Just wondering what I should use to get the sticky stuff from tape off the paint – Amanda
I never gave the term “masking tape” any thought when I was younger. It was just the alternative to “scotch tape”. But, as I got older and more familiar with the painting process, I learned the relevance of the word “masking” (though I continued to be baffled by “scotch”).
Masking different areas of your car is an important step while painting or correcting the body of a vehicle. It saves your vehicle from unsightly overspray and irreversible burning caused by improper buffer use.
Unfortunately, a side effect of using masking tape is that it may sometimes leave some sticky residue that not only looks bad, but can negatively affect polishing, waxing, etc. So, here are a few tips to help alleviate this problem.
First, start with a premium tape. While there are many masking tapes available, a premium automotive tape such as Meguiar’s Professional Masking Tape sticks instantly to painted surfaces and is easy to release. It comes in various widths for fitting various gaps and applications.
Secondly, don’t let it sit too long (especially in a hot environment). The key to not ending up with residue is to tape off the car, do your work, and then remove it promptly. Letting it sit too long, especially in a hot environment can cause the adhesive to begin to transfer.
There are times though where the residue will appear, even though you did everything right. Here are a couple of different ways to remove it safely:
- Use another piece of tape- This is the safest method. Rip a strip of tape off the same roll and place it over the residue affected area. Press it down, or dab it, and peel it back. It should lift the residue off the paint.
- Use denatured alcohol and a microfiber towel (or Q-Tip)- This is second safest. Dab a microfiber towel or Q-Tip with the alcohol and wipe the residue affected area. Use small movements to avoid inducing marring and light pressure (for the same reason). By nature, though, this method could introduce some marring so be careful with your technique.
- Use a solvent (such as Goof Off or GOOP)- While I have found this to be safe on modern paints, you will always want to test a small, “secret” area to ensure compatibility with your particular paint. This method works well and works fast. Apply in the same style as #2, but you will want to be sure and wax afterwards. The solvent is strong enough to cut through your current layer of wax/sealant and you will want to wash the area and re-protect before moving on with the rest of the day.
- Thanks for your question and let me know if you have any questions or comments.Wishing you many distinctive miles!