Fine Line Paint Masking


Masking curved lines can be an exercise in frustration. Most tape will not bend without forming a crease. Multiple strips don’t work because they leak or leave a jagged line. 3M Fine Line Masking Tape works great, but it’s pricey. Here’s a cheap solution.

Harbor Freight sells a pack of 10 rolls of electrical tape for $5.99. Talk about cheap paint masking tape! Black electrical tape is great for masking nice sharp lines, but it doesn’t bend to mask sharp radius bends like a fine-line masking tape. Here’s the trick.

Use a square to draw a centerline all the way around the circumference of the roll of electrical tape. Use a band saw to cut along the line while rotating the roll. Try to stay centered. The band saw will help rotate the roll. Keep going slowly until the roll is cut in half. No need to be absolutely precise because you will use the straight outer edge of the new 3/8-inch tape to mask the edge. It will bend to a pretty tight radius. Once the line is masked, use full-width tape to fully mask the area. Strips are fine for the paint mask. That’s 20 rolls of fine line masking tape for $5.99. What a deal!

By the way, there’s also a neat masking tip in the November 2018 issue.


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