What is Automotive Masking Tape?

Masking tape is designed and manufactured to do one job well:

Stopping paint from going where it shouldn’t go.

If you are painting cars, or trucks, regular decorators masking tape is not suitable. The types of surfaces that are being painted, and the types of paint that are being used need specialist protection to get the best possible results, which means using the right automotive masking tape.

What’s the difference?

The biggest difference between painting a wall in your home, and the work done in an automotive paint shop is the kind of paint that is used, and the method of application. Domestic painting uses thick emulsion paints which are applied with a brush or roller, and while they dry to a relatively smooth finish, it’s nothing compared to the fine finish that can be achieved by a professional with a spray gun and automotive paint.

Cars are manufactured from a variety of materials. Different types of plastic are used for the trim, different metals may be used for panels and framework, and cars also feature rubber on tyres and areas of chrome.  All these surfaces need to be protected during painting, which means having a tape which can adhere to the different surfaces as well as being able to conform to the curves and ridges of a car’s body work. In a domestic situation, the surfaces that need to be masked are almost always flat, or minimally curved which means that the tapes are easier to apply.

Different paint, different conditions

Automotive paint typically needs to be cured after application. This means heating it to high temperatures, and the tape must stay in place to prevent bleeding.  Automotive masking tape is sold with a specification for the temperature it is suitable for. JTAPE offer a range of different masking tapes suitable for temperatures between 80oC and 160oC depending on the type of paint which is being used.

Choosing the right tape for the right paint is essential in getting the best possible finish.

Automotive Painting Can Be an Artform

Even a simple paint job on a single panel of a car requires a high degree of care and attention to detail from the painter.  Colours need to match precisely, and the gloss of the finish needs to be accurately applied to ensure that the repair is invisible.

But repair work and resprays are only part of the story. Custom paint jobs that require multiple colours, and complex shapes need careful preparation to ensure that the design is rendered crisply on curved surfaces, and this means being able to mask off different sections as the work progresses.

Being able to mask off areas accurately, allows a vehicle painter to apply paint correctly and prevent any problems with the edges, but equally important is the ability to remove the masking and leave a surface ready for painting. The adhesive used on automotive masking tape is designed to stay in place, prevent bleed to leave a razor-sharp edge, and then be removed without leaving any residue to allow the next phase of the work to start with minimal time loss.

Find out more

If getting the right result for your paint shop customers is important to you, using the best quality automotive masking tape is essential. Visit our online store to see our full range or contact your local distributor to find out more about the JTAPE range.


JTAPE customising tape

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