How to Mask a Car Door for Painting

Car doors are often one of the first things your clients will look at when inspecting a professional paint job on their car, simply because this is where they’ll get in and out of their car. Therefore, it’s vital that as a bodywork or auto repair professional, you understand how to achieve the best possible finish, whether you’re working on every door on the vehicle or just focussing on one.

Masking is a huge aspect of this, which is why we’ve created this comprehensive guide containing everything you’ll need to know to properly mask off the car doors in preparation for painting. From the best products to the ideal techniques – we’ve covered it all right here.

Before masking the car door, you’ll first need to mask off the door windows using masking tape and masking film. For more in-depth information, see our guide to tackling car windows.

Best Tape to Use on Car Doors for Painting

At JTAPE, we’ve designed our tape solutions to be suitable for all types of jobs, including masking off tricky areas such as car doors and handles for painting.

Below, we’ll offer some of our top-rated products specifically suited to masking off the car doors prior to painting.

DUO Masking Tape

JTAPE duo masking tape

Preparation is very much the name of the game when it comes to painting any panel on a car. That’s why we’ve designed the perfect masking tape to use at the top of the car door to pull the rubber trims away from the body. This tape is highly temperature resistant, easy to apply, and even easier to remove with its easy-lifting tab.

The 2:1 application technique used with this tape allows for an easy and smooth application around the rubber trims of any door. Simply use the black section to guide you across the edge, and apply the red section to the car door.

Perforated Trim Masking Tape

JTAPE perforated trim masking tape

Again, this masking tape is excellent for masking any part of the car. Thanks to the perforated sections, this tape is super easy to tear while also being able to easily fit around a variety of corners and curves. This tape is specifically designed to work best on the door seals to easily protect the surfaces underneath from overspray.

Advanced Foam Masking Tape

JTAPE Advanced Foam Masking Tape

Working in smaller areas such as door jambs? Our Advanced Foam Masking Tape is easily adjustable and perfect for application in this area of the car. The soft foam leaves a feathered finish and prevents any hard edges.

Premium Clear Masking Film

JTAPE Premium Clear Masking Film

Since it’s best practice to cover all the panels you want to protect from overspray, we’ve created our masking film with this in mind. Our corona-treated film is tear-resistant, temperature-resistant, and quick and easy to apply. Because of this, it’s guaranteed to protect the car’s surface and won’t cause any issues to your paint job, regardless of how big or small it is.

Fine Line Masking Tape

When tackling the door handles, Fine Line Masking Tape works best in the intricate curves and edges to give you clean and crisp lines. The pressure-sensitive adhesive is easy to remove and leaves no sticky residue behind, making it perfect for working in these harder-to-reach areas.

How to Mask Car Doors for Painting

Follow our step-by-step instructions to mask car doors properly before beginning your paint job.

1.     Clean the area

Dirt and debris can cause several problems when it comes to sticking down your adhesive and spraying or hand painting a car. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the door and surrounding areas are thoroughly cleaned. A cloth or sponge soaked in a mixture of exterior shampoo and warm water should do the trick to clean the area before drying it completely using a clean cloth.

We also advise using a clean cloth to work in a layer of wax since this will help protect the bodywork. Follow this with a grease remover to give your adhesive the best chance of sticking to the surface properly.

2.     Attach Masking Film

First, the Masking Film will need to be applied to all adjacent panels around the door. To do this, start by lining your film against the top of the door and adding a layer of regular masking tape to secure it around the edge. You can then get to work cutting it down with either scissors or a razor, making sure to complete this as accurately as possible.

Once the film is cut to size, secure the entire thing with another layer of masking tape around all edges, pressing it down firmly as you go. It’s worth spending a decent amount of time on this since you want to ensure all the edges are adequately covered and there are no holes where paint could seep through.

When applying the film, check from the other side of the car, if possible, that there are no gaps where paint could permeate the interior areas.

3.     Apply Advanced Foam Masking Tape on door jambs

The door jambs are the next area that should be masked, and this should always be done with the doors open. This tape can usually be applied in one continuous piece to mask off the inside of the door for a feathered paint finish.

4.     Use Perforated Trim Masking Tape around window trims

Easy to tear and shape to your will, Perforated Trim Masking Tape is the ideal solution when masking the rubber trims between car panels and windows. Whether you’re masking off the stylish sloped windows of a sportscar or the big high-visibility windows of the family SUV, JTAPE’s Perforated Trim Masking Tape is perfect for fitting along those tricky curves.

How to Mask Off Door Handles

mask of a car's door handle

Door handles can be very fiddly to work with because they have so many curves and edges which can be difficult to mask around. As a result, you’ll need to be properly prepared and understand the process involved, alongside having the best tools and equipment for the job to hand.

We recommend using Fine Line Masking Tape when masking off the door handles. To do this, you’ll need to apply the tape around the curves where the handle meets the car door. Alternatively, it can be helpful to remove the door handles entirely to achieve the best finish.

One of the most common issues professionals encounter during this process is that dirt and debris from the crevices can come loose during the painting process. This can cause bumpiness and unevenness in the final appearance, which makes your work seem lower quality than it could be.

Therefore, the first step when handling door handles is to ensure they are as clean as possible. Once you’ve followed the correct cleaning and drying procedures, you can then repeat the steps above to mask off the door handles. Again, we recommend using our Fine Line Masking Tape because this is easier to use in smaller, more intricate areas.

How to Mask Off Door Jambs

Door removed off a car to be painted

Door jambs can also be tricky to mask off and paint, but doing so correctly is vital to ensure your paint job is consistent and all your lines are clean. The area where the car door meets the inside of the car can often seem unimportant when you’re completing a paint job, but it’s an area that shouldn’t be missed. Being able to mask off the A post or Fender is a notoriously difficult task using just traditional masking tape, which is why you should ensure you have the correct tape for the job. We suggest using our Advanced Foam Masking Tape for this because it can save you time, while also being cost-effective.

From the door all the way down to the tricky task of painting the handles and jambs, we hope this guide helps you complete your car door painting jobs to the highest standard possible thanks to the correct masking techniques. 

Our tape solutions are perfect for achieving a professional finish on any job, big or small. Visit our online store to discover the full range of JTAPE products available, or contact us today to find your local distributor.

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