Friday, April 26, 2019

Friday Fail: Masking Tape :^(

So, fresh off my self-admonition to Just Do It earlier this week, and full of motivation, I dove right in to masking and painting the chimney I'll be using alongside Stanley Chemical.

I'll try not to let the resulting failure discourage me from continuing to press on. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

You may have noticed in the painting photos from the last post that I had already painted the brick portion of the chimney with my rattle can of flat red primer. But there's also a stone block portion at the bottom, so I needed to mask off the brick and shoot that with some "stone block" color (full disclosure - it's the same flat khaki rattle can paint I used for the concrete. I figure I'll vary the color a little with weathering).

I used some blue painter's tape (supposedly a lot less sticky than regular masking tape) to create a sharp line at the top of the stone/concrete portion and then used a combination of regular masking tape and newspaper to mask off the rest of the stack.

Then I shot it with my rattle can of khaki. 10 minutes total, tops.

But later, it got interesting. You can see what happened. The supposedly "less sticky" blue painter's tape still removed some of the red paint.

Now, a couple of potential lessons occur to me right off the bat:

  • In my haste to "just do it," not only did I not bother with an airbrush (no problem there), but I didn't do my usual primer coat either (perhaps big problem there - especially since the chimney is a resin casting).
  • Again, in my haste, I may have neglected to let the paint dry fully before masking it. In my defense, I did wait 24 hours, but it may have needed longer.
  • Finally, I used blue painter's tape - great for household painting, but maybe not so great for masking models. Next time, I'll use Tamiya masking tape, made for modeling. Bonus: it's also narrower.
The reality is that what happened is probably a combination of a little bit of all the above.

But at least I did get a really nice, sharp dividing line between the brick and the concrete/stone. Now I just need to decide whether I want to try masking the concrete/stone and shoot the brick again with the rattle can, or decant the paint from the rattle can into a cup and brush paint the now-faded brick area.

What would you do? What would you have done differently?

"Happy" Friday!


  1. Chris,

    Take the piece of tape you are going to use to mask and stick it to your shirt, remove it, do it again. Every time you do this the tape will lose some of its stickiness. Done this for years, works for me.


  2. I like to wash resin castings in warm soapy water to remove any release agent. Seems obvious, but it tends to 'release' the paint from the model as well as it released the model from the mold. I always try to prime as well if the model is plastic or resin or metal, or any combination of those.

    Don't let the setback hinder the 'just do it' approach. 'Just KEEP doing it'.