Masking off a Car Body for Painting: JTAPE Top Tips

Working in the auto repair or body shop industry, it’s highly likely that you’ll be asked many times to mask off a car body in preparation for painting. While this can be a long and arduous process, it’s also very important to get it right and ensure you’re fully protecting any car surfaces not being painted.

Here, we’ll offer our top tips for masking off a car body for painting to ensure you can achieve a professional, high-quality finish.

Best Tape to Use on Cars for Painting

As a leading manufacturer of tape suitable for the automotive industry, we’re proud to offer a wide range of products guaranteed to help you properly mask off the car body for painting. Below, we’ll guide you through a list of our most highly recommended products to help you choose the right automotive tape for you.

DUO Masking Tape

JTAPE duo masking tape

Our DUO Masking Tape was created with auto repair and body shop professionals in mind. With our useful 2:1 application technique, it’s easier than ever to fit this tape along the rubber seals at the top of the car doors.

This masking tape is super quick and simple to use and benefits from temperature resistance. The easy lifting tab also allows for a straightforward removal process. It couldn’t be easier to prevent issues with overspray when using this masking tape.

Perforated Trim Masking Tape

JTAPE perforated trim masking tape

Just as it says on the tin, the perforated edges of this tape mean that it’s super easy to tear, making it suitable for more complicated shapes on the car body. This tape is designed for pulling away trims from car body to allow for paint to fully cover the body and expose the body from behind the trim. It’s also very flexible and can easily fit around various corners and curves to best protect the surface underneath from paint.

Advanced Foam Masking Tape

JTAPE advanced foam masking tape

Our Advanced Foam Tape is perfect for masking door jambs & every aperture of the vehicle. Our soft foam solutions are specifically developed to leave a feathered finish with no hard edges when painting.

Premium Clear Masking Film

JTAPE Premium Clear Masking Film

We’re proud to offer a masking film that’s tried and tested for all types of painting in a variety of car body painting scenarios. Our corona-treated film benefits from tear and temperature resistance while still being quick and easy to apply. As a result, you won’t have to worry about overspray affecting the car’s surface, even when you’re completing a big job.

Premium Masking Tape

Premium Masking Tape

Our 80°C Premium Masking Tape is made with a premium crepe tape and a rubber-based adhesive, allowing it to be a useful tool for masking off areas of the car for spray painting.

Fine Line Masking Tapes

Require precision in the masking process? Our excellent range of fine line masking tapes are perfect for working on precise jobs, such as striping.

How to Mask a Car for Painting

Masking off a full car can seem like a lot of work. However, with the right tools and proper technique, you can breeze through it and move swiftly on to completing your paint job.

1.     Clean the entire car

Use an exterior shampoo and warm water mixture to clean away any dirt or debris from the car, making sure to pay extra close attention to the corners and crevices. For example, parts of the car door, such as the handles and jambs, can harbour many contaminants, so ensure you go over these a few times.

Finish off by drying the car with a clean cloth and applying wax and degreaser to protect the paint and ensure your adhesives stick to the panels.

2.     Tape along every edge

Apply the appropriate masking tape dependant on preferred application along the edge of each adjacent panel to the one you’re painting. We recommend taking this process a panel or section at a time, checking that each piece of tape is securely stuck as you move around the car. Think about all the areas you want to protect from any overspray, such as the windows or wheels.

It’s also worth thinking about which masking tape would be best to use in certain situations. A thinner flexible foam masking tape is best suited to smaller areas like door jambs, while larger masking tape can be used on larger panels like the roof.

A car window and wind-mirror with masking tape

3.     Apply masking film

Next, you’ll need to apply masking film over any larger areas you want to avoid painting. For example, if the car has a sunroof, you’ll want to cover this with a layer of masking film.

To do this, line it up with the original masking tape and carefully cut the piece of film to size.

4.     Seal the film with masking tape

Taking a masking tape like our premium option referenced above, add another layer on top of the previous one to seal in the masking film and ensure it won’t move during the painting process. When spray painting, it can be easy to accidentally let paint seep into these areas if the masking hasn’t been thoroughly checked.

Therefore, it’s important to do a final check of your masking before proceeding with painting a car.

We’ve packed this guide full of our best tips for masking off a car body for painting, along with our favourite JTAPE products best suited to the job. We hope this becomes a useful resource for you, whether you’re an auto repair novice or are simply looking for the best tips and tricks to get the job done.

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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