking. I'm looking for some general rules about masking (if there are any).

So far mask off chrome, trim, plastic...

Are there any special rules for specific cars?


No special rules as each car is different, the general rule I use is I tape off anything I don't want to get splatter on, splatter in, or detail with a toothbrush when the job is done.


"Polishing paint is polishing paint, detailing is getting the wax out of the cracks" -Mike Phillips


If you do a good job of taping a car off before hand, you won't have to detail it later... :)

kpagel
May 4th, 2006, 11:26 AM
Wow, I never saw this thread before. This is probably the best 'How-To' article on this forum (for me anyways). Thanks Mike for going through all that trouble, you are the master! :bow

hooked
May 17th, 2006, 08:08 AM
Wow! That's quite a process. Excellent job. The car you showed did not have any pinstriping (decals). Do you tape that over too? I assume you would have to cut the tape to the width of the decal. Yuck. Maybe I'll just remove the pinstripe!

holderp
Aug 15th, 2006, 04:01 PM
Originally posted by Mike Phillips
Tape off small trim areas

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2Tapedoff4.jpg

Sometimes I cut pieces with scissors to make for a neater taping

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2Tapedoff5.jpg

Mike

So you tape a little area of paint around the trim and not just the trim?

Mike Phillips
Aug 15th, 2006, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by holderp
So you tape a little area of paint around the trim and not just the trim?

Most of the time, it kind of depends upon the trim. Some trim lends itself well to taping off just the trim and some trim it will be better if you overhang onto the paint to avoid getting residue in the cracks.

You also have to keep in mind the context of the job, is it a daily driver or a bona-fide show car. The big picture is making the the car look good, this would include the major portions of the panel.

Guiser
Aug 24th, 2006, 10:45 AM
Question on tape removal.

When removing the tape, there is sometimes a thin strip of various products left behind where the edge was. What is the best way to remove this without disturbing the wax in that area. Is it safe to hit it right away with QD + MF if I do it gently? Or would it be better to let the wax set up for a while (also making the edge lines harder to remove)?

- Ben

Lydia
Nov 2nd, 2006, 04:18 PM
Question on tape removal.

When removing the tape, there is sometimes a thin strip of various products left behind where the edge was. What is the best way to remove this without disturbing the wax in that area. Is it safe to hit it right away with QD + MF if I do it gently? Or would it be better to let the wax set up for a while (also making the edge lines harder to remove)?

- Ben


Sorry to dredge up this old thread, but I was wondering about this too. Any tips, Mike?

Mike Phillips
May 30th, 2008, 08:54 AM
Question on tape removal.

When removing the tape, there is sometimes a thin strip of various products left behind where the edge was. What is the best way to remove this without disturbing the wax in that area. Is it safe to hit it right away with QD + MF if I do it gently? Or would it be better to let the wax set up for a while (also making the edge lines harder to remove)?

- Ben


Sorry to dredge up this old thread, but I was wondering about this too. Any tips, Mike?

What's the best way to remove the thin strip of residue where the tape line was?


Carefully!

Seriosly... however you want to, after I detail a car and the wax is drying I'll go around the car and remove the tape and then while I'm at it wipe the residue off next to the trim right then and there while the rest of the wax on the car is drying.

Just use a microfiber and your finger to wipe off carefully and gently, you usually don't need to use a QD for this. Then when you wipe the wax off the major portions of the panel pay attention to the edges where the trim is to insure you removed any residue.

Keep it simple when possible. :laughing2


:doublethumbsup2

Tim Lingor
May 30th, 2008, 02:20 PM
Sorry to dredge up this old thread, but I was wondering about this too. Any tips, Mike?

I wet the tip of a MF towel with a QD and then use my finger under that tip to wipe the residue off. Be careful as at this stage the finish should be near perfect and you do not want to add marring back into the surface.

Tim

MBZ 500E
May 30th, 2008, 05:09 PM
I wet the tip of a MF towel with a QD and then use my finger under that tip to wipe the residue off. Be careful as at this stage the finish should be near perfect and you do not want to add marring back into the surface.

Tim

I do similar although I also spray the white line left behind with QD beforehand to soften it up and then use above technique. Having a soft MF is critical otherwise you can easily leave scratches behind.

