How to make a circle using automotive tape
Most DIYers apply automotive tape incorrectly, using several pieces to mask round objects. The multiple pieces allow paint to seep into the splices, ruining the paint job. Here, a 3M tape expert shows the proper way to mask inside a tight 3-in. circle using 3M’s brown crepe masking tape.
Start by unrolling about a foot of tape and stick the leading edge onto the body part.
Hold the tape taut at about a 15° angle above the sheet metal and rotate it around the circle while pressing down with your finger every 1/8-in.
To finish the circle, continue rotating the roll and unwinding as you press the tape to the sheet metal. Notice that ordinary brown tape doesn’t conform precisely to the circle.
Try a more flexible automotive tape
3M’s yellow crepe tape is more flexible and has a stronger adhesive, so it conforms better to tight shapes. Jr. Editor Alex uses the same unroll, rotate and press technique to wrap yellow tape inside the circle.
Alex masks the inside of the circle in a single attempt. Notice how closely the yellow tape conforms to the circle.
90° turns with automotive tape
Alex uses 3M’s green tape to make two 90° turns in a single strip. The green tape is thinner, so it wraps around curved object better. Use it to mask molding, door handles, mirrors and headlights.
How to make flames with automotive tape
Chip Foose starts by masking out the general area of the flame on the hood. Then he draws his design using a white pencil.
He then masks off everything except for the flames. Chip finished making his design in about 15 minutes and then grabbed a large masking sheet to protect the rest of the hood.
Chip applied a first coat of black spray paint. He let it dry, and then hit it with a second coat. Wait about 15 minutes for the paint to dry before removing the masking tape and sheets.
For more project ideas using automotive paint visit our DIY car paint guide.
Voila! The finished product.
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