After I remove the white line I usually follow up with a hand polish to remove any light scratches and help blend the taped portion with the recently polished surface.

Ivan Rajic
Jun 1st, 2008, 02:00 AM
Mike this is a great write up.

To answer the question above... I use the tape to prevent polish from getting where it shouldn't, staining what it shouldn't and the pad from burning trim, some high edges, etc. I remove the tape after polishing, QD the whole car well and get it ready for wax, then I simply apply wax carefully enough not to get it on any trim, etc. If I have taped off high edges of the paint, I will first polish them by hand, then wax.

In short, I couldn't imagine polishing AND waxing while tape is still on, THEN cleaning off the residue... whatever works I guess

Holden_Caulfield04
Jun 1st, 2008, 10:41 AM
This is definitely a great write up, Mike. I directed a few from another forum to show them how masking is meant to be done. :goodjob1

IWantaTurbo
Jul 1st, 2008, 10:17 AM
What do you think of this?
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/blue_tape_s4.JPG (http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/blue_tape_s4.JPG)

techjazz
Jul 2nd, 2008, 01:24 PM
That's either a great pratical joke or they're trying to be really really careful when polishing taillights!

Ivan Rajic
Jul 2nd, 2008, 02:26 PM
That's either a great pratical joke or they're trying to be really really careful when polishing taillights!

They actually rode cross-country so taped it off to protect the paint haha

roushstage2
Jul 2nd, 2008, 02:39 PM
I saw the whole article. Good read!

Ivan Rajic
Jul 2nd, 2008, 02:43 PM
I saw the whole article. Good read!

+1.. very interesting haha

Iam4st8
Jul 3rd, 2008, 08:18 AM
like everyone else is saying.. Great post Mike!:bounce

Bunky
Jul 3rd, 2008, 12:11 PM
What I discovered is that of all the products used during a polishing routine with a taped car, the tape is actually one of the more expensive items. Of course, this is after the investment of a power tool and pads. Blue tape is not cheap and green tape is slightly more expensive. You can go through a half roll if you tape all plastics and this does not include seams, etc if you use a rotary.

JuddGA
Jul 17th, 2008, 01:33 PM
What if you are using a DA with something like ScratchX and you want to avoid all the trim looking white? You would still tape right? I assume a 1" strip would be good so you dont run over the trim. There really is no splatter to deal with.

Mike Phillips
Jul 17th, 2008, 01:40 PM
What if you are using a DA with something like ScratchX and you want to avoid all the trim looking white? You would still tape right?


Correct.



I assume a 1" strip would be good so you don't run over the trim. There really is no splatter to deal with.


Also, you can slow down, focus on the task at hand and be careful.

:D

Maserati Mario
Jul 21st, 2008, 01:46 PM
Thanks for this info Mike. I knew I was doing it wrong.

jmitch8011
Aug 14th, 2008, 12:32 PM
I found you - this is a great post- i should have used mask instead of tape for my search.....came up so fast - will upload some pics when iget hom to get your take.

hacker-pschorr
Aug 14th, 2008, 06:23 PM
Ok, the windshield washer nozzles just piss me off. First time the buffer gets anywhere near those the blue tape goes flying across the garage or sticks to the pad.

Every car I have the wipers are down by a painted area, so I tried removing them during a recent detail job. I taped over the screw post sticking up. That didn't prevent the post from tearing my brand new 8" red pad in half......

Wasn't a good day in the garage.

seth1066
Aug 15th, 2008, 12:12 AM
Ok, the windshield washer nozzles just piss me off. First time the buffer gets anywhere near those the blue tape goes flying across the garage or sticks to the pad.

Every car I have the wipers are down by a painted area, so I tried removing them during a recent detail job. I taped over the screw post sticking up. That didn't prevent the post from tearing my brand new 8" red pad in half......

Wasn't a good day in the garage.Some washer nozzles can be removed, such as the Honda Pilot with no under hood insulation. The wipers can be turned on and then the ignition key turned off when the wipers reach their zenith.

hacker-pschorr
Aug 15th, 2008, 04:02 AM
The wipers can be turned on and then the ignition key turned off when the wipers reach their zenith.
I've done that before, just figured I would remove them completly. Damn pad was like a magnet to that post. :bawling1

HealthyCivic
Dec 9th, 2008, 10:29 AM
What type of tape do you guys use and where can I buy it?

Heatgain
Dec 9th, 2008, 10:41 AM
What type of tape do you guys use and where can I buy it?

Painter's tape. Walmart, paint stores, Big Lots, Dollar Stores, etc.

chessplayer
Dec 10th, 2008, 10:47 AM
now this is a full write up on how to do it right... i think taping up is also time consuming but crucial to the final results of the detail....do you use the 3M blue tape?

tonyroc14
Mar 21st, 2009, 08:32 AM
Here are some examples of what I cover before doing what I call a "Complete". When I used to detail cars full time, if I had to start with the compounding process, then I would call the job a "Complete", because I had to start with the hardest and most time consuming process, (removing serious defect with a rotary buffer and a compound), and work my way through multiple steps until I had achieved a show car finish, in other words, I had to completely go over the car finish with all the steps required for a show car finish.

In order to prevent splatter on wheels and tires, you can purchase wheel covers and any good PBE store or just use what you already have, newspaper and tape

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2600_finishedshotwithgoldclass1.jpg

After covering the wheels and tires, start taping-off everything you don't' want to detail later, (Here the word detail means, get the wax out of the cracks, or anything you don't want to get excess product, (splatter), into, such as under grills where the area under the grill is not readily accessible, or you don't want to run the buffer over, like high points, edges and body seams, or even known thin areas.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2600_finishedshottapedoff1.jpg

Mikenice e34 M5. isn't this the car that's on the bottle of scratch-X?

DaGonz
Aug 23rd, 2009, 05:05 PM
One can use large plastic trash bags to cover wheel and tire assemblies to protect them from buffer splatter.

Tim Lingor
Aug 23rd, 2009, 05:17 PM
For covering the tires, just go to a RV store and buy spare tire covers. Just make sure to get the ones designed for large 5th wheel trailers as they are usually 235/85R/16 size and will cover most tires well enough. Also try and get the ones without the felt lining as pieces of lint may stick to the tires.


:)

Tim

Calais
Aug 23rd, 2009, 08:08 PM
How do you correct the areas that were covered with tape during the machine correction? By hand? How do you properly blend it with the machine corrected areas?

I generally finish the areas that were taped up by hand though it is time consuming and often time, to the trained eye, I can kind of see where I had taped it. It really bothers me. :help1

TH0001
Aug 23rd, 2009, 08:19 PM
Here is another graphic I had made a while ago. Don't know if it helps here, but I love making these things...

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x121/tropicaldetailing/truth/original175copy22.jpg

roguetadhg
Mar 9th, 2011, 09:41 AM
I liked that graphic. Too bad I don't have a Lambo.

Now to go over the rx8 like that.

The area I have trouble with is the hood. As the top-middle is in an odd shape. although, I don't see that being a tape-item.

Nuscence813
May 12th, 2012, 01:14 PM
I have a 2011 Infiniti g37s in black and was purchased new with a 3M paint guard placed in all the places prone to scratches and chips (front bumper, partial hood, mirrors, etc). I have tried cleaning this with typical washing claying and compounding with no effect. All it is is protective clear film. What can I use to get rid of the awful water marks left behind. Also when I detail the car by hand that area stands out as not being too detailed at all. I will receive my da on Monday and will give it a try over that area but what else can I try if that doesn't work. Here is a pic of the hood where the film stops. The top portion of the pic is the film.

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx63/nuscence813/116acde3.jpg

seth1066
May 12th, 2012, 02:59 PM
You should post this in its own thread for the best responses.

Nuscence813
May 21st, 2012, 01:23 PM
Ok well I mask my cars parts that I do not want to contaminated with compound. I usually cover small areas to prevent compound from drying in small crevices like door handle and so forth. If anything is black and plastic I tape off. It takes only about 20 min but can save hours removing if not done. I have a couple of pics.

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx63/nuscence813/f7bc9b65.jpg

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx63/nuscence813/605db06d.jpg